Chris Jans Staying at NMSU is the Right Move
As rumors swirled this week about Chris Jans leaving his head coaching position at New Mexico State to take the same job at East Tennessee State, something just did not seem right. Over the last five seasons at ETSU, Steve Forbes built the Buccaneers into one of the best mid major programs in the country. He left the school for the head coaching job at Wake Forest, and Jans had been a target to replace him. ETSU was also considering Forbes assistant Jason Shay for the vacancy, and once Jans announced on Twitter that he was staying at NMSU, it was an easy decision for the Buccaneers.
With Jans electing to stay at NMSU, it benefits everyone involved. In three seasons, Jans has a record of 82-17 and he continues to grow the Aggies men's basketball program. They had won 19 straight and were on their way to the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season before COVID-19 shut down the sports world. They will have most of their nucleus back for the 2020-21 season and will once again be the favorites to win the Western Athletic Conference and go back to the NCAA Tournament. Jans continues to recruit high profile talent to his program and next season will be no different. As for ETSU, they get to keep Forbes' system in place with Shay and stay on top of the Southern Conference.
As long as the Aggies men's basketball program remains on top, Chris Jans will have his name linked to other high profile head coaching openings in college basketball. He is already making more than $500,000 at NMSU when you add up his retainer bonus along with his base salary and other incentives. Jans will not be in Las Cruces forever and I believe he will have an opportunity soon to take over a Power 5 program with a million dollar annual salary. Until then, Aggies fans should enjoy what they have and start selling out the Pan Am Center on a regular basis to watch one of the best mid-major teams in the country.