It sounds weird to even write or say this, but former Lobo QB Kole McKamey called a press conference today at the Tow Diehm facility to announce that he will not return to play football for the University of New Mexico for the 2007 season even if he were granted his medical redshirt from the NCAA.
I spoke to Kole in late October and he seemed pretty excited in coming back for the 2007 season and was fired up. We had heard all through end of the season of Kole McKamey coming back and competing for the starting job with Donovan Porterie, Bryan Clampitt, and the newcomers Blair Peterson, Collier Winters, and Kevin Chavez. So today's announcement came as kind of a surprise to one and all. When asked about it Kole said,"The obvious change was Coach Toledo taking a new job. He was a big part of me coming back. That had a huge impact of me coming back. I didn't want to have to learn a new offense."
And that is exactly what was going to happen as the morning paper is now reporting that Coach Long has decided to hire former San Jose St., Cal-St. Northridge head coach and recently released Michigan St. offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin as the next offensive coordinator at UNM. Going to the Michigan St. website we have learned that Baldwin ran while at Michigan St. Will UNM go back to the spread offense? We don't know at this point but even changing coaches would mean McKamey learning his 4th offense in the 6 years that he has been here.
"4 offenses in 6 years it is hard to get any type of rhythm. I just didn't want to pursue that this year," said McKamey. "Physically I was up to it, and at no point did I not think my knee would hold up. The staff change is a huge factor."
If you listen to the press conference McKamey says, " was going to be limited in spring ball and would have to fight for a job while not getting reps. I wouldn't get live reps until fall camp. It would be hard for the team to get a feel from their QB."
After the press conference I spoke with Kole one-on-one and he said, "It would be impossible for someone to learn a new offense without getting any reps. There is no way I could earn the starting job that way, and I wouldn't want to put the coaches in a position where they would have any kind of pressure to have to put me in a game just because I was a starter. It wouldn't be fair to them nor would it be fair to my teammates."
So where does that leave Kole McKamey? "I graduated a couple of months ago and start grad school on Tuesday in sports management," said Kole. "I've also been working out with the baseball team the last couple of weeks and will be trying out as a pitcher."
While Kole told us that he had no regrets other then not winning a Mountain West Conference Championship I would like to say that I am real disappointed in a stingy way. I was always comforting to hear #12 Kole McKamey was the starting QB and we were looking forward to one more year from the former Bulldog! We at TheRedMenace.com would like to wish Kole all the best and know that whatever field he goes into or plays on he will be a success.
Kole you knew I had to do it!