Posted at: 04/02/2013 10:43 PM
Updated at: 04/02/2013 10:44 PM
By: J.P. Murrieta, KOB Eyewitness Sports 4
The fans wanted him, the players wanted him and now it looks like UNM wanted him too. The University of New Mexico named Craig Neal the 20th basketball coach at the school.
It looks like the Lobos chose the right candidate. They're getting a guy who's been there the last six years. He helped recruit all of the guys on the team. He knows about the passion and pressure of coaching in Albuquerque. He knows what it's like to walk down the ramp at the Pit.
I didn't see any reason why UNM wouldn't hire Neal. Just because he hasn't been a head coach? Would you rather have someone come in who's not familiar with the program or the players? Now the program is getting a coach to keep this train moving in the right direction.
“We did a tremendous amount of work and research in a very short time," said UNM Vice President for Athletics Paul Krebs. "Craig was a major part of a staff that has not only won championships but graduated student-athletes, raised our academics to record levels, and poured a tremendous amount of energy into our community in the form of service projects. Craig probably had as much freedom with our program in making decisions as any associate head coach in the country, and his time working with Coach Alford has prepared him fully for this task.”
UNM, you are getting a guy who has the support of your fans, your players, your boosters and can keep the continuity of the program. Sounds like a win-win to me.