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New Mexico hires Paul Weir to be next head coach

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The Lobos stay in-state by hiring Paul Weir from New Mexico State.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Tulsa Practice Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The New Mexico Lobos coaching search began minutes before April Fools’ Day, lasted 11 days, interviewed candidates from across the country and eventually look to the southern part of the state for their next head coach.

The Lobos officially hired Paul Weir from New Mexico State to take over for Craig Neal who was let go on March 31.

This coaching search has been all over the board and with a lot of misinformation during the entire process, plus there were allegations of government interference in who the Lobos would hire.

Saying they settled on Weir is harsh because as a first-year head coach he led New Mexico State to the NCAA Tournament and set a school record with 28 wins, but it is a head-scratcher as his name did not come up until days before the hire.

It also was reported by Geoff Grammer of the Albuquerque Journal that the Lobos contacted New Mexico State about Weir.

“On Friday at 4 p.m., I received a call from a representative from the UNM athletic program,” said NMSU athletic director Mario Moccia. “It was a courtesy call about Paul Weir.”

That apparently got the ball rolling just in case any of the other candidates fell through in Florida Gulf Coast’s Joe Dooley, San Antonio Spurs assistant coach James Borrego, East Tennessee State head coach Steve Forbes and UT-Arlington’s Scott Cross.

New Mexico officially hires Paul Weir

Posted by Mountain West Connection on Tuesday, April 11, 2017

It is now official and the Lobos can get to work on keeping the players who intended to transfer if Neal were still the head coach.

“I’m very excited to name Paul Weir as our 21st head men’s basketball coach,” said New Mexico athletics director Paul Krebs in the release. “In conducting this search, his was a name that was on our radar from the beginning. I was able to see many of their games this season, and Paul is a bright young mind in the game. His teams play with tremendous passion and energy. They are tenacious defensively and on the glass and his student-athletes have been great citizens and representatives. I have no doubt that those qualities will translate to our program and will resonate with our fan base.

“The fact that Paul has been in New Mexico for the past 11 years gives him an incredible knowledge of our state and the significance of Lobo Basketball throughout our state. We welcome his lovely wife Alma, a New Mexico native, and his son Theodore to the Lobo Family.”

The specific details of his contract are not yet available, but ESPN’s Jeff Goodman is reporting that this is a six-year deal.

A press conference will be held on Tuesday at 2 p.m. MT to introduce Weir as the new Lobos coach. He is also hosting in-person meetings with both the Aggies and Lobos before being introduced as the head coach.