Football Coaching Staff

Mike Fanoga rejoined Hal Mumme’s football staff by coming to New Mexico State in 2005 after a five-year run at Western Kentucky. Fanoga now enters his fourth season with the Aggies as the defensive line coach. 

   In 2007, a much improved defensive line tallied 11 sacks, a three sack improvement for the previous year. The defensive also recorded 29 tackles-for-a-loss and a total of 159 tackles.

   Fanoga guided the defensive line to record eight sacks in 2006, a plus five difference from the 2005 season. The defensive line also accounted for 16 tackles-for-a-loss and 142 tackles on the season.

   During the 2005 season, Fanoga led a group of defensive lineman that tallied four sacks and recorded 160 tackles.

   His association with Mumme dates all the way back to their days at Iowa Wesleyan in 1989.

   During his time at WKU, the Hilltoppers made five trips to the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs and won the national championship in 2002. From 2000-04, the Hilltoppers posted a combined record of 49-15.

   Under Fanoga’s leadership the Western Kentucky defense recorded 165 sacks in five years - including three of the top six single-season performances in school history. The Hilltoppers ranked among the nation’s leaders in several defensive categories during that time.

   In 2004, the Hilltoppers allowed only 130 yards per game on the ground, second best in the Gateway Conference and 31st nationally (I-AA). Two of his players, Daniel Williams and Joe Woolridge, were named to the Gateway Conference All-Newcomer Team. Woolridge also earned second team All-Gateway honors.

   Western collected 39 sacks in 2003, with Chad Kincaid picking up eight of those en route to earning second-team all-Gateway Conference accolades. All three starting defensive linemen recorded 45 or more total stops, and reserve Charlie Phillips was named to the league’s all-Newcomer Team. Fanoga’s unit helped contribute to a defense that surrendered just 132.2 yards per game on the ground, 283.7 total yards and only 16.8 points per game.

   The Hilltoppers set a school record with 41 sacks in 2002. Five defensive linemen contributed to that total, including Patrick Reynolds, the first WKU lineman to be named first-team all-Conference in consecutive years since 1980-81.

   Six different linemen recorded at least one sack in 2001 as the Hilltoppers had 31 as a team. The WKU defense led the Gateway and ranked in the top 10 nationally in four different categories.

   In his first year at Western, Fanoga helped coach a defense that recorded 33 sacks and led the nation in both scoring defense and turnover margin. His recruiting efforts helped land five freshmen from Hawaii and American Samoa during the February signing period.

   Fanoga came to WKU from the University of Kentucky. He served in several roles for Coach Mumme, working with the offensive and defensive lines as well as tight ends during his four-year stint.  During that time, UK reached back-to-back postseason bowls - the 2000 Music City Bowl and the 1999 Outback Bowl - for just the third time in school history. 

   Prior to working in Lexington, Fanoga was the defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator at Valdosta State from 1994-96. In his final year at the school, he was instrumental in aiding the Blazers to a 10-2 record, the Gulf South Conference title and the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II playoffs.

   Fanoga has also been an assistant at Iowa Wesleyan (1990-94), Livingston (1989-90) and Texas-El Paso (1987-89). He played at both Snow College and UTEP, from which he received his bachelor’s degree in Social Work in 1986 and his master’s in Physical Education in 1988.

   Fanoga is a native of American Samoa and he and his wife, Soana, have one daughter, Sydney (12).



Fanoga File


Full Name: Mike Fanoga

Birthdate/Place: Nov. 2, 1959, American Samoa

Wife: Soana

Children: Sydney (11)



UTEP, El Paso, Texas (B.S. SocialWork, 1986)

UTEP, El Paso, Texas (M.A. Physical Education, 1988)


Playing Career

Snow College - Linebacker (1983-84)

UTEP - Linebacker (1985-86)


Coaching Career

Intern 1996 Atlanta Falcons

Intern 1997 Miami Dolphins

Intern 2003 Philadelphia Eagles

Assistant Coach - UTEP, 1987-89

Assistant Coach - Livington, 1989-90

Assistant Coach - Iowa Wesleyan, 1990-94

Assistant Coach - Valdosta State, 1994-96

Assistant Coach - Kentucky, 1997-00

Assistant Coach - Western Kentucky, 2000-04

Assistant Coach (Defensive Line) - NMSU, 2005 -


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