Bryant Vincent wasn't sold at hello. But it wasn't much after that the former UAB interim head coach and offensive coordinator figured out that the University of New Mexico was the place he wanted for the next stop in his coaching journey.
The process began not long after Bryant returned from closing his UAB chapter with a win over Miami of Ohio in the Bahamas Bowl. He was in Orange Beach, visiting with family and taking a breath. The phone rang, and New Mexico head coach Danny Gonzales was on the other end. It was the first conversation between the two.
Two days later, Vincent was on a plane headed to Albuquerque to interview for an opening for the New Mexico offensive coordinator position. Less than 48 hours later, he was on a plane back to Alabama with a belief that he had found his new football home.
New Year, New OC!— New Mexico Football (@UNMLoboFB) January 1, 2023
We can now officially welcome @bryantvincent44 as our new offensive coordinator! He comes after serving as the OC (and Interim Head Coach) at UAB, rewriting the record books in 2022 on the way to a Bahamas Bowl title!https://t.co/A3yRFezSCU#GoLobos | #WIN5 pic.twitter.com/PHcVGuWgfP
"It was the right fit," Vincent said. "I think he has very similar philosophies, very similar personality. He offered me the job at the end of the trip. It's about people. I'm a relationship guy. At the end of that trip, I knew I wanted to work for Danny Gonzales. The type of man he is, what he stands for, his vision. I just felt a great connect. Without a doubt, I knew it was right."
There was interest from other programs, and completing the hire took a little while. But Vincent remained secure with his decision. On Sunday, it became official.
Vincent said another important factor in his decision, one which he learned on the visit, was New Mexico athletic director Eddie Nunez.
"Without a doubt, he is first class," Vincent said. "He knows what he is doing. He has a clear vision. It was nice to talk to an athletic director that knew football and understood people."
Vincent said he has watched every New Mexico game from last season and studied their returning personnel. He inherits a group that ranked last in the country in total this past season and scored just 15 touchdowns in 12 games.
"I don't think they're that far off. I really don't," Vincent said.
He does know it's a challenge, though.
"I embrace this position and this opportunity," Vincent said. "In my opinion, it's the ideal job for me. I've always had a chip on my shoulder. I've always been attracted to those types of jobs – whether it was Greenville, whether it was Spanish Fort, whether it was South Alabama, whether it was UAB (in 2014). I see, with Coach Gonzales' and Eddie Nunez's leadership and vision, the type of leaders and the men they are, we can flip this thing in a hurry."
New Mexico has been solid on the defensive side under Gonzales and former defensive coordinator Rocky Long. Vincent said it's his job to bring the New Mexico offense up to the same standard.
"It's simple as this – complementary football wins games," Vincent said. "I know everybody loves to see the ball thrown every single snap. But, at the end of the day, it's the winning that's important. Complementary football at UAB won a lot of games. It's won three (Conference USA) West championships, two conference championships and three bowl wins. The one thing Coach Gonzales said from the very beginning, 'I want to play complementary football in all three phases.' That was music to my ears. It's not always about stats. It's about winning football games."
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