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UNM hires former Notre Dame coach

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico has hired former Notre Dame coach Bob Davie to head up its troubled football program.

Vice President of Athletics Paul Krebs announced the appointment Wednesday. UNM has scheduled a news conference Thursday afternoon to introduce Davie, who will become the university's 31st head coach.

Davie hasn't coached since being fired in 2001 by Notre Dame. During his five years as head coach of the Irish, he compiled a 35-25 record, which at the time was the third-worst winning percentage for the Irish. He also led the team to three bowl games, all losses.

Although his teams did well academically, the Irish were placed on NCAA probation for the first time under Davie as the result of a relationship between Irish players and a booster that started under Lou Holtz and continued under Davie. They also produced no first-team All-Americans and only one first-round draft pick, Luke Petitgout.

New Mexico officials declined to comment further on Davie's hiring until the Thursday news conference.

Davie is currently the lead college football analyst for ESPN's Saturday prime-time game. Before being hired as head coach at Notre Dame in 1996, he spent 20 years as an assistant, including three years as Notre Dame's defensive coordinator and nine at Texas A&M.

He replaces Mike Locksley, who was fired mid-season after a nearly three-year tenure that was mostly marked by losses and off-field problems.

Locksley was fired Sept. 26, a day after the Lobos lost 48-45 in overtime to Sam Houston State before an announced crowd of 16,313 — the smallest home crowd in nearly two decades.

Locksley had been surrounded by controversy almost as soon as he became head coach, facing a sexual harassment suit, a suspension after he punched another coach, and — the day before he was fired — criticism after police arrested his son's friend on suspicion of driving while intoxicated in an SUV registered to Locksley's wife.

Associate head coach and defensive coordinator George Barlow has been serving as interim coach. Under him, the Lobos (1-9, 1-4 Mountain West) got their first win of the season — and just the third win in as many years — by beating UNLV 21-14 last week. They have two games remaining.

UNM was 2-26 under Locksley, including consecutive 1-11 seasons the past two years.