Marvin Menzies Takes over Aggie Hoops
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  06/29/2007

LAS CRUCES, N.M.-New Mexico State Athletics Director Dr. McKinley Boston introduced Marvin Menzies as the new men’s basketball head coach, Friday, June 29.  Menzies is the 24th coach in the history of Aggie basketball. 


Menzies (pronounced Men-ZEES) spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach under Rick Pitino at Louisville.


“This is an exciting day for Aggie basketball,” Boston said.  “I am very excited about passing the reins over to coach Menzies.  I believe that from a continuity standpoint this will be a great fit and a very smooth transition.  I’m excited about his leadership and ability to work with our seniors as well as the incoming freshmen class. 


“Coach Menzies’s reputation as a recruiter and being a player’s coach I think will bode well for us in this period of transition.  I’m also excited about welcoming coach Menzies and his family to our community, and we know that Las Cruces will open their arms and welcome them and assist with the transition as well.” 


Last season, the Aggies made their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 1999 after winning their first WAC Tournament title.  NMSU finished the year tied for the fourth best record in school history at 25-9 and the Aggies are now the most improved team in Division I men’s basketball over the last two seasons.


“Every coach dreams of being a head coach but when the dream becomes a reality and it’s a perfect fit as well, based on a whole host of issues, it really makes it special,” Menzies said.  “To come into a situation where the foundation is laid and solid like the one at New Mexico State University just makes it really exciting.” 


Menzies replaces Reggie Theus, also previously an assistant under Pitino at Louisville, who accepted the head coaching position with the Sacramento Kings. 


“Marvin Menzies is a tireless worker, maybe the premier recruiter in the country,” Pitino said.  “I think his work ethic is great, his recruiting ability is great, his communication skills are great, he is an outstanding teacher and he knows how to deal with academics as well as any coach I’ve been with. He’s as well-rounded coach as I’ve had in any program I’ve been with.  I think New Mexico State is getting themselves a terrific coach.” 


Marvin Menzies, who has help land some of the nation's top recruiting classes during his collegiate coaching years, spent two seasons at Louisville.  Last season, the Cardinals finished 24-10, reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament and were No. 20 in the final USA TODAY/ESPN Men’s Basketball Coaches Top 25 Poll. 


Menzies’s agreement is a three-year contract with a one-year university option.  His annual package totals $325,000 with $200,000 worth of incentives.  Menzies’s contract will automatically be extended one year if he meets one of three set goals in his first season with the Aggies.  The three goals include a top three regular season finish in the WAC, an appearance in the 2008 WAC Tournament Championship game or an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.  Liquidated damages of the contract are two times the annual salary, which can either be bought out by NMSU or Menzies. 


Menzies has coached at the collegiate level for 14 years, including one year at UNLV under former Atlanta Hawks coach Lon Kruger before joining the Cardinals' staff. He helped UNLV sign an incoming class that has been rated as high as fourth in the nation.


Before his time at UNLV, Menzies spent one year as an assistant coach at USC (2003-04) under current Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Henry Bibby and four seasons (1999-03) at San Diego State, where he helped the Aztecs reach the postseason in back-to-back years (2002-03) for the first time since 1975-76. In his one season at USC, he helped the Trojans produce a recruiting class ranked as high as third in the nation. As the chief recruiter at San Diego State, Menzies signed nationally ranked recruiting classes in 2001 (top 25) and 2000 (top 40) and signed the program's first-ever McDonald's All-American.


Prior to coaching at San Diego State, Menzies coached at Santa Monica (Calif.) College as an assistant coach and associate head coach from 1991-94, 1995-96 and 1997-99. He served as the school's head coach in 1994-95, guiding the Corsairs to a 24-8 record and the Western States Conference title while earning conference coach of the year honors. Santa Monica City College was a collective 181-46 with Menzies on the staff while sending 38 players on to NCAA schools during that period. The Corsairs produced a school-record 27-game winning streak and a school-best 32-2 finish in 1996. Menzies recruited the top three scorers in the program's history.


Between his stints at Santa Monica, Menzies served as an assistant coach at Cal State Sacramento in 1996-97 where he served under current San Antonio Spurs assistant Don Newman as the Hornets' transitioned from Division II to Division I.


Menzies began his coaching career at his prep alma mater, Hamilton High School in Los Angeles, Calif., where he served as an assistant coach for eight years.


The native Californian was a three-sport letterman at Hamilton. He went on to earn an economics degree from UCLA (1987) and earned a master's degree in education from Cal State Sacramento. He and his wife, Tammy, have a daughter Andreanna, a son Andre and a niece Aja.


The Aggies also set a school record for home wins with 19 (19-1).  In their second season as members of the WAC, the Aggies finished in second place with an 11-5 league record and led the conference in scoring at 78 points per game.  NMSU also ranked among the top-3 in scoring margin (+5.6), field goal percentage (.479) and 3-point field goal percentage (.388).

NMSU returns a pair of all-conference performers.  As a junior, forward Justin Hawkins led the team in scoring (15.6) and rebounding (6.4) and was named first team All-WAC and to the All-WAC Newcomer Team.  He was also a National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the United State Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) all-district selection.  In addition, Hawkins earned WAC Tournament Most Valuable Player honors.

Guard Fred Peete, also a junior, was also named to the All-WAC Newcomer Team and All-WAC Defensive Team after leading the team in steals with 45. Peete finished the season ranked fourth on the team in scoring, averaging 9.5 points per game, and tied for the team lead with 81 assists.


Early this month, Rivals.com rated the Aggies’ incoming recruiting class as the third best among mid-major school in the nation.  NMSU returns four of five starters from last season and welcomes six newcomers to the mix, including freshmen Herb Pope, Aaron “Gordo” Castillo, DeAngelo Jones, Jahmar Young, JayDee Luster and junior Paris Carter. 


The Aggies are slated to play road games at Duke (Nov. 12) and Louisville (Dec. 22) next season while also hosting the WAC Championships in March for the second straight season.


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