Western New Mexico's football team took a big step forward last year in LSC play, finishing 3-5 with wins over Tarleton State, Texas A&M-Kingsville and West Texas A&M. Surprisingly, Adam Clark resigned after 8 seasons as the head coach. right after the season wrapped up. Less than a month later, Mark Coleman resigned as the athletic director. Since then, Scott Noble has been hired as athletic director, but does not start at WNMU until February 2.
With little news coming out of Silver City, we reached out to interim head coach Andrew Faaumu. Coach Faaumu joined WNMU in 2016 as the offensive line and strength coach. He was at Western Oregon for the 2014-2015 seasons, and at the high school level prior to joining WOU. He was an offensive lineman at the University of Hawaii, joining the team as a walk-on and eventually seeing action in 31 games for the Rainbows.
LSC Scoop - Good morning coach, thanks for talking with us. There has been some major changes in leadership in the athletic department at WNMU. Is this just normal business or are bigger changes going on?
Coach Faaumu - Well our HC and AD left for personal reasons. They’ve both dedicated an significant amount of time to WNMU, so I wouldn’t say their departure was just “normal business.” They felt it was best for their individual growth and felt it was necessary for where their families were at at this point and time. They’ve both been example for many coaches in our department so too see them continue to seek individual growth speaks volumes about every individual within our athletic department.
LSC Scoop - Is the football program on solid footing? Does the WNMU adminstration have a strong commitment to the program?
Coach Faaumu - Administration does support our FB program, but as any other program across the nation we also have our own obstacles to over come. As interim head coach I refuse to allow the footing of this program to loosen up. It’ll be under my watch until my departure, and this has been reiterated to our kids. Until Scott Nobles (New AD) resumes duties Feb. 2, Terra (Associated AD), Alma (Secretary to the AD) and myself will be working hard to make sure the transition of this program into the hands of the new HC will be as smooth as possible.
LSC Scoop - We assume recruiting has been a challenge this year. As the interim head coach, how are you able to assure recruits that coaching and administration changes won't affect them negatively?
Coach Faaumu - Recruiting is always difficult with the challenges we have as a program. Particularly more so in the recent events that have taken place. I am very transparent with potential recruits on our situation. There are certain things I can’t control and so I let the kids know this. I make sure that they do not put all their eggs in one basket. I encourage them to keep their options open. Most importantly look around at other school and envision themselves there for 4-5 years.
Mainly, I try to focus on the kids we already have. Losing a HC is never an easy thing for a lot of players. Coaching is a relationship building career and so in situation like these I turn my attention to my kids I currently have, I make sure I can help them in any way and guide them through it all so they have a sense of comfort and can focus on the main things. Academics and Football.
It’s a tough thing to balance, but I feel being open with my players and future recruits is the best way to handle situations like what we are currently experiencing.
LSC Scoop - That's very good to hear. We're hoping to see WNMU continue on track and be a big part of the LSC for a long time.
Coach Faaumu - I appreciate that, I have tremendous respect for the LSC and admire how competitive each team is. It’s definitely kept us as a staff on our toes week in and week out. I appreciate the love and support. Don’t hesitate to holler at me anytime, take care and have an awesome day!