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  • NMHU Head Coach

    Josh Kirkland took the HC job at SWOSU, any ideas who will succeed him at Highlands?

  • #2
    Originally posted by QB11111 View Post
    Josh Kirkland took the HC job at SWOSU, any ideas who will succeed him at Highlands?
    He probably wouldn't take it but Darrin Chiaverinni would be interesting. He has his master's from Highlands and needs head coaching experience somewhere.

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    • #3
      I don't know anything about him, but how do the people on this board feel about Kirkland? Seems like an underwhelming hire on SWOSU's part.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by BulldogLB View Post
        I don't know anything about him, but how do the people on this board feel about Kirkland? Seems like an underwhelming hire on SWOSU's part.
        I don’t know that there are too many (any?) Highlands die hards on here so I will chime in FWIW. He was only there for one year but I don’t think he was particularly notable for being creative, gritty, explosive or any other type of adjective with his team. Mostly Highlands teams in general have been largely forgettable and lived in the lower tier of RMAC teams. That didn’t really change this year. If you could offer up one thing it always seemed like the broadcast crews would mention all the transfers. The rosters seem to bare this out. He had several d1 transfers on the squad last year. He had even more Kansas, Deep South and California JUCO kids. Maybe SWOSU is really trying to hit a home run with JUCO transfers? If that’s the type of student athlete that moves the needle then maybe it’s the right fit. Otherwise underwhelming is an appropriate description IMO.
        Last edited by GoneBlastin; 12-20-2021, 10:55 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by GoneBlastin View Post

          I don’t know that there are too many (any?) Highlands die hards on here so I will chime in FWIW. He was only there for one year but I don’t think he was particularly notable for being creative, gritty, explosive or any other type of adjective with his team. Mostly Highlands teams in general have been largely forgettable and lived in the lower tier of RMAC teams. That didn’t really change this year. If you could offer up one thing it always seemed like the broadcast crews would mention all the transfers. The rosters seem to bare this out. He had several d1 transfers on the squad last year. He had even more Kansas, Deep South and California JUCO kids. Maybe SWOSU is really trying to hit a home run with JUCO transfers? If that’s the type of student athlete that moves the needle then maybe it’s the right fit. Otherwise underwhelming is an appropriate description IMO.
          I really appreciate the info. I really really hope that SWOSU doesn't turn into a roster full of transfers again. I will hold out hope that he will do it the right way, but the bar is pretty low, because anything will be better than going 0-11 lol. Thanks again!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by BulldogLB View Post

            I really appreciate the info. I really really hope that SWOSU doesn't turn into a roster full of transfers again. I will hold out hope that he will do it the right way, but the bar is pretty low, because anything will be better than going 0-11 lol. Thanks again!
            I think you can talk yourself into this being a pretty good hire at SWOSU, if you consider what Kirkland did in one year under the circumstances.

            Like GB said, he didn't pull NMHU out of the bottom half of the league, but on the other hand, I would say he pulled them out of the bottom tier considering they averaged about 2 wins per year for seven years. Part of that may be attributed to having a talented 7th year QB with FCS experience, so bear that in mind, but they were an absolute bottom-tier team for several years and this year they beat 5 D2 teams, including Pueblo, and they put a scare into Mines.

            Also consider that he was announced as head coach a week after signing day, that New Mexico was uniquely locked down for a year due to Covid, and that students weren't even allowed on campus (to lift, do drills, etc) for the better part of a year. Even coming in late, he still managed to bring in 21 freshmen and 61 transfers in the year and a half he had to recruit. Like GB said he relied heavily on the transfers, but that's fairly typical for Highlands and even more understandable given the Covid restrictions. The previous coach, Marty Fine, sort of had them heading the right direction getting four-year players on signing day, so again, maybe some of the credit for this season belongs to him. But Covid kinda wiped that advantage away as only 26 players remained on the 2021 roster from 2019.

            Add to that he was assistant HC on a decent FCS staff, and I think you guys probably did about as well as an 0-11 program could hope to do.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ccmoney8 View Post

              I think you can talk yourself into this being a pretty good hire at SWOSU, if you consider what Kirkland did in one year under the circumstances.

              Like GB said, he didn't pull NMHU out of the bottom half of the league, but on the other hand, I would say he pulled them out of the bottom tier considering they averaged about 2 wins per year for seven years. Part of that may be attributed to having a talented 7th year QB with FCS experience, so bear that in mind, but they were an absolute bottom-tier team for several years and this year they beat 5 D2 teams, including Pueblo, and they put a scare into Mines.

              Also consider that he was announced as head coach a week after signing day, that New Mexico was uniquely locked down for a year due to Covid, and that students weren't even allowed on campus (to lift, do drills, etc) for the better part of a year. Even coming in late, he still managed to bring in 21 freshmen and 61 transfers in the year and a half he had to recruit. Like GB said he relied heavily on the transfers, but that's fairly typical for Highlands and even more understandable given the Covid restrictions. The previous coach, Marty Fine, sort of had them heading the right direction getting four-year players on signing day, so again, maybe some of the credit for this season belongs to him. But Covid kinda wiped that advantage away as only 26 players remained on the 2021 roster from 2019.

              Add to that he was assistant HC on a decent FCS staff, and I think you guys probably did about as well as an 0-11 program could hope to do.
              Almost forgot he also recruited and coached the RMAC Offensive Player of the Year this past season.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ccmoney8 View Post

                I think you can talk yourself into this being a pretty good hire at SWOSU, if you consider what Kirkland did in one year under the circumstances.

                Like GB said, he didn't pull NMHU out of the bottom half of the league, but on the other hand, I would say he pulled them out of the bottom tier considering they averaged about 2 wins per year for seven years. Part of that may be attributed to having a talented 7th year QB with FCS experience, so bear that in mind, but they were an absolute bottom-tier team for several years and this year they beat 5 D2 teams, including Pueblo, and they put a scare into Mines.

                Also consider that he was announced as head coach a week after signing day, that New Mexico was uniquely locked down for a year due to Covid, and that students weren't even allowed on campus (to lift, do drills, etc) for the better part of a year. Even coming in late, he still managed to bring in 21 freshmen and 61 transfers in the year and a half he had to recruit. Like GB said he relied heavily on the transfers, but that's fairly typical for Highlands and even more understandable given the Covid restrictions. The previous coach, Marty Fine, sort of had them heading the right direction getting four-year players on signing day, so again, maybe some of the credit for this season belongs to him. But Covid kinda wiped that advantage away as only 26 players remained on the 2021 roster from 2019.

                Add to that he was assistant HC on a decent FCS staff, and I think you guys probably did about as well as an 0-11 program could hope to do.
                And he was able to beat CSU-Pueblo, which is something schools like Colorado Mesa with all their social media talk of best defense in D2 and such were unable to do.

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                • #9
                  https://nmhuathletics.com/news/2022/...21Dec2021.aspx

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                  • #10
                    I don't hate it. Only question is, with his resume, why he's never taken a HC job before and was Highlands his first ever offer?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ccmoney8 View Post

                      I don't hate it. Only question is, with his resume, why he's never taken a HC job before and was Highlands his first ever offer?
                      Yea, I think it's pretty solid for Highlands to have the continuity. I think this could put them in the top half of the RMAC next fall. I'm not sure why this is his first head coaching opportunity. Hopefully we get that answer before media day.

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