Sports Desk: A new man leading the Aggies?

FOX New Mexico

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – As New Mexico State football coach Doug Martin gets his team ready for the final game of the season, reports circulate that Saturday’s game against the University of Massachusetts will be his last. is reporting that not only will it be Martin’s last game as an Aggie but his replacement has already been selected.

Football Scoop and Aggie insiders are saying that Jerry Kill will be the next head football coach at New Mexico State. The former Minnesota head coach and current TCU interim coach hasn’t led a program since stepping down from the Gophers in 2015 citing health reasons. Aggie insiders are telling KRQE Sports that Kill has already started putting together a staff. Kill worked under current NMSU athletic director, Mario Moccia, as the head coach at Southern Illinois from 2001 to 2007. One Aggie insider said that an announcement could come as early as Tuesday when the Lobos and Aggies meet up for men’s basketball.

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Moving up I-25 as UNM is also prepping for its last game of the week. For some Lobos, they are hoping this won’t be the last game of their football careers as they try to move up to the next level. “I want to do pro day,” says defensive lineman Joey Noble. “I want to train back home at TNT facility in San Dimas, California and then come out like in early March when pro day happens and perform well. We’ll see where it goes from there.”

Fellow defender, Jerrick Reed II has similar aspirations. “I feel like there’s a whole lot of work to be done. I feel like I have the talent. I have the opportunity. I just have to take advantage of it. I can’t really think too far ahead because if you do that you will never make it. So, I’m just worried about what I do right here in New Mexico, you know, the plays I make here,” Jerrick said.

Meanwhile, the top high school football teams in the state are getting ready to dual it out as Rio Rancho and Cleveland will play for the 6A state title. Cleveland is undefeated thanks in part to a 20 point comeback from the Storm in a previous match against the Rams in week 10.

Coming from behind wasn’t an issue for the team as they are built for adversity. “It goes back to our process and our process is year long,” says head coach Heath Ridenour. “It’s a pretty tough deal and it’s honestly a curriculum which starts in January. It takes the entire year to do what we do. We build adversity, we create adversity and put it in front of them and they got to make a decision on a daily basis to overcome that adversity. So when real-life adversity or adversity in a game hits, they’re just accustomed to handling adversity because we weed out all the kids that quit, that don’t want to fight, that don’t want to overcome the adversity.”

The rematch, this time for the state title, will take place at Cleveland at 1 p.m.

Looking ahead to turkey day, as the UNM men’s basketball team will play the University of Alabama Birmingham in the first round of the Las Vegas Invitational. “You know, we’re going against premier teams,” said guard K.J. Jenkins. “You know, I think a great week of preparation mentally, knowing what we got to do and just going out there and just playing our hearts out. You know, playing tough basketball. That’s what the identity is going to be for this team.”

Jaelen House will probably be back from an ankle injury and there is also a chance Saquan Singleton could be cleared to play after a heart issue. Coach Richard Pitino says those guys are game-time decisions. The 4-1 Lobos and UAB tip-off at 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day on FS1.

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