What we first learned on Tuesday became official Thursday as New Mexico State named offensive coordinator Chuck Martin its interim head coach in the wake of DeWayne Walker's departure to join the Jacksonville Jaguars' staff.
“I’m really excited about the possibilities here at New Mexico State,” Martin said in the university's official statement. “Obviously, NM State is a place I firmly believe in and that’s the reason why I came back. I feel there is unlimited potential for this football program and for Las Cruces as a city to take ownership of this team."
For a program currently without a conference home after the collapse of the WAC and that hasn't enjoyed a winning season since 2002, finding an experienced, qualified candidate excited about heading the program is half the battle.
Martin represents both of those things for New Mexico State.
Martin expressed Thursday that he is interested in turning his interim tag into a full-time job. "I would relish the idea of being the head coach here," Martin said.
Martin served as the head coach at Kent State from 2004-10 before becoming New Mexico State's offensive coordinator in 2011. In his one season directing the Aggies' attack, New Mexico State ranked 26th nationally in passing offense and 47th in total offense, up from 99th and 112th in those respective categories in 2010. Martin spent the 2012 season as the offensive coordinator at Boston College before assuming his previous post as New Mexico State's offensive coordinator on Jan. 17.
I want to be here. That's why I came back," Martin added. "I want to bring this team and this community together and make this the best football program I can as long as I’m the interim head coach and hopefully the head coach in the future.”