PORTALES — Former Eastern New Mexico University player and graduate assistant Josh Lynn plans to hit the ground running in his new position as the school’s football coach.
Lynn, who will turn 33 on Dec. 23, was named ENMU’s 15th head coach on Monday, replacing Mark Ribaudo.
“I think Eastern New Mexico is a good place, and a good opportunity for me,” said Lynn, who spent the last six seasons at New Mexico Military, a junior college located in Roswell.
After five seasons as an assistant at NMMI, Lynn was elevated to head coach last fall and led the Broncos to a 9-3 record.
“We are very pleased that Josh Lynn has accepted our invitation to be the new football coach …” said Steven Gamble, ENMU president, in a release from the school. “Coach Lynn has a tradition of success at every level he’s been at — from being a player to assistant coach to head coach.
“He epitomizes the kind of person we want representing our university — a competitive coach who wants to win, but will not take academic shortcuts.”
A native of Eunice, Lynn was a first-team All-Lone Star Conference South Division tight end in 1999 and 2000, helping the Greyhounds win division titles both years. He spent the following two years on the ENMU staff as recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach.
“We’re obviously excited,” ENMU athletic director Jeff Geiser said. “The thing about Josh is he’s a New Mexico guy. Some of the references I’ve talked to said if he were hired, it would make all the (high school) coaches in New Mexico happy.
“Not only did we get a guy with New Mexico connections, but he’s young and energetic and he understands our needs.”
Lynn said he met with a group of players on what the university called a “football council,” and came away impressed.
“I believe those guys are hungry and they’re good kids, and they want to win,” he said. “That was a big selling point for me.”
With the program behind a bit in recruiting, it will be important for Lynn to get a staff together soon, and said he plans to waste little time meeting with the current assistant coaches.
“I’m going to try to get the best coaching staff I can to be successful,” Lynn said. “Hopefully, we can get (that) done quickly.”
While acknowledging that recruiting to Portales isn’t all that easy, Lynn said he intends to put his best foot forward.
“Eastern New Mexico University is what you make of it,” he said. “That’s where the whole mindset’s got to change. (Players) have an opportunity here to get a great education and to play ball.”
Other finalists for the position were Copperas Cove (Texas) High School coach Jack Welch and Texas-El Paso assistant Jeff Woodruff.