Make no mistake: Walker's accustomed to the big time. He was a secondary coach on Pete Carroll's staff in New England, joined Carroll in his first year at USC and spent the next four years with the Giants and Redskins before returning to L.A. as Karl Dorrell's defensive coordinator in 2006, where he immediately revamped one of the worst defenses in the country. It seemed he had a legitimate shot at landing the UCLA job over Rick Neuheisel last year. His entire career has been on high profile teams in major metropolises on both coasts. He has, you know, connections.
New Mexico State, on the other hand, is a) In Las Cruces, New Mexico, and b) Nearly 50 years removed from its last bowl appearance, in the 1960 Sun Bowl, played about three weeks after Walker was born. Altogether, the Aggies have only put together four winning seasons since 1968, and none since 2002. This is a long, long way from the spotlight, and not necessarily a step up from a plum (and very safe) coordinator job.
On the ironic side, with Walker joining new New Mexico boss Mike Locksley, a state with one of the lowest black populations in the country will have black head coaches at both of its major state universities. We may have a long way to go in this regard, but I don't think that ratio will ever be topped.
- DeWayne Walker