The Aggies basketball reset starts now.
New Mexico State University on Friday evening announced it has hired Jason Hooten, the 53-year-old Texas native who spent the past 19 years coaching at Sam Houston State in Huntsville, Texas — six as an assistant coach and the past 13 seasons as head coach, compiling a 261-169 record in both the Southland and Western Athletic conferences.
“Having competed against this storied program in the past, this is an exciting day for me and my family,” Hooten said in a release from the school. “I appreciate this opportunity to restore New Mexico State University’s basketball program to a position as one of the top mid-major programs in the country as we enter into Conference USA.”
Hooten, who sources say will get a five-year contract worth a little more than $2 million, will be tasked with taking over a program in need of a reboot after two high-profile incidents during the past season led to plenty of negative publicity and the firing of head coach Greg Heiar, who was hired March 27, 2022. That will be one-day shy of a year ago when Hooten is formally introduced as the program’s 28th head coach to fans and media at an event Sunday in the Pan American Center at 2 p.m.
This past season, Hooten’s Bearkats ranked 18th in the nation (out of 363 Division I programs) in defensive efficiency according to KenPom.com, which also ranked SHSU 73rd overall.