Paul Weir hired as UNM men’s basketball head coach

Paul Weir has been hired as the 21st coach of the University of New Mexico men’s basketball program, replacing friend and former colleague Craig Neal.

Weir, a 37-year-old native of Toronto, Canada, and former assistant coach with Neal at Iowa, accepted the head coaching position with the Lobos after a one-year stint as the head coach at New Mexico State.

Weir spent nine seasons as an assistant coach under Marvin Menzies at NMSU before accepting the lead job last summer. He used a solid first season with the Aggies and a birth in the NCAA tournament, as a springboard to the more lucrative head coaching job at UNM.

“I’m very excited to name Paul Weir as our 21st head men’s basketball coach,” said UNM Vice President of Athletics Paul Krebs. “In conducting this search, his was a name that was on our radar from the beginning. I was able to see many of their games this season, and Paul is a bright young mind in the game. His teams play with tremendous passion and energy. They are tenacious defensively and on the glass and his student-athletes have been great citizens and representatives. I have no doubt that those qualities will translate to our program and will resonate with our fan base.”

The 11-day coaching search after the firing concluded with Weir after other coaching prospects, including San Antonio Spurs assistant and former Albuquerque Academy star James Borrego, took his name out of consideration.

The extensive coaching search was not received well on social media from Lobo fans frustrated by an apparent lack of demand for a once-coveted coaching position. Instead of hiring a high-profile candidate like former UNM head coach Steve Alford, Krebs settled on an up and coming coach with New Mexico ties.

Only time will tell if Krebs’ decision to hire Weir will work out better than his selection of Neal as the 20th coach in school history, as Neal failed to secure enough recruiting talent to make the Lobos a contender.