His body couldn’t suit up to play professionally anymore.
But David Chiotti’s mind and heart were still very much in basketball and with the Lobos.
So in mid-April, days after the University of New Mexico hired Paul Weir as its new head men’s basketball coach, Chiotti, the 32-year-old former Lobo who has never coached a day in his life, put on a suit and drove toward the Pit.
“When I first got here, I don’t know how many days in I was, but there was a lot of people coming in and out of my office — meeting players, coaches, a million people,” recalled Weir of his meeting Chiotti. “And there was a guy out front sitting in a suit waiting to talk to me all day. Finally — I didn’t know, so I was like, ‘Who is this guy?’ He said, ‘Coach, I didn’t have an appointment, I just wanted to speak with you.’ That was really the first impression he ever made on me.”