The next New Mexico Lobo head coach must be someone who has been a head coach in the past according to vice presiden of athletics Paul Krebs. This means that former New Mexico quarterback and current Arizona St. Sun Devils offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone is not going to get the job, too bad in my opinion since the new head coach should have some ties to New Mexico.
Krebs mentioned his specific criteria on his weekly radio show:
Krebs said the search is focused solely on sitting head coaches or former head coaches. A timeline for the hire would depend on what that candidate is doing now. Is he a current head coach or is he out of work? Krebs did not rule out making a hire before the end of the season. "Ideally we would bring in a coach before the season is over. Not to coach the team but to assess the team and the talent," said Krebs.
This limits the possibilities, and it makes sense to make the next hire someone who has been a head coach, but this New Mexico job is one of the worst in the country. So, the odds of getting a current FBS coach is highly unlikely. A FCS coach is probably the route New Mexico will go if they want a current head coach.
Kreps has said that there have been interviews but he did not list any names. KOB channel four in Albuquerque put together a list of former head coaches:
Mike Leach, former Texas Tech head coach (currently on a book tour)
Jim Leavitt, former UCF head coach (currently with San Francisco 49ers)
Gary Barnett, former University of Colorado head coach (currently radio analyst)
Tim Beckman, Toledo head coach (will likely be in high demand after season)
Willie Fritz, Sam Houston State head coach (8-0 record this year including a win over the Lobos earlier this year)
Ron Caragher, University of San Diego head coach (6-2 this year, his team scored 24 points or more in all but one game this season, his record at USD is 33-19)
First off, Mike Leach is not going to be the next New Mexico coach, so that name needs to be removed from any and all lists. As for the others mentioned, Barnett would be the biggest name that New Mexico could get to take over this job. More details should emerge since there have been interviews and that a decision wants to be made before the seaosn ends.