Retaining Jans the top priority for NMSU Athletics


New Mexico State’s 2018-2019 season had another early exit in the NCAA Tournament. The Aggies going one-and-done for the seventh time eight years, but despite their heartbreaking 78-77 loss to Auburn on Thursday, it was a banner year for NMSU.

New Mexico State won a program record 30 games and swept rivals New Mexico, UTEP, and Grand Canyon for the second consecutive season. The Aggies also repeated as WAC regular season champs and WAC Tournament champs.

The man behind their success the past two years has been head coach Chris Jans. Jans has won 58 games in that span, the most by any coach in program history in their first two years on the job. Jans own four Power-5 wins with NMSU and has been named WAC Coach of the Year in 2017-2018 and 2018-2019.

We may not have won the press conference with Chris Jans, but we have won everything else since, said NMSU Director of Athletics Mario Moccia. Of all the hires I’ve made as an AD, I was pretty confident he was going to do well here, but in no way did I think he would have a 28-win season and come back with a 30-win season this year with back-to-back NCAA trips.

With that success comes trouble for Moccia. Jans has seen his name rumored for several job openings across the country, including Washington State, Texas A&M, and UNLV. If Moccia has anything to say about it, Jans will be back in Las Cruces with a veteran team returning.

I would label retaining Chris {Jans} as the number one priority for the athletic program, said Moccia. A lot of people know what our budget looks like and it’s pretty thin. To have a coach that can win 28 and 30 games and keep you in the national spotlight by beating the Miami’s, the Illinois, and take Kansas down to the wire is special. It’s very critical, in my opinion, to do everything we can to retain coach Jans.

New Mexico State is set to return 75% of their scoring in 2019-2020.

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