Open Announce Photo/Marshall Saiz

Gonzales Announces Staff Changes

by Frank Mercogliano

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — University of New Mexico third-year head coach Danny Gonzales has announced changes to his offensive staff, effective immediately.  Derek Warehime, who has served as offensive coordinator and tight ends coach since 2020, has been relieved of his duties.  Heath Ridenour, quarterbacks coach, will serve as the interim offensive coordinator for the remainder of the season, and graduate assistant Matt Clark, who assisted with the tight ends, will now serve as the interim tight ends coach.

“I appreciate what Derek has done for our program over the last three years and all the hard work that he put into it,” said Gonzales.  “I have made the decision for the direction of our program moving forward, that this is the right time to make a change.”

Ridenour is in his first season with UNM as quarterbacks coach after a long career as one of the most successful high school coaches in New Mexico. A former collegiate quarterback in-state at Eastern New Mexico, Ridenour’s Storm squads were well known for their offensive propensity.  In his 10 seasons at the head coach of Cleveland, Ridenour’s teams went 96-18 (an .842 clip), including an eye-popping 73-7 over the last seven years.  Six times his teams have averaged over 40 points per game, and four times the Storm led the state in scoring offense, including the past three years.

His last squad in 2021 went a perfect 13-0 on the way to Cleveland’s fourth championship, averaging 46.2 points per game.  His 2015 perfect team also went 13-0 and averaged 49.6 points per game, setting the state record.  Along with his three 6A state titles, Cleveland was district champions five times, and Ridenour is a five-time district coach of the year (2013, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2021).  He was also named the 2015 Coach of the Year for all sports and all levels by the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame.

The Lobos step out of conference to take on rival New Mexico State on Saturday at Aggie Memorial Stadium at 6 p.m.  UNM’s next home game is against Fresno State on October 22.  That game time will be announced on Monday.