When DeWayne Walker took over the football program at New Mexico State, Dec. 31, 2008, he preached a change in culture, hard work, a new commitment and discipline, all of which came true in his first year on the job. Now entering his fourth year with the Aggies, Walker looks to continue to build on those values.
A season full of milestones best describes the 2011 season for Walker and the Aggies. NM State finished the year at 4-9 overall with wins over Big Ten opponent Minnesota, the first in school history, a third straight victory against in-state rival New Mexico, a home win over Idaho and a program first victory against Fresno State. The Aggies won two road games on the season, accomplishing this feat for just the second since 2002. The NM State offense also ranked 26th in the nation in passing offense, 47th in total offense and 28th in kickoff returns.
Walker guided the Aggies to five All-WAC honors, the most since joining the WAC and since the 2002 season. Kick returner/wide receiver Taveon Rogers was named to five All-America teams, becoming the 12th All-American in school history and the first since 2008. Rogers was the team's leading kick returner with 1,318 yards and three touchdowns in 2011. He leaves NM State as the all-time leader in kick returns for a career (103), kick return yardage (2,728) and most kick returns for a touchdown (3). He ranked second in the nation in all-purpose yards per game with 196.3, which led the league. Rogers led the Aggies in receiving in 2011 with 59 catches for 1,048 yards and nine touchdowns, averaging 17.8 yards a catch and 87.3 yards a game. Against Fresno State, Rogers recorded a school record 412 all-purpose yards.
Running back Kenny Turner, who rushed for 1,074 yards and 10 touchdowns and was named a second team All-WAC selection. Turner became just the second 1,000-yard rusher for the Aggies since the 2000 season.
Donyae Coleman also thrived under Walker's system, leading the Aggies in tackles with 133 and interceptions with six. He led the WAC interceptions and ranked seventh in the country.
The 2010 season was a turning point for the Aggie football team regardless of the 2-10 overall record. Walker helped the Aggies to their second win over in-state rival New Mexico in as many years, making it the first time since the 1998 and 1999 seasons that NM State put together two straight wins against the Lobos. He also guided the Aggies to a homecoming win over San Jose State, the first homecoming win for the Aggies since 2007.
Walker led defensive back Davon House to a first team all-WAC honor and kicker returner Taveon Rogers to a second team All-WAC selection. House finished his career with 11 interceptions, while leading the team with three INT's in 2010. Rogers broke the school record for kick returns and kick return yardage in a single season. House was then drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
Despite a 3-10 overall record and a 1-7 mark in WAC play in 2009, Walker and the Aggies football team made significant strides to become a team that the players, coaches, the university and the Las Cruces community can be proud to support.
Walker led the Aggies as they finished the year in the top six in the conference in pass defense, total defense and scoring defense. NM State was ranked 36th in the nation in pass defense and 54th in pass defense efficiency. The Aggies also beat in-state rival New Mexico in Albuquerque for the first time since the 1999 season.
Defensive back Davon House was named a first team All-WAC selection, after leading the league in passes defended and interceptions. House also broke the school record for most interception return yards for a career. On the season, House returned an interception and a fumble for a touchdown.
Coming into the season, one of Walker's top priorities on offense was the running game. NM State averaged 141.5 yards a game on the ground, the most by an Aggie team since the 2003 season (211.2 ypg). Running back Seth Smith was the highlight of the Aggies' offense in 2009. Smith became just the third individual since 1969 (Denvis Manns and Chris Barnes) to rush for 1,000 yards in a season and recorded the first 1,000-yard season since 2000.
Prior to NM State, Walker spent three seasons as UCLA's defensive coordinator. In addition, he served as UCLA's interim head coach for the 2007 Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl game.
Walker, who excelled at coaching defenses for three different organizations in the National Football League prior to UCLA, has established himself as one of the top defensive minds in the collegiate game.
In 2008, Walker guided the Bruin defense to a 48th ranking in the nation in total defense, allowing 337 yards a game. UCLA's passing defense was atop the nation's leaders ranking 11th overall and second in the Pac-10, holding its opponents to just 167.6 yards per game through the air.
In 2007, the Bruin defense once again found itself listed among the national leaders in several categories. UCLA ranked 14th in rushing defense (109.2 yards per game), 29th in total defense (343.23 yards), 29th in scoring defense (22.3 points) and 32nd in pass efficiency defense (115.26). The Bruins also ranked second nationally in tackles for loss per game (8.77), third in third-down conversion defense (29.1%), tied for 15th in sacks per game average (3.0) and tied for 17th in fumbles caused (14). Defensive backs Trey Brown (tied for first, 1.77/pg) and Alterraun Verner (tied for 11th, 1.46/pg) ranked among the nation's best in the passes defended category, while defensive end Bruce Davis ranked tied for ninth in the nation in sacks per game (.92).
