LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - The University of New Mexico announced Tuesday morning that it has hired NMSU basketball coach Paul Weir to lead its program. A former regent denounced the administration that let Weir leave.
The news was confirmed with Weir's picture being made visible on the UNM website. NMSU Athletic Director Mario Moccia also confirmed the news on Twitter, offering his congratulations to Weir. In a brief statement, he said quote "Certainly a tough day for
@NMStateAggies NATION! I wish @paul_weir1 the best! Now it's time to get to work and find [our] next great coach!"
Weir's move to Albuquerque comes after coaching the NMSU Aggies for only one season. During that time, he led the team to a record 28 wins and a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The move is also certain to bring more passion to the UNM-NMSU rivalry, especially when the basketball teams meet in the traditional Battle of I-25.
Previously, Weir spent nine years as an assistant to former head coach Marvin Menzies, who became the head coach at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas following the 2015-16 season.
Former NMSU regent Bob Gallagher was unhappy that the university didn't do more to keep Weir from taking a job with one of the Aggies' arch-rivals. "The blame needs to be very loudly and very swiftly placed on the head of the NMSU Board of Regents, and (university) president Garry Carruthers," said Gallagher. "They have shown a total lack of support for not only Coach Weir, but all athletics. And in a $600 million budget, to suggest that you could not find $250,000 to be able to keep and retain a coach who has dedicated the last ten years of his life to NMSU is a sad, sad scenario."
The university is currently embroiled in a struggle to adopt a budget consistent with a state funding decrease. Registration for fall classes is already underway, but it's still not known if the school will raise tuition or lay employees off.
ABC-7's New Mexico Mobile Newsroom is working to learn more details about the deal, and will bring more coverage of this story during Tuesday's evening newscasts at 4, 5, 6 and 10 p.m.