Mississippi State has hired New Mexico State’s Chris Jans as its next basketball coach, the university announced Sunday. Jans just led the No. 12 seed Aggies to their first NCAA Tournament victory since 1993 on Thursday against UConn and came close to causing an upset against the No. 4 seed Arkansas on Saturday night.
Jans posted a 122-32 record in five seasons with New Mexico State and guided the program to three NCAA Tournament appearances. At Mississippi State, he will replace Ben Howland, who was fired after making just one NCAA tournament appearance in seven seasons.
“Throughout our extensive research, what stands out about Coach Jans is his culture of responsibility, his hardworking mentality, his focus on player development and his vision for the future. coach Jans is a proven leader and winner, who is considered by many to be one of the best coaches in the game. He is a tireless scout, a brilliant X and Os tactician, and his resume speaks for itself. “, said sporting director John Cohen. “In 12 years as a head coach at Division I and JUCO levels, he has won 20 or more games in all but one season. He helped turn Wichita State into a powerhouse in the mid-2010s, where they averaged 30 wins each of his last four seasons, including a Final Four appearance and a 35-0 start in his final season. . We are thrilled to welcome him, his wife Sheri, son Nick and daughter Maddie to the Bulldog family.
The Bulldogs have been picked to finish eighth in the SEC this season and are set to compete for an NCAA Tournament bid after star guard Iverson Molinar returns and secures a quality transfer class led by the former forward. of North Carolina Garrison Brooks. But the program’s 8-10 SEC record this season was exactly the same as last year.
Jans, 52, will coach in a power conference for the first time in his career. But he has traveled extensively both as a head coach and assistant in junior college and in the middle ranks. He was an assistant at Wichita State under Gregg Marshall from 2007 to 2014 when the Shockers rose to prominence in the Missouri Valley Conference and nationally.
Prior to his run at New Mexico State, Jans also served as Bowling Green’s head coach for a season, helping engineer a quick turnaround. But he was fired for conduct that “did not live up to his obligations as a head coach and the expectations that BGSU Athletics has for its coaches” after video revealed an incident between Jans and a woman in an off-campus bar.