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NMSU hires new head basketball coach

Director of Athletics Mario Moccia announced the hiring of Jason Hooten on March 24, 2023, as NMSU’s new head basketball coach. Hooten is the 28th head basketball coach in Aggie basketball history. 

New NMSU head basketball coach Jason Hooten smiles as he addresses the crowd during an introductory press conference on March 26, at the Pan American Center. (Image courtesy of Las Cruces Sun-News)

Hooten is transitioning from Sam Houston State University where he served as head basketball coach for the last 13 seasons. Hooten successfully took the Bearkats to six postseason appearances including a first-round win in this year’s NIT.

Hooten has 30 years of coaching experience and spent 13 of those years as a head coach. Hooten was named one of 20 finalists for the 2022-2023 Hugh Durham Award and also appeared on this year’s list of 25 finalists for the Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award.

Hooten takes over the program after a season of controversy in which previous head coach, Greah Heiar, was fired and NMSU’s basketball program was suspended. 

Hooten said in a statement to NMSU athletics that he appreciates “this opportunity to restore New Mexico State University’s basketball program to a position as one of the top mid-major programs in the country as we enter into Conference USA.”

Hooten was formally introduced to the Las Cruces and NMSU community Sunday, March 26, at 2 p.m. during an introductory press conference at the Pan American Center. 

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