(The following story appeared in Wednesday's Las Cruces Sun-News online edition and Thursday's print product)
As of Wednesday night, DeWayne Walker and his agent Don Yee were negotiating with the Jacksonville Jaguars in hopes of getting a multi-year contract agreement from the NFL organization, according to New Mexico State Athletics Director McKinley Boston.
Boston said multi-year contracts are rare in the NFL for assistant coaches, which is what Walker is speculated to become if he gets the job in Jacksonville. It’s believed the Aggies current head coach interviewed with the Jaguars on Tuesday to be the team’s defensive backs coach.
School officials said Wednesday night that a decision on Walker’s future at NMSU is expected to come today.
Walker still has four years remaining on his NMSU contract, which paid him close to $375,000 last year.
Speculation on Walker’s departure has long been a topic of conversation.
On one hand, he just wrapped up his fourth season at New Mexico State — a critical year for many college football coaches looking to turn around a program — with a 1-11 season. Such a record brought his career mark at the school to 10-40. While three of the four years the team was largely uncompetitive, it came with a caveat: Walker spoke frequently during that time of a program that wasn’t well-enough supported to put wins in the record books, making it unfair to judge his coaching acumen entirely on his win-loss standing.
On the flip side, one of Walker’s career goals — being the head coach of a major college football program — could be put on hiatus with such a departure. While Walker’s experience at NMSU hasn’t been easy — at times it’s been anything but — it still provides one of just 120 Division-I college coaching jobs available in the country.
The 52-year-old Walker came to the school in 2009 to replace Hal Mumme, becoming the 33rd head coach in New Mexico State history. It’s the first head-coaching experience of his football career.
Prior to his job with the Aggies, Walker was defensive coordinator at University of California, Los Angeles (2006-08) and at University of Southern California (2001).
He does have experience as an NFL defensive backs coach, when he held such titles with the New York Giants (2002-03) and Washington Redskins (2004-05).
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