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  1. #1
    Admin Mark's Avatar
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    Unfortunately this doesn't end well...

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    There's no question I'm a fan of Coach Neal. I like him. I like his methods and madness but unfortunately it hasn't worked this year. At schools like New Mexico the deck is already stacked against you. I think you have a 10% chance of an at large big before the season starts. If you miss a few games early in the season it's an uphill battle the rest of the season. Win the league and everything is forgotten. New Mexico is a great job and you can win at it. Coach Neal inherited a great team his first year and took them to the NCAA. Ask anyone around the program and it was known that the year following was going to be a down year. Even with Coach Alford.

    Currently the program is at a crossroad. The sharks have circled. The pitchforks are out. People have their minds made up. The amount of emails, PM's, DM's, texts, phone calls, atnd just social media outpouring has been crazy.

    Im sure there has been cases out there but once it's this far gone a coach can't ever get it back. Coach is a good man, he is. He cares for his kids. His style is different, he graduates his kids. He has great kids on the team. Nobody is in trouble. Nobody is chasing people around the gym with 2x4's. Nobody has to tell him what's happening. He sees it. He knows the expectations.

    I haven't seen it this bad in about 10 or 11 years. I don't see how this gets better. UNM will have talent next year but it's some kids who will need some time. At this point I don't see how this ends well for UNM or for coach.
    #UNMerciful


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  3. #2
    Its Mr Lobo Lair to you VWolf's Avatar
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    Response to "this doesn't end well"

    I disagree that the deck is stacked against you at UNM. The negatives you describe are there at any basketball school, and if you don't have them, then you just have a school that doesn't support basketball and your road is actually tougher. The easiest place is probably one of the military academies. There a coach isn't really expected to win much, and gets heaps of praise for any small success. However, those coaches make something in the 100 to 200k range, so it is really like an entirely different job.

    I understand that this is rough for you because of your personal connection to Neal. He is surely a nice guy, and like you said has never had any of the personnel issues that many other coaches have. However, when you make the big bucks, that isn't enough, and Neal is definitely making the big bucks. All he had to do was what any coach has to do at a school that values basketball. Win enough games to get to the dance semi-regularly. If he does that, his job is secure in perpetuity. If he doesn't, well, that is what is playing out.


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    Its Mr Lobo Lair to you Lobo_for_life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    There's no question I'm a fan of Coach Neal. I like him. I like his methods and madness but unfortunately it hasn't worked this year. At schools like New Mexico the deck is already stacked against you. I think you have a 10% chance of an at large big before the season starts. If you miss a few games early in the season it's an uphill battle the rest of the season. Win the league and everything is forgotten. New Mexico is a great job and you can win at it. Coach Neal inherited a great team his first year and took them to the NCAA. Ask anyone around the program and it was known that the year following was going to be a down year. Even with Coach Alford.

    Currently the program is at a crossroad. The sharks have circled. The pitchforks are out. People have their minds made up. The amount of emails, PM's, DM's, texts, phone calls, atnd just social media outpouring has been crazy.

    Im sure there has been cases out there but once it's this far gone a coach can't ever get it back. Coach is a good man, he is. He cares for his kids. His style is different, he graduates his kids. He has great kids on the team. Nobody is in trouble. Nobody is chasing people around the gym with 2x4's. Nobody has to tell him what's happening. He sees it. He knows the expectations.

    I haven't seen it this bad in about 10 or 11 years. I don't see how this gets better. UNM will have talent next year but it's some kids who will need some time. At this point I don't see how this ends well for UNM or for coach.
    And unfortunately the $ 1M buyout looms whether it's this year, next year, or the following year. And as we all can see, it would be better to begin to TRY to stop the bleeding now, or it will be a total hemorrhage.

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    Its Mr Lobo Lair to you mdanger007's Avatar
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    I'm not sure how the "cards were stacked against" Neal.

    He inherited a great team after being a very successful assistant under Alford. Most critics agree that Neal is an upstanding person: So that's not the issue.

    Maybe following Alford was a double-edged sword, but I don't know of anyone expecting the level of success...just a post season appearance here and there?

    Neal knows that a coach who makes $1 million/yr has to meet expectations-ANYWHERE- that pays that. He isn't getting the job done.






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  9. #5
    Wolf Pause The Noose's Avatar
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    Merge in 5...4...3...2..

