LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - New Mexico State has hired Chris Jans’ replacement to be the next men’s basketball coach. But it many ways, the hire is a mirror of Jans himself!
The Aggies officially announced the hiring of Greg Heiar on Sunday, tabbing the longtime Jans disciple as the 27th head coach in program history.
Currently the head coach at Northwest Florida State Junior College, Heiar served as an assistant alongside Jans at both Chipola College (2003-04) and Wichita State (2011-14, 2015-17).
Jans was the head coach at Chipola College when Heiar was an assistant. Heiar even played for Jans at Kirkwood Community College in 2000, a season that marked Jans’ first as a head coach at any level.
A native of Dubuque, IA, Heiar has cut his teeth as a premier assistant over the last decade in college basketball. In six seasons at Wichita State Heiar developed an identity as a guard developer, seeing players Fred VanVleet, Ron Baker, and Landry Shamet rise to the ranks of the NBA.
The Shockers made the NCAA Tournament in each of Heiar’s six years on staff, including a trip the NCAA Tournament.
Following Wichita State, Heiar spent one season as an assistant at East Tennessee State under coach Jason Shay. Ironically, Shay succeeded Steve Forbes when Forbes took the same position at Wake Forest.
Forbes, Heiar, and Jans were all assistant at Wichita State.
Heiar then became an assistant at LSU for three seasons, one of which resulted in an SEC Championship (2019). Heiar helped the Tigers land the nation’s #4 recruiting class in 2019. Guards Tremont Waters and Skylar Mays developed into NBA players under Heiar’s watch.
A formal introductory press conference to introduce Heiar will take place on Monday March 28th at 4pm at the Pan American Center.
Heiar beat out current NMSU assistant James Miller for the head coaching job. In the days following Jans’ departure, many current New Mexico State players and Chris Jans himself had petitioned for Miller to get the job.
It is expected that Miller will now join Jans at Mississippi State as an assistant.