ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – On Friday night, the UNM Athletic Department announced that they will be parting ways with UNM Men’s Basketball Coach Paul Weir at the conclusion of this season. UNM Athletic Director Eddie Nuñez spoke to the media on Saturday morning and gave an update on the current state of Lobo Men’s Basketball.
“Extremely appreciative of Paul and being able to get to this point together, understanding where we both see this program and where it needs to be, and we look forward to this process of finding a coach that’s really going to give us the opportunity to take those steps forward that we all see,” said Nuñez.
Weir is currently in year four of his six-year contract. UNM and Weir have agreed to a buyout of $490,000 over two years, so that equates to $245,000 per year. UNM will be paying NMSU $100,000 over the next two years for Weir’s initial buyout from the Aggies, but that money has already been budgeted by UNM. Nuñez says that the money for Weir’s buyout will be given to the University through private donors.
“We have worked with and secured all the money necessary through private funds to be able to address this as we go through this process. So, no state money, no new money will be used for the 245. I wanted to make sure that we are not putting any additional burden on this department,” said Nuñez.
As of now, UNM is searching for a replacement for Weir and Nuñez hopes to find a new head coach quickly. Nuñez says that he would prefer to hire a current head coach or someone with head coaching experience. He says candidates for this position need to have strong character and integrity, need to be strong at player development, a solid background with great mentors, and cultural fit.
“The fact is, do they understand the expectations, how to communicate, the pressure that this job can be, all those different factors are important. So, cultural fit is going to be big for me,” said Nuñez.
Nuñez hopes to pay their new head coach around the same amount as they have paid Weir, which is over $700,000 this year. KRQE Sports will keep you updated on this coaching search and possible candidates moving forward.