Terps get ‘quality’ hire in Locksley

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Disclaimer: This is satire

Editor’s Note: Through a public records request, El Defensor Chieftain obtained a copy of the cover letter former University of New Mexico head coach Mike Locksley sent to the University of Maryland. Sources told the Chieftain the letter was so enticing, it compelled the Terps to hire Locksley as their next offensive coordinator.

Dear Mr. Randy Edsall:

Hi, my name is Mike Locksley, and I’m writing to inquire about the staff position recently vacated by Gary Crowton. I’m sure you’ve heard of me. Almost everywhere I go, my name precedes me. As you’ll recall, I was previously the head football coach at the University of New Mexico.

For one reason or another, I was terminated four games into my third year. Understandably, I’m sure that raises a red flag with some human resources departments.

Allow me to ease your mind: I sleep well at night knowing I did the best job I could possibly do to put a product on the field that Lobo fans, boosters and former lettermen could be proud of.

If you look strictly at numbers, they don’t exactly convey that sentiment: a 2-26 record; a pair of lawsuits — one brought against me by a former administrative assistant who accused me of sexual harassment, the other by a former coach who I was accused of choking and punching; dwindling fan support (16,313 fans showed to watch me coach my last game); and a couple low-key, off-the-field incidents in which I am said to have shouted at a reporter in a bar and allowed a “recruit” to drive intoxicated in a car registered in my name.

Look, before you pass judgment, allow me to explain this negativity away. First off, I want you to know that, as a person, I am more concerned with my character than my reputation, because my character is who I really am. My reputation is who people think I am.

Obviously, you’re probably wondering, “Who is the real Mike Locksley?”

Mike Locksley is an eternal optimist, a coach who always puts his players first — someone who doesn’t live with regret. I’m the type of guy who takes the baton and runs with it and does everything anyone asks of me.

As I’ve often told reporters, I’m a man of faith — even if others don’t share the same convictions about my program. If it wasn’t for my faith, I’d probably be a little stir-crazy. As such, I have faith that you will make a good-faith effort to substantiate the merits of my character.

What I can tell you in my defense is that none of the things that were said about me have been substantiated.

You have to put an asterisk by the 2-26 record simply because the program I inherited was under NCAA sanctions. While other schools could recruit up to 75 athletes, in my three years at UNM, I was allowed only 61.

In regards to the lawsuits, they were bogus claims. Being a herald recruiter, you know it helps your cause to put the “show horses” at the windowsill in order to entice blue-chippers, otherwise you’re relegated to jockey the long shot.

So I had Sylvia Lopez do some menial chores, like put together my game plans. And? Why is that front-page news? An aside: I can assure you that Lopez simply recapitulated the game plan onto the computer. Those game plans were all me, baby.

If we’re talking about J.B. Gerald, the former coach I was accused of choking and punching, I must say his claims are patently false. My former employer will back me up on this one. Go ahead. Call them.

The UNM Human Resources Department performed a thorough investigation, doing everything but dusting for fingerprints. Had it done so, maybe it would have found my prints on Gerald’s neck, but that’s only because I grabbed him around the collar.

But seriously, go look. UNM found absolutely no evidence that I choked or punched Gerald. If nothing else, I owe a debt of gratitude to Shannon Garbiso, the HR investigator who initially looked into Gerald’s claims and then shredded the notes of her findings.

Had there been a drop of incriminating evidence, the university would have fired me for cause. The only reason UNM settled Gerald’s lawsuit is because it would have cost more to go to trial.

Still my reputation was battered in the court of public opinion. It just seemed like once an incident was settled, another firestorm cropped up.

The honeymoon was short. A little after the Gerald incident, the Albuquerque media concocted this story about how I shouted at a Daily Lobo reporter inside a local bar. That is patently false. What I did is talk to him, in elevated tones, about why he said my program was in “shambles.”

What’s the world coming to when a coach cannot have a word or two with a reporter who penned some two-bit column? I’m firmly of the opinion the kid was just trying to ride my coattails to his 15 minutes of fame. And the Albuquerque media bought it hook, line and sinker.

The thing is, they had to.

Albuquerque, as you know, is a fishbowl, and I was the great white shark. Or is it Steve Alford? Either way, it leads me to my next point.

The fans.

Do you want to talk about the “damn fans,” about how just north of 16,000 turned out to watch me lose for the 26th time. If Rocky Long recognized how fair-weather the fans are, I’m sure you can.

Albuquerque is a basketball town. Always has been. Always will be. Fans will pay good money to pack The Pit, but they leave in droves after the first quarter of a football game.

I mean, what else did Albuquerqueans want from me? I promised I’d light up the scoreboard. Didn’t say which team would be responsible for engineering the electricity.

No one can say my mouth wrote a check I couldn’t cash. As a matter of fact, I just cashed a humongous check from the university and will be doing so for awhile.

So before you gloss over my application when searching for a candidate to fill your coaching vacancy, please, remember this: As I’ve said before, 2-26 was where the University of New Mexico was. I go to bed at night believing and knowing that Lobo football is in better shape today, as I sit here, then it was on Dec. 8, 2008, when I accepted the position.

I’m confident I can replicate the same recipe for success wherever I land a job. I’m hoping its at Maryland. Thank you, and I look forward to the opportunity.

Sincerely, Mike Locklsey

 


-- Email the author at iavilucea@dchieftain.com.

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