Personally, I was a bit surprised when Marvin Menzies’ name was linked to Tim Miles’ old job at Colorado State. I thought perhaps Menzies was another year or two away from moving up the coaching ladder, but getting to the NCAA’s twice in three years has no doubt sparked the interest of bigger schools.
It earned him an interview with the Rams on Friday.
Colorado State is a good job with more resources in a better league. Not to mention that outside of the NMSU administration, support for the head coach in Las Cruces has been spotty and apathetic at best.
Even if he isn’t named the head coach this week, Menzies owes it to himself to go through this process.
Money talks, and CSU has more of it.
Miles made over $500,000 last year and was due over $700,000 next season. Menzies’ base salary is $280,500. The school hired JMI Sports for $75,000 to help conduct its coaching search. The school paid another search firm $250,000 to help hire football coach Jim McElwain, who signed at CSU for $1.5 million.
Tough economic times at NMSU make it possible to believe Menzies is looking forward to the next stage of his career. NMSU coaches are expected to raise a required amount of money fundraising. In a conversation with Menzies early last season, he said he probably spends about 20 hours per week at certain periods throughout the year fundraising. He’s good at it. But while it may not be unheard of at other schools, larger programs likely don’t put such demands on the head coach.
When Menzies’ contract was extended prior to last season, receiving more money was simply not an option according to NMSU officials. Even if NMSU was able to come up with additional money, could the school generate near the half-million mark?
CSU finished fourth in the Mountain West last year —Miles’ fifth year at Colorado State — and reached the NCAA Tournament.
Menzies reached the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years this past year.
Menzies has done about as well as a coach at NMSU can be expected. He put his team in contention for the WAC every year and got to the NCAA once every two or three years. I believe he likes it at NMSU, but there are stiff challenges here facing any coach.
There are also stiff challengers for the CSU job.
Southern Miss head man Larry Eustachy, New Mexico assistant Craig Neal, and Weber State head coach Randy Rahe, a man with CSU ties, are also believed to be candidates for the position, as well as two current CSU assistant coaches.
Menzies likes the way next year’s NMSU roster is forming and he loves the team two years from now.
From a program standpoint, he has a good thing going here in Las Cruces and I believe he genuinely likes the area. But he’s not going to be here forever.
If he’s looking for the next step, CSU would make sense.
— This article appeared on page B1 of the Albuquerque Journal