Nesbitt elevated to head coach

West Texas A&M Director of Athletics Michael McBroom announced Monday that Mike Nesbitt has been named head coach of the Buffalo football team at a press conference in the Buffalo Club Room of the First United Bank Center.

â??Mike Nesbitt earned this opportunity,â?? McBroom said. â??I canâ??t say enough about the job he did this year, as well as the work Stephen Lee, Nick Paremski, Brett Watson and Joel Hinton and the entire support staff of graduate assistants and student assistants have done in leading our team to the national quarterfinals. There are a lot of outstanding football coaches out there, but it is my decision that there is not a better fit for West Texas A&M than Mike. I believe in his leadership and his ability to recruit, to coach and manage our football program on and off the field.â??

Nesbitt served as interim head coach this season after former football head coach Don Carthel was relieved of his duties on Aug. 22. Nesbitt had been serving as assistant head coach prior to being named interim head coach.

â??First of all, I would like to thank Dr. Oâ??Brien and Mr. McBroom for this opportunity and for their continued support,â?? Nesbitt said. â??I am very excited for the future of this football program and am proud to be a part of this outstanding institution.â??

Under Nesbittâ??s guidance, the Buffs went 11-3 overall and 4-2 in the Lone Star Conference this season and earned a berth in their second consecutive NCAA playoff and seventh overall, all in the last nine years. The Buffs reached the quarterfinal round of the NCAA playoffs for the second time in as many seasons. They were the only team in the nation to be in the quarterfinals in both 2012 and 2013. WT opened the 2013 season with five consecutive wins and won a hard-fought 19-12 victory at Midwestern State in the regular season finale to earn a berth in the NCAA playoffs.

â??I believe in his vision and the positive changes we will make to broaden our success and continue to make WT a special place for very talented student-athletes,â?? McBroom added. â??I am as excited about the future of our football program as I have ever been. Our team is in great hands, and our community is going to enjoy getting to know Mike and his wife Camille. They are both incredibly special and positive people.â??

Nesbitt returned to the WT football program in March of 2013 after stints at the University of Houston and Stephen F. Austin the past two seasons. Nesbitt was the offensive coordinator for the Cougars in 2012 and was the offensive coordinator for the Lumberjacks and one of the most explosive offenses in the country in 2011.

Prior to S.F.A, Nesbitt spent four years at West Texas A&M in his first stint with the Buffaloes. He coordinated the offense in 2010, while also working with the receivers and quarterbacks. Nesbittâ??s offense averaged 529 yards per game in 2010, including 423 yards through the air. The Buffs ranked No. 2 nationally in total offense and No. 3 in scoring offense (42.0 ppg.) West Texas A&M quarterback Taylor Harris also finished third nationally with averaging 400 yards passing per game, and was among the nationâ??s leaders with 38 touchdown passes.

Nesbitt coached the West Texas A&M receivers in 2009. The Buffaloes hauled in 355 passes for 4,251 yards, the third-highest total in school history. Nesbitt also mentored current Seattle Seahawks receiver Charly Martin that year. Martin concluded his collegiate career with 95 receptions for 1,867 yards and 22 touchdowns to earn All-America honors.

Nesbitt has 16 years of coaching experience, including 12 years at the collegiate level. He spent two seasons in Brenham, Texas, as the offensive coordinator at Blinn College and helped coach the Buccaneers to a 19-3 (.864) overall record and the 2006 NJCAA National Championship. In addition to the teamâ??s success, Nesbittâ??s offense produced several All-Americans. Prior to his two seasons at Blinn, Nesbitt helped Howard Payne produce a 30-10 (.750) overall record in four seasons.

Nesbitt enjoyed a standout playing career at the University of New Mexico, where he was one of the nationâ??s top punters. He finished second all-time in UNM school history averaging 45 yards per punt as a junior and led the nation in net punting that season. He also spent time in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings.

A native of Belen, N.M., Nesbitt received his bachelorâ??s degree from UNM in 1996. He graduated with a masterâ??s degree in interdisciplinary studies from West Texas A&M in 2008. Nesbitt, and his wife Camille, have a son, Gavin who is a freshman on the WT football team.