LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) – It’s official. New Mexico State men’s basketball head coach Chris Jans is returning to coach the Aggies in 2020-21. Jans taking to twitter on Wednesday afternoon, seemingly withdrawing his name from consideration for the head coaching vacancy at East Tennessee State University.
Sources confirmed to KTSM 9 Sports on Monday that ETSU had interest in Jans for the position and he was in the mix to take over for former Buccaneers head coach Steve Forbes, who left to take the same position at Wake Forest last week. Shortly after Jans announced he was coming back for a fourth season in Las Cruces, ETSU has reportedly promoted assistant coach Jason Shay for the position.
Jans is winning at NMSU at a historic clip, going 16-0 in WAC play in 2020. He believes there is unfinished business at the Pan American Center after the college basketball season was cut short due to COVID-19.
“Sheri [Jans] and I are excited to remain a part of the Las Cruces community and New Mexico State University,” Jans said in a statement. “Our staff and I will continue to work hard and make Aggie Nation proud of this historic program. Although we appreciate the attention the program has received, we are looking forward to getting back on the floor with our players.”
NMSU Director of Athletics Mario Moccia tells KTSM 9 Sports he spoke with Jans on Wednesday and there is an agreement in place to increase his retention bonus.
“My philosophy is if you come to New Mexico State where we are lower resourced, we cannot pay what our peers pay, and you do what we ask you to do, I’m going to shake your hand out the door,” said Moccia. “Now, I’ll also fight tooth and nail to keep you with everything I can.”
Moccia has been forced to be financially creative in ways to keep Jans in Las Cruces. He did it in 2019, again in 2020, and acknowledges the chance he will have to do it again next year.
“Chris [Jans] has done a great job and people are going to be very, very interest in him, next year as well,” said Moccia. “I’m just happy for this year that we were able to retain Chris [Jans]. I think we have an outstanding team that’s coming back with a lot of new faces.”
In three seasons at NMSU, Jans has led the Aggies to an 83-17 record, including a 42-3 mark against WAC opponents. The Aggies have captured three WAC regular season titles, two WAC Tournament championships to go along with two NCAA Tournament appearances. Jans has been awarded the WAC Coach of the Year award in each of his first three seasons at NMSU.