Weeks' teams went 40-41-1

Updated: May 4, 2006, 7:59 AM ET
Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE -- Bill Weeks, head football coach for the University of New Mexico for eight years in the 1960s, is dead at age 76.

The university announced that he died Tuesday night at an Albuquerque hospital.

Weeks won three conference championships, more than any other head coach in Lobo football history.

He took over the program in 1960s at the age of 31. After starting his head coaching career with a 5-5 season, he and the Lobos tallied the most successful four-year run in UNM's history.

Between 1961 and 1964, the Lobos won 29 games against just 12 losses and one tie.

In 1961, New Mexico finished 7-4 and won the Aviation Bowl with a 29-12 victory over Western Michigan. The team won Western Athletic Conference titles in 1962 and 1963 and tied for the crown in 1964.

"Every Lobo head coach to follow Bill Weeks has been trying to reach the level that his teams attained. Winning three straight conference championships, no matter what era, is extremely difficult," said New Mexico's current head football coach, Rocky Long, who came to UNM in the fall of 1968.

Weeks compiled a record of 40-41-1 as head coach between 1960 and 1968. He remained the school's winningest football coach until Long surpassed him last September.

Weeks was inducted into UNM's Athletic Hall of Honor in 2005. His 1961 team was inducted in 1990.

George Friberg was quarterback for the Lobos from 1958-60 and knew Weeks as an assistant as well as a head coach.

"He was very cerebral," Friberg said. "He was a very, very smart person and understood the offensive side of football."

"He was quite a gentleman. He wanted that in us and conducted himself that way," he said.

Weeks graduated from Hampton, Iowa, High School in 1947 after an athletics career that included three football letters as a halfback (all-state as a senior), three basketball letters and two track letters.

Weeks was starting quarterback at Iowa State for coach Abe Stuber from 1948 to 1950. He was an all-Big Seven Conference choice in his junior and senior years, finishing third in the nation in total offense in 1950.

After he graduated in 1951, Weeks was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles, but an automobile accident that damaged an Achilles tendon ended any possibility of playing professional football.

After a tour of duty with the Marines, he returned to Iowa State to earn a master's degree in psychology.

His first full-time coaching job began in 1954 at Grinnell, Iowa, High School. His first-year record was only 4-5, but it was the first time Grinnell had won a conference game in 10 seasons. The school went 5-3-1 in 1955.

The next year, then-Lobo head football coach Dick Clausen hired Weeks. Weeks was ends coach and chief scout on Clausens staff in 1956 and 1957, then became backfield coach under coach Marv Levy in 1958-59.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press