ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – UNM Athletic Director, Eddie Nuñez was surprised on Monday afternoon at the UNM Football Stadium, as a crowd of athletes, coaches, and UNM Athletic co-workers gathered to witness Nuñez get awarded the Mountain West Commissioner’s Award. Nuñez is just the third recipient of this prestigious award in 24 years. The Commissioner’s Award is presented to an individual who, through dedicated effort and service, has achieved a singularly distinguished accomplishment during the academic year that has significantly enhanced the Mountain West or a member institution.
“I am a loss for words. It’s truly an honor for me, for this institution. Everything we do is to serve those that we have the pleasure to be around – our student-athletes, our coaches, and this is for them. This is for all the Lobo fans,” said Nuñez.
Nuñez helped coordinate and participated in multiple community service events this past year and help set up the COVID vaccination center at the Pit. On the sports side, he oversaw UNM win a league-best of six Mountain West titles. Nuñez is of course happy for this award and the culture that has been built at UNM during his 5-year tenure. Nuñez hopes to build upon that culture moving forward. “It’s something that I have been preaching with our vision, about really coming together as a staff, as a department. I mean, look at the turnout we have here today, it’s a testament to the culture that we have here. It’s a culture that is about all of us, not one us, and it’s something that you build day by day by day. So, I am really proud of it and I am excited. So, thank you,” said Nuñez.
Sticking with UNM, Lobo Football will hold their first fully padded practice on Monday night. Head Coach Danny Gonzales told KRQE Sports on Saturday that he is excited to finally get his team some live reps. “We will play some live football. I mean, we will actually get to tackle each other and see how they respond to that and it’s kind of a balance this time of year. I mean, I am [a] full believer that the only way you get good at doing something is by actually doing it, but we are also trying to get ready to play games. So, we got to scrimmage enough to get a good feel for it but stay fresh and safe, and we have stayed pretty injury-free so far. So, knock on wood, but next week we will play some real football and see what happens,” said UNM Head Football Coach Danny Gonzales.
Coach Gonzales also said on Saturday that he plans on focusing on who will run with the ones and who will run with the twos starting this week. One player that has set himself apart as a potential starter, is Kentucky transfer QB, Terry Wilson. Wilson has speed, agility, and a strong arm, and it seems that he already has a favorite target: a player with SEC ties.
“I was throwing with Cjay (CJay Boone) as soon as I got here. I think like, the first weekend I was here I was throwing with Cjay. You know, SEC ties we kind of connected as soon as we got here. So, he’s a hard-working receiver and I am looking forward to working out with him some more,” said Terry Wilson. “It’s been a brother environment. We played them, Kentucky and Mizzou. So, you know, I already knew he was, he had a feeling of who I was,” said CJay Boone.
Now to high school football. The La Cueva Bears are excited to get their season started in 2021. Head Coach Brandon Back likes what he sees, even with his team being a little bit younger in 2021. “I mean, not really having the ability to play a full schedule last year is going to mean that we have to grow up pretty early on the field, but we have a lot of confidence in the kids that we have. We have a lot of talent, we are just lacking some experience and we have to get that early,” said Coach Back.
This team may be young, but they do have a very talented junior class, which is headed by quarterback Aidan Armenta. “He has got some special talent. He is tall, he can run. He’s very smart, his footwork is great, but he’s a great leader and I think that’s what’s going to carry us through,” said Coach Back. Armenta is a 6’3″ pro-style quarterback that Coach Back has high hopes for, and Armenta is a very even-keeled QB that is all about his team. “I think just leadership and my ability to just throw the ball downfield. So, I think those two things make me a good QB all around,” said Armenta.
La Cueva will open their season on August 21 against the Cibola Cougars.
The Isotopes are back in action on Monday night, as they look to snap a two-game losing skid with the OKC Dodgers. Game 5 of 6 with OKC is being played on Monday night and their series finale will be played on Tuesday at 6:35 p.m.