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    Alpha Wolf bmccrack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VWolf View Post
    I disagree that the deck is stacked against you at UNM. The negatives you describe are there at any basketball school, and if you don't have them, then you just have a school that doesn't support basketball and your road is actually tougher. The easiest place is probably one of the military academies. There a coach isn't really expected to win much, and gets heaps of praise for any small success. However, those coaches make something in the 100 to 200k range, so it is really like an entirely different job.

    I understand that this is rough for you because of your personal connection to Neal. He is surely a nice guy, and like you said has never had any of the personnel issues that many other coaches have. However, when you make the big bucks, that isn't enough, and Neal is definitely making the big bucks. All he had to do was what any coach has to do at a school that values basketball. Win enough games to get to the dance semi-regularly. If he does that, his job is secure in perpetuity. If he doesn't, well, that is what is playing out.
    Remember when a response to a thread was made in the thread?

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  12. #7
    UNM Graduate MannyC's Avatar
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    Coach pretending like everything is fine isn't encouraging the fanbase have any sympathy. A good start would for him to be honest with us, like Alford did last year.
    Last edited by MannyC; 03-12-2017 at 05:15 PM.

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  14. #8
    Its Mr Lobo Lair to you Doublealum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdanger007 View Post
    I'm not sure how the "cards were stacked against" Neal.

    He inherited a great team after being a very successful assistant under Alford. Most critics agree that Neal is an upstanding person: So that's not the issue.

    Maybe following Alford was a double-edged sword, but I don't know of anyone expecting the level of success...just a post season appearance here and there?

    Neal knows that a coach who makes $1 million/yr has to meet expectations-ANYWHERE- that pays that. He isn't getting the job done.
    To be fair he didn't say "the cards were stacked" against Neal - he said they were against teams like us, I.e. non-P5 when one is talking about at large bids to the NCAA.

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  16. #9
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    Deck is stacked at schools not in the P5. At large isn't easy. SDSU would tell you that 2 years ago.
    #UNMerciful

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doublealum View Post
    To be fair he didn't say "the cards were stacked" against Neal - he said they were against teams like us, I.e. non-P5 when one is talking about at large bids to the NCAA.
    Thank you.
    #UNMerciful

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  20. #11
    Lobo Lair King the_pole_28's Avatar
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    To an extent I agree that once you've lost a fan base it can be hard to get back, but you can by winning.

    Noodles didn't exactly walk into the lions den here. He was very respected as an assistant, and is who everybody clamored for when Alford left. He was hired pretty quickly and received with open arms. After year one, he took over a fantastic team that Alford built and failed to win the league or a game in the dance (that's not entirely his fault in fairness), and for that he got an extension. Even after a dumpster fire the next year, fans were still pretty cool with him overall, and even after last year the seat was getting a little hot but most fans were still okay with him getting another year.

    The frustration with Noodles is not unreasonable, especially with what looks to be a step back season next year.

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  22. #12
    Admin Mark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdanger007 View Post
    I'm not sure how the "cards were stacked against" Neal.

    He inherited a great team after being a very successful assistant under Alford. Most critics agree that Neal is an upstanding person: So that's not the issue.

    Maybe following Alford was a double-edged sword, but I don't know of anyone expecting the level of success...just a post season appearance here and there?

    Neal knows that a coach who makes $1 million/yr has to meet expectations-ANYWHERE- that pays that. He isn't getting the job done.
    Where did I say they were stacked against Neal?
    #UNMerciful

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  24. #13
    Lobo Lair King the_pole_28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    Deck is stacked at schools not in the P5. At large isn't easy. SDSU would tell you that 2 years ago.
    Okay, but we haven't even contended for a 1 bid league. I think if we had a year similar to the one a few years ago where we split with BYU and Utah but were NIT bound, most fans would probably be a bit more forgiving

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  26. #14
    Admin Mark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pole_28 View Post
    Okay, but we haven't even contended for a 1 bid league. I think if we had a year similar to the one a few years ago where we split with BYU and Utah but were NIT bound, most fans would probably be a bit more forgiving
    Where did I say otherwise?
    #UNMerciful

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  28. #15
    Lobo Lair King the_pole_28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    Where did I say otherwise?
    It sure sounded like an excuse

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  31. #16
    Alpha Lobo Clubmaker's Avatar
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    "The sharks have circled. The pitchforks are out."

    not really, Neal just coached his way into not being the right person to move the program in the right direction and put it in a very bad position. People are just stating the position the program is in, and doing what they can to steer the program on the road it needs to be on, and in actuality, throwing a life raft to the program. as Krebs and Neal drown it. These are more like , doctors knowing a cancer in a body has to be removed before it is destroyed worse. But always portray the people willing to do what all know must be done, as anything but, simply people doing what must be done in the best interest of the program.