In 2006, the Bruins were among the national leaders in rushing defense (tied for ninth in the NCAA and tied for first in the Pac-10 with 91.08 yards per game) and total defense (33rd nationally at 304.83) and allowed almost half as many touchdowns (27) as the previous year (48). UCLA allowed 91.1 yards per game, 2.83 yards per rush and just nine touchdowns on the ground, the first time since 1985 that the Bruins had allowed fewer yards per game on the ground. The Bruin defense also ranked fifth nationally in third-down conversion defense (28.4%, 50 of 176). Walker joined the Bruins from the Washington Redskins, where he had coached the secondary, specifically the cornerbacks, the previous two seasons (2004-05) under head coach Joe Gibbs and highly-respected defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. In 2005, the Washington Redskins won 10 of 16 regular-season games, including their final five straight, to earn a wild-card berth in the playoffs. Washington defeated Tampa Bay in Florida, before dropping a 20-10 decision to the NFC champion Seattle Seahawks on the road.
The Washington Redskins ranked No. 1 among the NFL's 32 teams in lowest opponent passing percentage (54.4%). In addition, they also ranked second (tied) in fewest touchdown passes allowed (15), 10th in pass defense (192.6 yards) and 14th (tied) in interceptions (16). Walker played a key role in the development of rookie cornerback Carlos Rogers and the continued fine play of Shawn Springs. In 2004, his first year in Washington, Springs became the first cornerback in NFL history to lead his team in sacks (five) and interceptions (six) in the same season and finished the year with 69 tackles. He also tutored veterans Walt Harris and Fred Smoot in that first year.
Walker spent the previous two seasons (2002-03) as secondary coach of the New York Giants under coordinator Johnnie Lynn, a former Bruin. Prior to joining the Giants, Walker spent the 2001 season as associate head coach/secondary coach at USC under Pete Carroll and was the first staff member hired by Carroll. That season, the Trojans ranked seventh nationally with 19 interceptions and also ranked 16th nationally in pass defense (179.2 yards) and 16th (tied) in fewest touchdown passes allowed (11).
He also served as secondary coach of the New England Patriots for three seasons, the first two (1998 and 1999) under Carroll and the third (2000) under Bill Belichick. During his tenure with the Patriots, defensive backs Ty Law and Lawyer Milloy each earned trips to the Pro Bowl. Walker began his coaching career at Mt. San Antonio College (1988-92), serving as secondary coach for four seasons before becoming defensive coordinator in 1992. He then gained valuable experience by coaching at Utah State (1993), BYU (1994), Oklahoma State (1995) and California (1996-1997) before moving to the Patriots. At Cal, he tutored future NFL performers Kato Serwanga and Marquis Smith.
He also participated in the NFL's minority coaching internship program, working with the San Francisco 49ers in 1996 and the Patriots in 1997. A former cornerback himself, Walker played three seasons professionally - one in the CFL (Edmonton Eskimos in 1982) and two in the USFL (Oakland Invaders in 1984 and Arizona Outlaws in 1985). In college, he was a two-year starter at Minnesota (1980-81) after playing at Pasadena City College for two years. Walker received his bachelor's degree in liberal arts from Regents College in Albany, N.Y., in 1992.
Walker and his wife, Zan, have two daughters (Kesha and Kendra) and one son (Kevan).
The Walker File
Full Name: DeWayne Walker
Birthdate: Dec. 3, 1960
Children: Kesha, Kendra, Kevan
Regents College, 1992
B.A. in Liberal Arts
Washington Redskins (2004-05)
New York Giants (2002-03)
Southern California (2001)
New England Patriots (1998-00)
NFL’s Minority Coaching
New England Patriots (1997)
San Francisco 49ers (1996)
Oklahoma State (1995)
Utah State (1993)
Mt. San Antonio College (1988-92)
Defensive Backs (1988-91)
Defensive Coordinator (1992)
Arizona Outlaws (1985)
Oakland Invaders (1984)
Edmonton Eskimos (1982)
University of Minnesota (1980-81)
Pasadena City College (1978-79)
2007 - Las Vegas Bowl (UCLA)
2006 - Emerald Bowl (UCLA)
2001 - Las Vegas Bowl (USC)
1996 - Aloha Bowl (Cal)
1994 - Copper Bowl (BYU)
1993 - Las Vegas Bowl (Utah State)