Craig Neal

After a successful rookie regular season Coach Craig Neal has been rewarded with a 2 year extension.

After a successful rookie year Craig Neal receives a 2 year extension on his current contract to the year 2020, now bringing to close the annual game of coach leaving, coach staying, coach gets a new contract. Last week Lobo Neal's name came out as a potential candidate for the University of South Florida job sparking Lobo Nation to draw lines of support and non-support. When initially asked about the job at USF, Neal responded with "No Comment" and  our forums, local sports talk radio, and newspaper went crazy with should Krebs hook him up, or not hook him up with extra money or just let him go...
VP Paul Krebs

After the better part of a week of Lobo madness it was announced yesterday that Neal has been awarded a 2 year contract extension from New Mexico. Here is your official release.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- University of New Mexico Vice President for Athletics Paul Krebs has announced that head men's basketball coach Craig Neal, who became the first rookie coach in school history to lead the Lobos to the NCAA Tournament, will receive a two-year contract extension.

Neal, whose original contract was for five years and ran through the 2017-18 season, will now see his contract run through the 2019-20 season.  The financial terms were not changed."We are excited about the direction of the program under Craig's leadership, and we are glad that he wants to be here at the University of New Mexico," said Krebs.

"I'm thankful to Paul, President Frank and the administration," said Craig Neal.  "We have a tremendous program here at New Mexico, with an unbelievable facility and great fans.  Having raised my children here in New Mexico, I'm excited to be the coach here, and I'm excited for our future as a program."

In his first year as the head of the program after six seasons as the associate head coach, Neal led the Lobos to a 27-7 record, including a 15-3 mark in the Mountain West, and a 2-2 record against Top 25 programs.  Neal's 27 wins is tied for the 12th-most in NCAA history for first year head coaches.

He also led the Lobos to a third straight Mountain West tournament title, becoming the first program to ever win three straight.  Neal was recently named one of 10 finalists for the Joe B. Hall Award for the nation's top rookie coach, and one of 15 finalists for the Jim Phelan Award for national Coach of the Year.

Known throughout the nation by his nickname "Noodles", Neal played collegiately at Georgia Tech before playing with Miami, Portland and Denver in the NBA.  He then served as a scout and an assistant coach with the Toronto Raptors before moving to Iowa for three seasons as Associate Head Coach.

With the extension Lobo Nation can now relax for a few minutes...

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