"They're headed in the right direction, obviously," Urlacher said before being inducted in to the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame Sunday night. "I talked to coach Davie a couple of times before and during last season. A 4-9 record is a pretty good turnaround. They were competitive in every game. That's a pretty good start."
The four wins last season by New Mexico surpassed the win total from the three previous seasons combined (three) under Davie's predecessor, Mike Locksley. Before that stretch New Mexico had played in bowl games five out of six seasons under Rocky Long, the current head coach at San Diego State.
New Mexico started the season with a 4-3 record with blowout losses to Texas and Texas Tech and a three-point loss to Boise State. The season ended with six straight losses with all but two being decided by one score.
The Lobos finished No. 1 in the nation in 2012 in improved scoring margin from 2011.
Urlacher has not been able to attend a New Mexico game since 2006 but he still keeps up to date on his school’s team. New Mexico may not have the resources to build the next BCS-buster of a program, but Urlacher feels the program is heading in a positive direction as Davie returns to coaching.
"There were a couple of years in the past where it wasn't fun to watch," Urlacher said. "But as long as we compete and win some games, I'll be happy. I'm very encouraged. I know they're still a little low on scholarship numbers, but (coach Davie) found a way to win some games this year, so I'm sure he'll keep building on that."
Urlacher was a consensus All-American in 1999 at New Mexico and a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, which is awarded to the top defensive back in college football each year. He was inducted in to the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame along with former New Mexico basketball player Kenny Thomas and Albuquerque high school coaches Carol and Reed Barnitz.
New Mexico opens spring practice on Tuesday, March 26 after signing 24 players to the Class of 2013. Lobos hoping to join Urlacher in the NFL will show off their skills on Thursday, March 7 at the school’s pro day.