LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KTSM) – New Mexico State Director of Athletics Mario Moccia has signed a five-year contract extension through 2028, KTSM learned on Friday.
Moccia’s old deal was set to expire on June 30, 2024. His extension now begins July 1, 2023, and will expire June 30, 2028. It raises Moccia’s yearly salary from $280,000 to $351,800 per year when the contract extension kicks in on July 1.
The contract was signed and dated by Moccia and former NMSU chancellor Dan Arvizu on April 7, 2023, the same day that Arvizu formally stepped down as the university’s chancellor. The university is currently early in the process of hiring a new chancellor.
“It (the contract extension) had been in the works for quite some time. They had been in negotiations for awhile. It had been underway for several months,” NMSU spokesperson Justin Bannister told KTSM. “The timing just so happened to be on Arvizu’s last day.”
Moccia is expected to comment in the coming days.
Moccia will also receive annual raises on July 1 of each year of the contract. In 2024, his salary increases to $371,800; it increases to $391,800 in 2025, $400,000 in 2026 and $425,000 in 2027 for the final year of the deal.
It also includes various performance incentives, including $10,000 for each football season that ends in a. 500 record or better, or with a bowl game appearance.
Other incentives include: $8,000 for a regular season or conference tournament championship in men’s basketball, women’s basketball and baseball, or participaton in the NCAA Tournament; $5,000 if a coach in any sport is named the national coach of the year; $2,000 if any coach is named the Conference USA coach of the year; $15,000 for winning the C-USA Commissioner’s Cup; and $20,000 for a national championship in basketball or baseball.
Moccia also received a $25,000 bonus for getting NMSU into C-USA for football, which was a part of his old contract.
The contracts of NMSU’s coaches for its biggest revenue sports have been tied to Moccia. Head football coach Jerry Kill and head men’s basketball coach Jason Hooten both have it written in their contracts that if Moccia or deputy athletic director Braun Cartwright is not the athletic director during their time at NMSU, then they do not owe the university a buyout payment.
Moccia’s new contract was made public on the same day that a Title IX investigation regarding NMSU women’s basketball Director of Operations George Ross Jr. was made public and in the same week that five former members of the NMSU men’s basketball program were named a lawsuit filed by two of their former teammates accusing them of sexual assault.
Moccia was initially named athletic director at NMSU in 2015, after spending 2006-2014 as the athletic director at Southern Illinois.