ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The University of New Mexico introduced its new basketball coach Tuesday afternoon. He’s a very familiar face to New Mexico State University fans.
New Lobo Coach Paul Weir just finished his first season as the Aggies Head Caoch, but spent many years as an assistant at NMSU.
Paul Weir was introduced as the 21st head coach in Lobo men’s basketball history at The Pit on Tuesday.
It took UNM eleven days to find a coach after firing Craig Neal, but UNM Athletic Director Paul Krebs says he thinks they found the right guy.
Coach Weir’s hire is also sparking a lot of talk, with Aggie fans claiming UNM stole their coach, and some Lobo fans wondering why the school couldn’t find a bigger candidate.
It’s an emotional day for both Lobo and Aggie fans. People have been talking about it all day on UNM’s campus as well as online.
As Coach Weir prepares to make his move up I-25 to UNM, fans were quick to make their comments on the hire.
Some Lobo fans KRQE News 13 spoke with say it just shows UNM is a bigger job than State, while others say they can’t believe UNM would go to Las Cruces to find a coach.
“Rival school, can’t say I really like the school, so I’m a little upset to hear we have him as our new head coach,” Lobo fan Mike Cargas said.
“I think he could help us, but I think it just kind of makes me uncomfortable,” Lobo fan Savannah Sanchez said.
An Aggie fan told KRQE News 13 it wasn’t a big deal having Coach Weir leave until she found out where he was going.
“I don’t think Coach Weir leaving was that big of deal, but the fact that he chose to go to UNM is really low,” said Savannah Sewell.
Another NMSU fan told KRQE News 13 he’s surprised by Coach Weir’s departure because he thought he would stay at NMSU for a lot longer. At the same time, he said he can’t blame coach for leaving.
“I don’t blame him for leaving NMSU because UNM is a great basketball culture,” said Eric Lopez.
Many people are also disappointed with Paul Krebs, the UNM Vice President of Athletics, for hiring State’s guy.
Weir will be the first person to coach the Lobos and the Aggies in men’s basketball.
Money has definitely been an issue surrounding this program, but with the hire of Weir, UNM will save a lot of money.
The university has said that they are paying Weir a salary of $625,000 — more than double what he was making at State, but a lot less than the $950,000 a year Neal made at UNM.
Weir will also be responsible for his half million dollar buyout with New Mexico State.
When Krebs was asked if any coaches had turned down the job because the pay wasn’t high enough, he would only say the salary was discussed with a few candidates before Weir.