DeWayne Walker addressed the media on Thursday at the New Mexico State University media day.
There was a throng of reporters there. Actually, it was really small — myself, Randy Harrison from the Albuquerque Journal and Tim Korte from the Associated Press.
Anyway, coach Walker spoke at length about the Aggies, the program and where he thought the team was headed. Here are some snippets from the session....
Walker spoke about how he visited Pete Carroll in California recently. The two spoke about the responsibilities of being a head coach and looking over an entire program.
Even though Walker is a defensive guy, he said that Carroll urged him to take ownership of the offense when the time comes.
“He said, ‘that's your offense,’” Walker said. “‘You might not call a play, but you're the head coach. It's yours.’ Really, it made sense.”
On the team's overall improvement since the start of spring practice
“Night and day,” Walker said. “Now, obviously, we gotta improve to the extent of winning games. But I'm real happy with our improvement.”
On how he landed his assistant coaching staff
“They were all out of work,” Walker joked. “Now, we gotta hold onto them when we start winning. That'll be the next big challenge.”
On why he thinks he can turn around New Mexico State
“It's been done before,” Walker said. “Why can't we do it? That's the way I look at it.
“I've seen a lot of examples of turning a program around in one year.”
On the changing of the team's uniforms
“Hopefully, this is our brand,” Walker said. “They're not flashy. They're just clean and professional.”
For those wondering, aside from the new crimson helmets the Aggies will display, the team will also wear white cleats.
I know this blog has been hit hard by football lately, but two other sports were on display at Aggie media day as well — volleyball and soccer.
As far as Aggie volleyball is concerned, this team is in somewhat of a transitional year under Mike Jordan. Frankly, under Jordan, the team's been so successful you almost take it for granted. But volleyball is no different than any other sport. You get players, you lose players, and eventually, you have to reload.
Gone are standout stars Lindsey Yon, Amber Simpson and Krystal Torres from a season ago. These were great players for the volleyball team and really, in the entire WAC, it didn't get any better than those three.
One player to keep an eye on is Whitney Woods, who should come on strong at outside hitter in her junior year. Again for those wondering, Whitney is the sister of former Aggie cornerback Chris Woods.
As far as soccer is concerned, it'll be interesting to catch the team in its first year.
Playing at Aggie Memorial? Definitely will be interesting to see that as well.
I like Michael Needham's press conference. He said that he expects his team to compete and win.
“If you don’t put a goal out there about winning games, I don’t know why you’re even out here,” Needham said. “We’re here to win.”
There's a first time for everything. Including women's soccer at NMSU.