Let’s Speculate! Potential New Mexico head coach candidates
Welcome to Let’s Speculate! on Coaches Database, where we go through programs that are or may soon be looking for a new head coach and speculate who they may hire next.
Today’s program is New Mexico, who’s previous head coach, Paul Weir, was fired in February.
- Tim Miles – former Nebraska head coach
- Out of work since 2019, Miles is well-liked and well-respected across all of college basketball. He was never really able to get over the hump at Nebraska (he did get to the NCAA Tournament in 2014), he was very successful at both Colorado State and North Dakota State before that. The mid-major world seems to be a good fit for Miles and he would be a great fit for New Mexico.
- Richard Pitino – former Minnesota head coach
- Pitino can coach and carries name recognition that no one else on this list can match. Things didn’t work out at Minnesota, but along the way he did take the Gophers to two NCAA Tournaments and also won the NIT in 2014. If Pitino wants to coach in 2021-22, he will have no shortage of mid-major offers and New Mexico might be the ideal situation for him.
- Steve Prohm – former Iowa State head coach
- Prohm’s time at Iowa State is over and he may find that the situation in Albuquerque is considerably better than in Ames. He took the Cyclones to three NCAA Tournaments, but it’s the other three seasons he was there that ended his tenure. Before ISU, he was at Murray State where he won four Ohio Valley titles in four years so his credentials at the mid-major level are unquestioned.
- Ryan Miller – TCU assistant head coach
- An assistant that is poised to make the move to head coach, Miller has been at TCU for the last five years working under Jamie Dixon. Among other assistant stints include a five-year run at New Mexico under Steve Alford, during which time the Lobos were two-time MWC Champions.
- Cody Toppert – Memphis assistant coach
- An Albuquerque-native who, despite not being a Lobo himself, has deep family ties the program as his brother (Chad) and both of their parents were Lobos. Before joining Penny‘s staff at Memphis in 2019, all of his coaching career occurred in the state of Arizona, including one season as the head coach of the D-League’s Northern Arizona Suns.
- Michael Cooper – former New Mexico player currently coaching in California
- Coop is one of the best players to put on the Lobos jersey and – after a long career with the “Showtime” Lakers – got into the coaching game. Currently coaching at the Chadwick School in his native Los Angeles, most of his career has been in the WNBA where he won two titles with the Sparks in the early 2000s. He also coached the Albuquerque Thunderbirds (now the Canton Charge) for two years and won the 2006 D-League Championship. His college experience is limited to a four-year stint as the women’s head coach at USC, but he knows the game, the program and has proven to be a great coach.