Danny Gonzales and Curtis Luper are strong candidates for the New Mexico head coaching position, sources told FootballScoop on Friday. Both candidates have prior ties to the program and connections to important recruiting markets in the Southwest.
While we've been told both Gonzales and Luper have interviewed for the position and both remain candidates, we understand at least one additional candidate remains in play as well.
Gonzales is the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Arizona State, and Luper serves as co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach at TCU.
Gonzales was mentioned as an early candidate for the UNLV job that ultimately went to Marcus Arroyo and has spent the past two seasons on Herm Edwards's staff at Arizona State, garnering a promotion to assistant head coach between the 2018 and '19 seasons. He spent the seven seasons prior to that at Mountain West rival San Diego State, the final one as defensive coordinator.
Prior to that, though, Gonzales spent the first 15 years of his adult life wearing Lobo colors. He played safety and punter for UNM in the mid-to-late 1990s, then immediately joined the staff upon graduation as a GA. From there, Rocky Long promoted him to video coordinator in 2003 and then safeties coach and special teams coordinator in 2005, where he remained until Long resigned at the end of the 2008 season.
Gonzales and Luper briefly overlapped in Albuquerque, as the latter coached the Lobos' running backs from 2002-04. Luper left for the same job at Oklahoma State and, later, Auburn, where he was part of the Tigers' 2010 national championship run.
Luper has been on Gary Patterson's staff at TCU since 2013. He was a finalist for the UTSA job that went to Frank Wilson in 2016.
New Mexico went 2-10 in 2019 and 3-9 in the two seasons before that. Bob Davie and UNM mutually parted ways on Nov. 25.
Signing Day is Wednesday, so a hire should be in the pipes soon.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.