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    Its Mr Lobo Lair to you Lobo_for_life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pole_28 View Post
    To an extent I agree that once you've lost a fan base it can be hard to get back, but you can by winning.

    Noodles didn't exactly walk into the lions den here. He was very respected as an assistant, and is who everybody clamored for when Alford left. He was hired pretty quickly and received with open arms. After year one, he took over a fantastic team that Alford built and failed to win the league or a game in the dance (that's not entirely his fault in fairness), and for that he got an extension. Even after a dumpster fire the next year, fans were still pretty cool with him overall, and even after last year the seat was getting a little hot but most fans were still okay with him getting another year.

    The frustration with Noodles is not unreasonable, especially with what looks to be a step back season next year.
    With all due respects, "another" step back.

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  36. #18
    Its Mr Lobo Lair to you VWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmccrack View Post
    Remember when a response to a thread was made in the thread?

    It didn't work. Something has been off with TheLoboLair the past few weeks.

  37. #19
    Alpha Lobo Clubmaker's Avatar
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    Its the fans fault, the Neal hasn't met the standard published and demanded by Krebs, when he fired Sanchez...

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  39. #20
    Alpha Wolf FONZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    At schools like New Mexico the deck is already stacked against you. I think you have a 10% chance of an at large big before the season starts. If you miss a few games early in the season it's an uphill battle the rest of the season. Win the league and everything is forgotten. New Mexico is a great job and you can win at it. Coach Neal inherited a great team his first year and took them to the NCAA. Ask anyone around the program and it was known that the year following was going to be a down year. Even with Coach Alford.
    Win the league and everything is forgotten.

    Yes, UNM has its disadvantages, not being in a P5 conference, not being in a recruiting hotbed, not having national accolades such as national championships, final fours, elite eights...etc, but UNM can win MWC championships. With MWC championships come NCAAT appearances.

    While the MWC is not the conference it used to be with Alford, Kruger, BYU, and Utah, it still is a conference that is winnable and UNM definitely has the resources to win it.

    I definitely think that we need to be realistic, though, and understand that UNM is a good mid-major program that is a stepping stone for a blue-chip program. It's a good thing if our coach leaves for a school like UCLA. NCAAB is not like NCAAF where coaching transitions are detrimental to recruiting classes if a program has to hire a new coach based off of success.

    UNM just needs to get back to contending for MWC titles.

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  41. #21
    Little Lobo xraytube's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VWolf View Post
    Win enough games to get to the dance semi-regularly. If he does that, his job is secure in perpetuity. If he doesn't, well, that is what is playing out.
    Come on V, we ran Bliss out after he won 4 straight 1st round games in the NCAA. Yes, Bliss was a bad guy, but we didn't run him out for those things that happened in the future or the academic issues. Colson got run out largely due to fan apathy and he almost never lost a home game. Just couldn't win on the road. As much as I despise Fraschilla, he put it best when he said the expectations don't match the pocket book.

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  44. #22
    Donor LoboMike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FONZ View Post
    Win the league and everything is forgotten.

    Yes, UNM has its disadvantages, not being in a P5 conference, not being in a recruiting hotbed, not having national accolades such as national championships, final fours, elite eights...etc, but UNM can win MWC championships. With MWC championships come NCAAT appearances.

    While the MWC is not the conference it used to be with Alford, Kruger, BYU, and Utah, it still is a conference that is winnable and UNM definitely has the resources to win it.

    I definitely think that we need to be realistic, though, and understand that UNM is a good mid-major program that is a stepping stone for a blue-chip program. It's a good thing if our coach leaves for a school like UCLA. NCAAB is not like NCAAF where coaching transitions are detrimental to recruiting classes if a program has to hire a new coach based off of success.

    UNM just needs to get back to contending for MWC titles.
    Indeed, UNM is not competing for the top of the MWC. Which should be an obvious expectation. Lobo fans are not unrealistic in that regard.

