Updated: Monday, 13 Sep 2010, 11:45 PM MDT
Published : Monday, 13 Sep 2010, 5:29 PM MDT
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The head coach for the Lobo football team will keep his job for now, the University of New Mexico Athletic Director said on Monday.
Despite a public outcry from fans and critics to have Lobo Coach Mike Locksley fired, Athletic Director Paul Krebs said through a spokesperson he would keep Locksley at least until the end of this season.
Krebs said he would evaluate whether to keep Locksley as head coach, which he does with all his staff at the end of the season. He declined a request for an on-camera interviewing saying it was too soon to talk about Locksley's job security just two games into the season.
Talk from fans who called for Locksley's head intensified after the Lobos crushing 72-0 loss to the Oregon Ducks in the Sept. 4 season opener.
It got worse following their 52-17 home loss to Texas Tech on Saturday.
One thread on a CBS sports message board named "Fire Mike Locksley," has a comment that says, "Locksley has brought bad publicity to the university as well as making its football team more pathetic."
Then there's the Daily Lobo letter to the editor. The headline reads "Fire Locksley, so we can rebuild the team."
Under the article on the Daily Lobo website, someone commented, "This guy is a major buffoon who cannot coach."
The outcry began last season when Locksley had his off-field troubles, and the Lobos compiled a 1-11.
"Just got to build up a new team, a new coach, all that," said UNM student Ryan Hull.
But some have a little more faith. Like John Panzlau, they want to see how it goes against Utah this weekend before they think Locksley should go.
"After this game," Panzlau said. "I think, yeah, I think that's reasonable.
"That's fair enough."
Others follow Krebs' philosophy to give Locksley another chance this season.
"Not until the end of the season," said UNM student Gary Bearden. "Give him a chance."
Locksley makes about $750,000 per year. He's got three more years left on his contract.
If UNM were to fire Locksley at the end of this season, the buyout could cost $900,000.
UNM has spent more than $1.5 million over the past decade to buy out the contracts of football coach Rocky Long and basketball coaches Ritchie McKay and Fran Fraschilla.
But as predictions begin to roll in for Locksley's fate, critics already have their say in what will happen this weekend against 14th ranked Utah.
"Lose for sure," Hull said. "Lose, lose, lose, lose."