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Ex-Chattanooga assistant joins Aggie basketball staff


LAS CRUCES – New Mexico State head men’s basketball coach Paul Weir announced the addition of Jesse Bopp to his staff on Friday afternoon.

“I’m really, really excited to join Paul, his staff and players,” Bopp said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity in building the ‘Paul Weir’ brand within our program and externally as well.”

Bopp joins New Mexico State after spending the 2015-16 season at Chattanooga under head coach Matt McCall where he served as an assistant coach.

“Jesse is exactly what we need,” said Weir. “He is a smart, passionate, and loyal coach with a tremendous pedigree. He is undoubtedly a rising star and I am absolutely thrilled with this addition. The tutelage he has received from an array of terrific coaches is a perfect fit for how we want to play.”

While in the Scenic City, Bopp helped guide the Mocs to their first Southern Conference regular-season title since winning the northern division in 2011 and their first conference tournament championship since 2009.

Chattanooga finished the season 29-6 overall and 15-3 in SoCon play after falling to No. 14 Indiana in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, its first appearance since 2009. Its 29 wins this season was also a school record.

A defensive-minded coach himself, Bopp coached Justin Tuoyo to his second-straight SoCon Defensive Player of the Year honors while Tre’ McLeean garnered First-Team All-SoCon honors as well in a vote by the league’s coaches. Tuoyo took home second-team honors in the media’s all-conference vote while McLean took home first-team accolades.

Prior to his stint in Chattanooga, Bopp spent two seasons (2013-15) at VCU as the director of basketball operations under Shaka Smart. The Rams won 26 games and finished the season in the top 25 both seasons thanks to its “havoc” defense.

“This defense is my baby and I wanted to bring someone in with the tenacity and expertise to make it even better,” Weir said. “His background will enable us to do that in the most effective way we can design.”

Bopp had a three-year stop at Vermont Academy where he was both the head coach and assistant dean of students. In those three years, Bopp led the Wildcats to a 48-43 record and reached the NEPSAC playoffs all three seasons. He coached six All-New England selections, including the development of several future collegiate players.

He got his first start in the collegiate ranks under head coach Billy Donovan at Florida (2008-09) as a graduate assistant before his first stop at VCU under Smart in 2009-10 as a graduate manager.

Bopp played collegiate ball at Plymouth State, a Division III school in Plymouth, N.H., and captained the team his senior year. He graduated in 2007 from PSU with a degree in interdisciplinary studies.

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