Bob DeBesse enters his fourth as New Mexico’s offensive coordinator, and that offense continues to be prolific and record setting.
In the 2014 season, UNM once again finished in the top five in rushing nationally, finishing fourth, averaging 310.4 yards per game. The Lobos are the only team in the nation to have finished in the top five in each of the last three years with an average of 300 yards or more, and that’s all under DeBesse.
The Lobos were certainly explosive as well. Aside from Jhurell Pressley leading the nation with a 9.6 yards per carry average, UNM ranked in the top three nationally in most runs of 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 yards for the season, leading the nation in most 50 and 60 yard rushes (14 and 10 respectively).
Pressley topped the 1,000-yard mark, the third straight year UNM has had a 1,000 yard rusher, and the Lobos tied Wisconsin for the most different 100-yard rushers in the season with five. All told, UNM had 11 100-yard rushing games in 2014, giving UNM 32 with DeBesse running the offense.
In 2013, UNM scored 393 points, eight points short of the 1994 team’s school record of 401 points. The 2013 offense’s 40 rushing touchdowns were two shy of the 1971 team record of 42. The unit also produced 5,062 yards, becoming just the sixth Lobo offensive unit to surpass the 5,000-yard mark.
Senior running back Kasey Carrier topped the 1,000-yard mark for the second consecutive season, finishing with 1,122 rushing yards in 10 games. Sophomore Cole Gautsche was the nation’s sixth-leading rushing quarterback with 777 yards, which beat out his freshman mark of 760 as the third most by a Lobo QB.
In 2012, UNM more than doubled its 2011 scoring output of 12.0 points per game, finishing at 25.8. The Lobos had the most improved rushing offense in the nation from 2011 to 2012, going from 113.3 yards per game (ranking 103rd in rushing in ‘11) to 301.3 yards per game (ranking fifth in ‘12). New Mexico also finished second in the nation in time of possession at 33 minutes, 47 second per game and 17th in turnover margin at plus-0.85 per game. The team had the fifth best improvement in turnover margin in the country after averaging minus-0.67 per game in 2011.
The Lobos, which hadn’t produced a 100-yard rusher since November of 2009 prior to the 2012 season, had 10 100-yard rushers, led by Carrier’s seven 100-yard games. The junior set the school single-season record with 1,469 rushing yards in DeBesse’s pistol-option attack, and his 15 rushing TDs were the second most in UNM history.
Gautsche set a UNM freshman record for rushing yards with 760, which was also the third most rushing yards ever by a Lobo QB.
DeBesse came to New Mexico after a highly successful two-year stint as the offensive coordinator at Sam Houston State, which finished as national championship runner-up in the Football Championship Subdivision in 2011.
The Bearkats averaged 36.9 points per game in 2011. They had a 1,000-yard rusher in Tim Flanders (1,644 yards) and another one just shy of 1,000 yards in Richard Sincere (979 yards), as well as a 2,000-yard passer in quarterback Brian Bell (2,069 yards).Flanders earned Southland Conference Player of the Year honors, while Sincere was recognized as the league’s Offensive Player of the Year.
In his first season, DeBesse led the Kats to the top of the Southland Conference in rushing offense and had three players earn all-league honors. Flanders was named as the Southland’s “Newcomer-of-the-Year.”
DeBesse served as wide receivers coach at Texas A&M under former New Mexico coach Dennis Franchione from 2006-07. As wide receivers coach, DeBesse helped direct Texas A&M squads to the 2006 Holiday Bowl and the 2007 Alamo Bowl.
Purdue employed DeBesse as wide receivers coach from 2003-05, where he mentored Taylor Stubblefield. Stubblefield was a consensus All-America selection and Biletnikoff Award finalist (that goes annually to the nation’s top WR) in 2004, setting a then-NCAA record with 316 receptions. In 2003, Boilermakers WR John Standeford set Big Ten records for receptions (broken by Stubblefield) and receiving yards with 3,788. Purdue played in the 2003 Capital One Bowl and the 2004 Sun Bowl.
Prior to his arrival at Purdue, DeBesse was the head coach at Southwest Texas State from 1997-2002. His 2000 team went 7-4, the best mark by the school in a decade, and had a No. 24 national ranking in the NCAA Division I-AA final poll.
DeBesse served as offensive coordinator at the University of Minnesota from 1992-96. His units led the Big Ten in passing offense in 1992, 1993 and 1996 and led the Big Ten in passing offense in conference games in 1994 and ‘95.
Before coming to Minnesota, DeBesse spent nine years (1983-91) at TCU, the last two years as offensive coordinator. From 1988-90, he coached alongside Rocky Long (former New Mexico quarterback who would become UNM’s head coach from 1998-2008) and earned Southwest Conference Offensive Coordinator of the Year honors in 1990. As quarterbacks coach, DeBesse helped the Horned Frogs earn an invitation to the Bluebonnet Bowl in 1984.
DeBesse was a three-year letterman at Southwest Texas State from 1978 to 1980. He was special teams captain and a Texas All-Academic team selection as a senior. His final two seasons came under head coach Jim Wacker, beginning a partnership that lasted nearly two decades from Southwest Texas to TCU to Minnesota. DeBesse spent two years as a student assistant for SWT teams that won NCAA Division II national championships in 1981 and 1982. He was elected to the Southwest Texas State Hall of Honor in 1998.
Growing up in Texas, DeBesse earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Southwest Texas State in 1982. He and his wife Janet, a former Southwest Texas gymnast and cheerleader, have three children: Brittney, Kaila and Cameron.
Cameron lettered as a wide receiver for the Lobos in 2012 and 2013.
The DeBesse File
Postseason: 2011 FCS Championship; 2007 Alamo Bowl, 2006 Holiday Bowl, 2004 Sun Bowl, 2003 Capital One Bowl, 1984 Bluebonnet Bowl