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NMSU football coach resigns, takes Jaguars job

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico State football coach DeWayne Walker has stepped down after four losing seasons to take a job as an assistant with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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Athletic director McKinley Boston announced Thursday that Walker is leaving to become defensive backs coach for the NFL team. Walker went 10-40 with the Aggies, and was coming off a 1-11 season.

``It was a great opportunity for his family. I hope it all works out for him,'' Boston said.

Offensive coordinator Doug Martin took over as interim coach.

``Unfortunately, I did not get the program as far as I would have liked from a wins and losses standpoint,'' Walker said in a statement. ``But, we do have a better locker room, better kids and a better foundation for the program moving forward.''

Martin was Kent State's head coach from 2004-10.

``Obviously, N.M. State is a place I firmly believe in and that's the reason why I came back,'' Martin said. ``I feel there is unlimited potential for this football program and for Las Cruces as a city to take ownership of this team.

New Mexico State hasn't announced plans on its search for a new coach, but the departure of Walker does not come at a good time. Just two weeks before national signing day, when high school prospects decided where they will attend school, Martin and the Aggies' staff will be scrambling to keep the recruits who were interested in coming to New Mexico State on board.

The timing, along with the programs uncertain future as an independent, could also make it difficult to find top-notch candidates. The Aggies were forced to play as an FBS independent next season because defections made Western Athletic Conference give up trying to field a football league in 2013.

On top of that, New Mexico State has traditionally struggled to field a winning team. The Aggies have not appeared in a bowl game since 1960.

Walker was hired in December 2008 to replace Hal Mumme after serving as defensive coordinator at UCLA for three years. Walker has NFL jobs on his resume. Before his time at UCLA, he was an assistant with the Washington Redskins and New York Giants from 2002-05.

Walker never won more than four games in a season with New Mexico State.

In 2009, Walker was arrested for suspected drunken driving but the charge was dismissed after authorities said his breath-alcohol level was well below the state's legal limit for presumed intoxication.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
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