Coaching search begins, NMSU AD Moccia knows what he wants

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LAS CRUCES, NM (CBS4) -- Candidates have yet to be named by New Mexico State Director of Athletics, Mario Moccia, on the heels of former head coach Paul Weir's sudden departure.

Weir became the Aggies' winning-est single season head coach (28-6) in just his first season but left NMSU for the same position at State's rival university just up i-25, New Mexico.

"Toughness, that's who we are," Moccia answered when asked what the most important criteria will be in making a hire. "We need a lot of things: a focus on academics, x's & o's, we need some tough dudes."

NMSU basketball players quickly took to twitter to petition for assistant coach Jesse Bopp. Bopp (33) has coached under marquee names including Billy Donovan and Shaka Smart. Moccia said Bopp would be considered along with any other assistants whom would like to be, but added that he has a short list of interviews he's already working to set up.

No time frame was acknowledged by NMSU but the program will have to move quickly to maintain a strong recruiting class and keep the returning core group. Because of the coaching change the NCAA will not penalize players whom choose to transfer.

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