Following the sudden departure of former head coach Chris Jans, New Mexico State University’s athletics department named Greg Heiar as the Aggies’ men’s basketball head coach.
The announcement was made Sunday by NMSU athletic director Mario Moccia. “While the task of replacing Chris Jans as the leader of our basketball program is a daunting task, I am thrilled that we have chosen Greg Heiar to be our new head coach,” Moccia said. “Greg’s coaching experience is aligned with this program’s success plan which has resulted in multiple victories over the Power Five programs and our biggest rivals, in addition to multiple WAC titles, WAC tournament titles and success of the NCAA Tournament,” Moccia noted.
Coincidentally, Heiar (pronounced “higher”) previously met former coach Jans at Chipola College in 2003-04 and at Wichita State from 2011-14 and 2015-17.
“I am grateful to Chancellor Arvizu and Mario Moccia for entrusting me with the leadership of one of the most respected college basketball programs in the country,” Heiar announced. “NM State has a rich tradition of basketball success that dates back over a century and I am humbled by the opportunity to continue that success. I have known Chris Jans for nearly 30 years and hope to build on what he’s achieved at NM State over the past half-decade. My family and I can’t wait to call Las Cruces home,” he concluded.
Greg Heiar has coached for 22 years at all levels, including NJCAA, NCAA Division III and Division I. His most recent accolade comes from his stint as head coach at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville, Florida. . There, Heiar led his team to the NJCAA. Division I National Championship, only the third in program history. Heiar took a team previously 6-15 in 2020-21 and earned them 25 more wins to claim the NJCAA Top Club in the Nation title. This season ended with Heiar named as the tournament coach.
Prior to his return to the junior college atmosphere, Heiar spent a year as an assistant coach at East Tennessee State and three years prior at LSU. With his move to Baton Rouge, the Tigers earned 67 wins, the 2019 SEC Championship, and a berth in the 2019 Sweet 16. Additionally, with Heiar’s quick recruiting moves, the Tiger class ranked No. 4 in the country ahead of the 2019 season. As a complete leader, Heiar’s on-court coaching ability helped Tremon Water – the Boston Celtics’ 51st pick in the 2019 NBA draft – earn first-team honors All-SEC in 2019. Similarly, under Heiar’s guidance, Skylar Mays, a two-time All-SEC selection, concluded his career in the top 10 in the rankings of nine different LSU statistical categories.
Prior to his move to LSU, Heiar also spent six seasons as an assistant coach at Wichita State, where the Shockers exceeded all expectations and achieved historic stats, including five Missouri Valley Conference regular-season championships.
Prior to his coaching career, Heiar competed at Kirkwood Community College and Mount St. Clare College. His time at Kirkwood was capped off with helping the school journey to his first NJCAA Tournament appearance in program history under Coach Jans, who at the time was in his first year of training at any level.
Heiar comes to Las Cruces from Dubuque, Iowa with his wife, Jessica, and a daughter, Alexis. Heiar will be officially welcomed to the Las Cruces and NMSU communities on Monday, March 28 at 4 p.m. during his introductory press conference. This will take place on the grounds of the Pan American Center and will be open to the public.