ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The New Mexico Lobos officially introduced Paul Weir as the team's new head coach at a news conference Tuesday afternoon in Albuquerque.
Weir will take over for Craig Neal, who was fired by the Lobos on April 1. He will become the first person to coach at both UNM and NMSU.
After leading the Aggies to a program-record 28 wins in his only season as head coach, Weir became a hot coaching candidate. However, he said it took a truly unique opportunity to pull him away from Las Cruces.
"To me it was just an opportunity of a lifetime and one I just couldn't pass up," Weir told reporters. "I get that, you know, there are feelings hurt. And for that I apologize. I'm sorry to those people. But this was just too good of an opportunity for me."
Weir was far from shy during the news conference, proclaiming himself to be the best choice for the Lobos.
"When I interviewed for my last job at State, I went through the exact same process. I went up against other candidates, and I felt I was the best one. And they did, too," said Weir.
Weir will make $625,000 per year in base salary with UNM. He was making $250,000 a year with the Aggies.
However, NMSU President and Chancellor Garrey Carruthers says he doesn't believe Weir left for the money after meeting with the coach recently.
"He didn't ask for more salary for himself," said Carruthers. "But he asked for a whole lot more expenditures in his basketball program and the athletic program. So to his credit, he wasn't selfish about it."
In fact, Weir is currently on-the-hook for a $500,000 buyout of his contract with NMSU. UNM's vice president of athletics, Paul Krebs, confirmed that was the case during the news conference, saying that UNM is not responsible for any portion of the buyout.
Marrio Moccia, NMSU's athletic director, thanked Weir for his decade of service as an assistant and head coach with the Aggies, releasing the following statement Tuesday.
"At the outset I want to personally thank Paul Weir for his 10 years of dedicated service to New Mexico State University. The loss of our head coach illustrates the business side of intercollegiate athletics. We will immediately begin a search for our next coach who will be the best fit for New Mexico State University."
Moccia is scheduled to address the media on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the school's search for a new men's basketball head coach.