Rich Alday, the winningest coach in New Mexico history, resigned Monday after 18 at the helm. Alday, 59, has guided the Lobos to a 513-511-3 record since 1990, but this year’s team is just 26-28. Alday might take another job within the UNM athletics department, but the Lobos will begin searching for his replacement immediately.
Interestingly, New Mexico might go head-to-head against its next coach in the first round of the Mountain West Conference tournament on Wednesday in Las Vegas. The Lobos will face San Diego State, whose second-year assistant Mark Martinez figures to be a strong candidate to succeed Alday. The highly regarded Martinez spent 17 years as an assistant at New Mexico before jumping to San Diego State in 2005.
Alday is the third Division I coach to depart at the end of the 2007 season, joining Wofford’s Steve Traylor (retiring) and Florida International’s Danny Price (fired).
In other news, three conference tournaments get underway today–in the Big East, Big South and Southern Conference. One other tournament was decided this past weekend that we neglected to mention yesterday. Bethune-Cookman is headed back to the NCAA tournament after winning its 10th Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title in 12 years. The Wildcats were pushed to the brink by North Carolina A&T, losing the first game Sunday and falling behind 4-2 in the decisive second game. But BCC came up with four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and pulled out a 6-4 victory.
Check back tomorrow for our conference tournament capsules, as we get you ready for the big week ahead.