Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

UNM offensive coordinator Derek Warehime fired; Heath Ridenour is interim OC

Derek Warehime

Derek Warehime has been fired as University of New Mexico’s offensive coordinator and tight ends coach, Lobos head coach Danny Gonzales announced in a press release on Sunday.

Heath Ridenour, UNM’s quarterbacks coach and a former Cleveland High coach, will serve as the interim offensive coordinator for the remainder of the season.

Graduate assistant Matt Clark, who assisted with the tight ends, will now serve as the interim tight ends coach.

“I appreciate what Derek has done for our program over the last three years and all the hard work that he put into it,” Gonzales said in press release. “I have made the decision for the direction of our program moving forward, that this is the right time to make a change.”

Gonzales is scheduled to meet with the media on Monday morning.

The Lobos scored on their first two drives in a 27-14 loss to Wyoming on Saturday and struggled mightily after the first quarter.

UNM (2-4) was without its top two receivers Geordon Porter and Luke Wysong, as well as backup running backs Sherod White and Christian Washington because they did not meet the standards and expectations of the team, Gonzales said after the loss.

The four are expected to return for the game against rival New Mexico State (1-5) in Las Cruces.

“Nobody is treated any differently on this team,” Gonzales said after the Lobos’ third straight loss. “So when they don’t do what is expected of them there’s consequences.”

Gonzales would not elaborate on the reason why the four were held out.

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“They’re good players,” Gonzales said. “It hurts your team. Are we going to win that game with them? I do not know. We played the game with the guys who were available that meet the standards and expectations of our team and proud of the ones who fought. We need to coach them better to give them a better chance to be successful.”

Warehime, who worked for three seasons at Texas before UNM, was hired as a first-time offensive coordinator when Gonzales put together his staff before the 2020 season.

He worked for New Mexico previously from 2012-14 when the Lobos had great success on the ground.

The Lobos struggled offensively in 2021 finishing dead last in the Football Bowl Subdivision in total offense.

They haven’t been much better this season, as they are 128th out of 131 teams, averaging 259.7 yards per game.

Last year, the Lobos started four quarterbacks during the season, including graduate manager Bryson Carroll in the final game of a 3-9 season.

Miles Kendrick, a senior transfer from Kansas, has started each game this season.

However, CJ Montes was mixed in during a 31-20 loss to UNLV on Sept. 30 and Justin Holaday alternated in during the Lobos’ loss to the Cowboys on Saturday.

The Lobos have lost two straight in similar fashion, losing a double-digit early lead and ending with a desperation pick-six for the opponent.

Gonzales was asked after the loss to Wyoming if Kendrick gave the Lobos the best chance to win.

“I’ll have to evaluate the tape and watch,” Gonzales said. “I don’t think he played well enough (on Saturday night) to give us the best chance to win. We’ll have to watch the tape and evaluate to see if he’s the one that gives us the best chance to win and if he is he’ll be the starting quarterback next week against New Mexico State.”

UNM sophomore quarterback Isaiah Chavez, who led the Lobos to wins over Wyoming the past two seasons, did not make the dress list, Gonzales said after the game. When asked about Chavez’s status, Gonzales said Chavez remains on the team.

Sophomore linebacker Alec Marenco suffered a knee injury that Gonzales feared could be a torn ACL. He had been filling in for junior Ray Leutele, who missed his third straight game with a right foot injury.

Leutele is considered week to week, but is expected to return after the Lobos’ open week when UNM plays at Utah State on Nov. 5, unless his status improves greatly.

Wide receiver Bobby Wooden, who had 2 catches for 16 yards, did not play in the second half because of a rib injury. He’ll be week to week, Gonzales said.

“It was a great college football game until the final three minutes when we made too many mistakes,” Gonzales said. “It’s who we are. We need to coach them better so that we don’t create a divide.”

UNM cornerback Donte Martin did not play against Wyoming because of a lung/chest issue that will cause him to miss up to a month.

Senior Jerrick Reed II moved from safety to corner against the Cowboys, and the Lobos started two true freshman in the secondary with safeties AJ Haulcy and Jer’Marius Lewis.

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