Jans’ retention bonus to increase as New Mexico State makes bid to keep hoops coach


In a proactive approach to keep men’s basketball coach Chris Jans on campus, New Mexico State has an offer in place to increase his retention incentive payment by $105,000, should he remain in Las Cruces.

Jans has won 58 games in just two seasons in Las Cruces, and that amount of success means that larger programs are almost assuredly going to come sniffing around in hopes of hiring him away from NMSU.

Though he has not yet fielded any offers from larger programs, New Mexico State is already being proactive. NMSU athletic director Mario Moccia told the Las Cruces Sun-News on Saturday, and confirmed to KTSM on Monday, that the administration has already put together a payment package to increase Jans’ salary in order to keep him in Las Cruces.

The package increases Jans’ retention incentive payment from $139,000 on Nov. 1, 2019, to $244,000. His base salary for 2019-2020 would be $290,000, meaning that for the upcoming season, Jans would make a minimum of $534,000, with various performance incentives also included that could bump the salary even higher.

Moccia worked with private donors to secure the funding, which totals $105,000 in money that can be used towards paying Jans. None of the money affects NMSU’s current budget. 

You’re always looking at what jobs are opening up and what people are saying, Moccia said. There’s reallynothing you can do about it, except what we’ve done, and that’s be proactive.The package we put together I thought was incredibly creative because it was at least substantive for New Mexico State.

Jans said on Monday that the commitment from New Mexico State would certainly weigh into his decision to stay with the Aggies if and when a bigger program comes calling, and that he enjoys coaching in Las Cruces.

We fully expect to be at New Mexico State for a long, long time, Jans said. We’re appreciative of what Mario has spearheaded, in terms of being proactive in trying to increase the package and that makes you feel good. It makes you feel wanted. Coaching where you’re appreciated and being at a place that loves basketball as much as we do makes it more fun. I’ve been at places where it wasn’t the case and that’s not my style. I want to be somewhere the games matter and the seasons matter, and they do here.

A source told KTSM that New Mexico State is confident it can keep Jans, if another mid-major comes calling. However, the money that a power-5 school could offer Jans would likely be too much for the Aggies to counter in order to keep Jans in Las Cruces. 

Multiple power-5 schools have openings, including California, Washington State and Alabama. Jans’ name has not been mentioned with any of them yet, but with the success he’s had at NMSU, it’s likely to happen in the coming weeks as the coaching carousel picks up steam.

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