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NMSU gives Chris Jans 6-year contract extension as hoops coach

NMSU Athletics

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- Just a day ago, New Mexico State fans thought they may be losing their head basketball coach. Now, it looks they will have him around for a long time.

New Mexico State announced Wednesday that they had signed Jans to a six-year contract extension, keeping the three-time WAC Coach of the Year in Las Cruces through 2027.

The news comes after days of speculation that Jans was a contender for the vacant UTEP head coaching job. But after UTEP hired Abilene Christian head coach Joe Golding Tuesday night, the Aggies moved quickly to secure Jans for the foreseeable future.

"Sheri and I are honored to receive this contract extension from NM State," said Jans in a statement. "We are appreciative of the hard work, dedication, and generosity of the donors, Shari Jones and the 6th Man Club members, NM State's Board of Regents, administration, and especially Mario Moccia and Braun Cartwright."

Jans' restructured contract takes effect today (April 14, 2021) and features the same $290,000 base salary as he was paid in the 2020-21 season. 

His retention bonus, however, increases from $216,000 to $294,000. Another additional piece to the new contract states a sum of $72,500 will be distributed between Jans and the other coaches on his staff.

The $72,500 was made available by donors to the NM State men's basketball program.

Since taking over the New Mexico State program in 2017, Jans has led to Aggies to a 95-25 record inlcuding three WAC conference tournament titles.

Jans' winning percentage of .758 is the fifth-best among all active NCAA Division I coaches, trailing only Mark Few (Gonzaga), John Calipari (Kentucky), Bill Self (Kansas) and Mike Krzyzewski (Duke).

"What coach Jans has accomplished in his tenure at NM State has exceeded my highest expectations," said NM State Director of Athletics Mario Moccia. "His student-athletes have done tremendously well in the classroom, have been good citizens in the community and continue to represent our university proudly."

New Mexico State is poised to return 2020 WAC Preseason Player of the Year Jabari Rice in 2020-21, but are still awaiting word as to whether 2020 senior starters Johnny McCants, Evan Gilayard, and Donnie Tillman will return for an extra season of eligibility.

Jans has experienced more success in the WAC than arguably any coach in the conference's history, but is about to see the competition level increase.

As per the conference expansion, the WAC will add mid-major challengers Stephen F. Austin, Abilene Christian, Sam Houston State, and Lamar for the upcoming basketball season. Southern Utah will join in 2022.

Per his new contract, should Jans take another head-coaching job at a Power Five school after the 2022 season, his buyout would be $100,000.

If Jans were to leave for a Group of Five job, that buyout would be $50,000.

Education / New Mexico / New Mexico Sports / News / NMSU / Top Stories

Nate Ryan

Nate Ryan is an ABC-7 sports anchor/reporter.


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