Just as soon as Steve Alford took the head coach’s job for men’s basketball at Nevada, the “Noodles” watch began. Craig “Noodles” Neal is joining Alford as a top assistant at Nevada.
The two childhood friends coached together at Iowa. Their last stop together was New Mexico, where Alford was head coach from 2007 until 2013 when he left for the head job at UCLA. The pair had great success at New Mexico, bringing in multiple regular season conference titles and conference tournament titles.
Neal was elevated to head coach at New Mexico when Alford departed. He led the Lobos to a 27-7 season, Mountain West Tournament title and NCAA Tournament appearance, but never reached 20 wins or more again during his four years at the school. He was later fired.
Neal compiled a 76-52 overall record as head coach of the Lobos. He was 42-30 in the Mountain West.