He broke from tradition on Day 1.
Paul Weir wouldn’t put on the cherry blazer at his introductory press conference.
He quoted a Greek philosopher as a way to connect with heartbroken Lobo fans unsure about the state of the program.
The guy doesn’t even have a chair in his office.
Since being hired in April as UNM’s men’s basketball coach, the 38-year-old Weir has made two things clear. He has a plan to change the culture of Lobo basketball. And it ain’t like anything you’ve seen here before.
This week, the Journal is taking a four-part look at some of the bigger changes coming to the program this season — some on the court, some behind the scenes — and trying to figure out exactly why Weir is bringing them.
“When you walk into any building on this campus, or any office in this department, it’s all the same,” Weir said when asked why one of the first things he did on the job was paint the basketball offices and buy new, bright furniture.
“It’s the same font. The same colors. The same look. To me, it really stifles creativity. It takes away from freedom of thought and just having an open mind to things.”
Yes, he’s already faced push-back from some on campus, but not from those who he’ll tell you matter most.
The Lobo players have adopted the theme that UConn transfer Vance Jackson so eloquently posted on his Twitter page the day he announced he was joining the Lobos: #LetsGetWEIRd.
“A lot of the stuff seems like madness at first, but there’s actually methods to it,” said forward Connor MacDougall. “Some if it is just trying to look at something new — being comfortable in the uncomfortable. It’s good for us.”
The four-part series
The stories in the four part series will run Aug. 12-15 in the Journal and posted online as they are published. Links to the stories will also be added here as published.
Podcast with Paul Weir
• Talking Grammer: A podcast with Journal staff writer Geoff Grammer and Lobos hoops coach Paul Weir
Sunday: RUN & STUN
Only one team in the country runs the ‘Run and Stun’ press like Kevin Mackey designed in the 1980s. With his help, the Lobos plan to become the second.
• Part 1: Lobo basketball going all in on ‘Run and Stun’ press
• Emptying the notebook: Mackey says ‘Run and Stun’ is a commitment, not a defense
Monday: BODY & MIND
To meet the physical demands of the season ahead, the Lobos are preparing their bodies and minds through such things as hot yoga, meditation and new diets.
• Part 2: Will downward dogs uplift Lobos?
• Emptying the notebook: Words of inspiration dot Lobos locker room, offices
Tuesday: IT’S IN THE NUMBERS
Forget traditional box scores. The statistics the Lobos will look at regularly to guide their season put coach Paul Weir in rare company among NCAA head coaches.
• Part 3: Advanced analysis: Lobos coach out in front of growing analytics trend
Wednesday: FAN ENGAGEMENT
To get the Pit back in the Top 25 nationally for attendance, Weir has taken it upon himself to get as many fans as possible back in the stands.
• Part 4: Lobo outreach: Weir takes on reinvigorating hoops fan base