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  46. #23
    Its Mr Lobo Lair to you PackLobo23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doublealum View Post
    To be fair he didn't say "the cards were stacked" against Neal - he said they were against teams like us, I.e. non-P5 when one is talking about at large bids to the NCAA.
    Exactly... that would require actually reading what was written .... and as we know most Lobo fans are not about to do something like that

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  49. #24
    Its Mr Lobo Lair to you VWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xraytube View Post
    Come on V, we ran Bliss out after he won 4 straight 1st round games in the NCAA. Yes, Bliss was a bad guy, but we didn't run him out for those things that happened in the future or the academic issues. Colson got run out largely due to fan apathy and he almost never lost a home game. Just couldn't win on the road. As much as I despise Fraschilla, he put it best when he said the expectations don't match the pocket book.
    Bliss got a better job with higher pay. He wasn't fired, but succumbed to grumbling fans. Fans at that point wanted a sweet 16 and maybe Bliss would have even brought us one if he'd stayed. Any coach who gets to the dance regularly and doesn't have other issues won't be fired by UNM.

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    Alpha Lobo Clubmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VWolf View Post
    Bliss got a better job with higher pay. He wasn't fired, but succumbed to grumbling fans. Fans at that point wanted a sweet 16 and maybe Bliss would have even brought us one if he'd stayed. Any coach who gets to the dance regularly and doesn't have other issues won't be fired by UNM.
    Bliss had a contract in his desk, which to much surprise to the public, eventually came out, he had not signed it. It was weird.


    Davalos said Bliss never signed a six-year contract extension agreed upon last August, so he does not have a signed contract with the Lobos for 1999-2000. The extension deal was made to keep Bliss, 55, at New Mexico through the 2004-2005 season. The current contract expires April 30."The contract, whether he signed it or didn't sign it, has nothing to do with this," Davalos said.
    Bliss said he didn't sign the extension because it needed some minor rewording and that he hasn't gotten it back after the changes were made.
    Last edited by Clubmaker; 03-12-2017 at 04:06 PM.

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  53. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by VWolf View Post
    Any coach who gets to the dance regularly and doesn't have other issues won't be fired by UNM.
    I would rephrase this to any coach who gets us to the dance regularly will leave for a higher paying job .......

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  55. #27
    Its Mr Lobo Lair to you Doublealum's Avatar
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    I do not know Coach Neal personally like Mark does (I don't know Mark either except through this site) but based what I can see as a fan from an objective distance, I am confident that Mark is correct when he says Coach cares about his players beyond what they can do on the court, the players off the court and academic achievements are objectively superb, especially for a school like UNM - these achievements don't happen just by luck - credit to Neal.

    i further reconize that Mark is absolutely correct about the unfair (IMO) advantages of P5 schools and their sucessful attempts to even further create more and more competitive advantages for themselves and the challenges for schools like UNM are getting bigger & bigger - it flat out pisses me off but it is what it is.

    Not mentioned by Mark when stating things didn't work out this year were real and significant injuries which for schools like us with smaller margins for error are proably ever harder to overcome - I'm guessing Mark didn't mention them because of what surely would have been the reaction accusing him of making "excuses."

    However, notwithstanding the above, I must agree with others that under Neal this team has underperformed even given the challenges. Perhaps, Neal was not ready for the top spot, perhaps, he is one of the many good valuable humans that are more cut out for an important supporting roles as opposed to the one person at the top, perhaps he is too close to his players - I don't know but I do believe that for whatever reason or reasons, Neal in the role of head coach at UNM is not working and it hasn't been working. It will be difficult to overcome as so many have dug their heels in. Even though I have finally come to the conclusion that the best course of action would be to replace him coupled with the announcement that he will return next year, I will hope that he makes whatever adjustments he can and that he & therefore, our Lobos, succeeds.


  56. #28
    Admin Mark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pole_28 View Post
    It sure sounded like an excuse
    Pretty sure you had your mind made up before you read the post.
    #UNMerciful

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    Its Mr Lobo Lair to you Doublealum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    Thank you.
    You are welcome but actually, no need to thank as fair is fair & all too often (and it seems to be getting worse to me in today's world) folks see, read or hear what they want to and that which fits their preconceptions as opposed to what actually is.

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    Its Mr Lobo Lair to you VWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xraytube View Post
    I would rephrase this to any coach who gets us to the dance regularly will leave for a higher paying job .......
    They very well might, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing, and it is true of everywhere besides blue chips. Hell even blue chip coaches sometimes go to the NBA. The point is that the job security is there for any coach who can get to the dance regularly and doesn't have his players act out. The possibility of moving on to higher job actually makes the UNM job more attractive and not less attractive (in terms of the deck being stacked).

    We got 11 years out of Bliss. That was good run.

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