LAS CRUCES, NEW MEXICO (KTSM) – New Mexico State welcomed its new head baseball coach to campus on Thursday, as the Aggies introduced Mike Kirby as the 11th head coach in program history.
Kirby comes to Las Cruces after five years as the assistant head coach at Nebraska. He’s also been an assistant at Oregon, UNLV and Cal State Fullerton. His new gig with the Aggies is his first head coaching job.
“I’ve covered all my bases. I’ve been doing this for awhile, I’ve been fortunate to have coached different positions,” Kirby said. “I’ve managed travel, I’ve done budgeting, I’ve done scheduling, I’ve done every single thing there is to do, I’ve checked every single box except head coach and now you can check that one.”
Kirby was introduced by New Mexico State athletic director Mario Moccia, in front of a packed house at the Stan Fulton Athletic Center on Thursday. Kirby was joined in Las Cruces for his introduction by his wife and one of his daughters.
He has big shoes to fill; previous NMSU head coach Brian Green took a job at Washington State earlier this month, after leading the Aggies to the 2019 regular season WAC championship, and to the NCAA Tournament in 2018. Kirby said he was hoping the Aggies’ torrid offense was roll over from this spring, when NM State led the nation in offense.
For his services, Kirby was given a four-year contract that will pay him $125,000 in the first year and increase by $10,000 in each subsequent season, eventually topping out at $155,000.
Kirby also has a variety of performance incentive bonuses, including $6,000 for a trip to the NCAA Tournament, $15,000 for advancing to the College World Series and $25,000 for winning a National Championship.
New Mexico State has set aside $95,000 in assistant coaches’ salaries. That’s $10,000 more than was allotted for the previous staff’s assistants. Kirby has not yet hired his staff, but said he was close to doing so on Thursday.
From a talent standpoint, Kirby will have a lot to work with in his first season, with Nick Gonzales, Tristan Peterson and Chance Hroch all returning to Las Cruces off of 2019’s WAC Championship team.
Kirby has almost 25 years of coaching experience, which includes winning the College World Series in 1995 when he was an assistant at CSU-Fullerton.