LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – New Mexico State’s newest men’s basketball head coach Jason Hooten continues to construct his staff for the upcoming 2023-24 season.

On Monday, Hooten announced that Payne Andrus will be joining the coaching staff as an assistant coach.

Andrus spent last season with Hooten at Sam Houston State. Andrus served as the Director of Basketball Operations during the 2022-23 season.

“Coach Andrus has been with me now for 3 years, and I’m very happy he decided to join Aggie Nation,” said Coach Hooten. “Payne is a tireless worker and has really started to come into his own as a young upcoming assistant coach. He understands the ins and outs of our program and what it takes to build a successful culture.”

This will be Andrus’ third collegiate coaching stop in three years. Before he was the Director of Operations at Sam Houston State, Andrus began his coaching career in 2021 as an assistant coach at Weatherford College.

Andrus helped lead the Coyotes to their first winning season in five years as they posted a 15-13 overall record while scoring nearly 84 points per game.

As a player, Andrus began his collegiate career at the U.S. Naval Academy where he appeared in 13 games while making one start. Following his time with the Midshipmen, Andrus transferred to Mid-American Nazarene University in Olathe, Kan., where he completed his undergraduate studies and earned all-conference honors in 2016-17 after averaging 6.0 assists per game to pace the Pioneers.
Andrus also earned his master’s degree from Sam Houston State University while serving as a member of the Bearkats’ coaching staff as a graduate assistant. He is originally from Willis, Texas, and played for his father at Willis High School where he earned all-district, all-region and all-country recognition.