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Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Locksley turns to Dungy as mentor

ESPN.com news services

Embattled New Mexico football coach Mike Locksley says he has turned to Tony Dungy as a personal mentor, KOAT-TV in Albuquerque, N.M., reports.

Mike Locksley
New Mexico coach Mike Locksley says he's talked with Tony Dungy about the difficulties he's faced this season.

Locksley, who is winless on the field and was suspended after a physical confrontation with an assistant coach, said he has been in touch with Dungy, according to the report. Dungy, the former Indianapolis Colts coach and NBC studio analyst, guided Michael Vick's transition back to football from prison.

"I see Coach Dungy being a guy with a wealth of experience and knowledge, not just in football, but in life," Locksley said, according to the report. "He's a class act. A guy that I have a ton of respect for and I thought it would be another source of information for me to grow as a head coach."

Locksley said he talked to Dungy about how his first year on the sideline at New Mexico has "been a whirlwind for me," according to the report.

Former New Mexico coach J.B. Gerald has alleged that Locksley choked and punched him during the attack, while other New Mexico assistants tried to separate them during a heated staff meeting on Sept. 20. Locksley, who was suspended for 10 days without pay, admitted an altercation, but denied punching Gerald. He and the university have disputed Gerald's charges, saying the incident was nothing more than a shoving match.

But documents obtained by ESPN.com and "Outside The Lines" through New Mexico's open records laws support Gerald's claim that he was choked and that Locksley tried to punch him. Handwritten notes from a human resources investigator who interviewed other assistant coaches backed Gerald's allegation that he was choked and punches were thrown.

Information from ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach was used in this report.