Sorry Nick Saban, the real big news on the contract front this week came in the Southwest, not the Southeast.
New Mexico State announced on Friday that they have inked head coach Doug Martin to a new four-year deal that will keep him in Las Cruces through 2021.
“What Doug Martin, his staff and our players accomplished last year has not been seen in a generation,” athletic director Mario Moccia said. “The program he inherited has undergone a significant transformation. Academically, socially and competitively he has made vast strides in all three areas. This past season, the amount of national attention on the football program, our athletic department and our University was unparalleled. As we head into independent status, it was critical we secure Doug’s services for the long term.”
Martin has done well in one of the toughest FBS jobs in the country since taking over in 2013. While the 17-44 record over five seasons doesn’t look great, it’s comes on the heels of a remarkable turnaround campaign in 2017 that saw the team make (and win) its first bowl game since 1960. Yeah, that’s five decades — a full three years before Martin was even born and 21 years before he was first taking snaps as a freshman quarterback at Kentucky.
The new contract also brings some additional stability to the program as the Aggies embark on yet another stint as an FBS independent following four odd years in the Sun Belt. The team opens during Week 0 on August 25th against old WAC foe Wyoming.