ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Paul Weir was introduced as the 21st coach in New Mexico Lobo men’s basketball history Tuesday.
After 10 seasons at New Mexico State and one as head coach Weir will become the first to coach both of the state’s division one basketball programs.
“At first my initial reaction was probably like a lot of people,” said Weir. “This is just kind of unusual. This is new. As I really reflected and thought more about it and just kind of realized the opportunity was at stake here, I simply had to do it.”
As you may have guessed some Aggie fans were stunned and upset by the news.
“There’s people at New Mexico State that are probably disappointed in me and probably never forgive me,” said Weir. The
The 11-day coaching search brought speculation about a variety of candidates. The Lobos truly believe they have the right man for the job. “I feel good that we got the best candidate,” said UNM Athletic Director Paul Krebs. “Coach Weir rose to the top.”
Weir is responsible for his own half million dollar buyout at New Mexico State. He has a signed agreement with the Lobos while the work continues on his permanent contract which will be a six-year deal, paying him $625,000 in the first year. That’s more than double of what he made at New Mexico State. The number will go up to $825,000 by year six of his deal. If Weir is fired, UNM will owe him $350,000 for every year left on his six-year deal.
If he leaves for another job the first three years, he will owe UNM $500,000.
“I didn’t take this job for money,” said Weir. “I did it because I want to win and this is an amazing place to be.”
Weir could make over $100,000 in incentive pay. A trip to the Final Four alone would bring $40,000.
To have that kind of success the program will need fan support and Weir is hoping to get it.
“For us to build this program we got to get The Pit rocking again and get that thing full,” said Weir. “That’s my goal going forward. Students, I’m coming for you. Lobo Nation, I’m coming for you.”
The Lobos style of play under Weir might be enough to pack The Pit.
“We are going to try and play as fast as we can, as aggressive as we can, as feisty as we can and hope that the fans want to embrace that style of play and want to support it,” said Weir.