New Mexico St. AD split between candidates

Updated: June 27, 2007, 1:25 AM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

New Mexico State is expected to decide on a head coach by Thursday with a possible announcement coming Friday.

But multiple sources say New Mexico State athletic director McKinley Boston is torn between a number of candidates. The likely leaders for the job are former Arizona State and Ole Miss coach Rob Evans, who is now an assistant at Arkansas and is a New Mexico State alumnus, Texas assistant Rodney Terry and Louisville assistant Marvin Menzies.

The athletic director interviewed Terry on Monday on the NMSU campus. Evans' interview was Tuesday and then later in the day Louisiana-Monroe head coach Orlando Early had his meeting.

Boston was expected to meet with Southern California assistant Gib Arnold on Wednesday in Las Cruces. He met with Menzies on campus last week and also interviewed Terry and Evans over the weekend in San Diego.

Evans is the logical choice since he played and coached at NMSU and is from nearby Hobbs. He also would give the Aggies name recognition in the state with a major competitor in Albuquerque now. Steve Alford, formerly of Iowa, is the new head coach at New Mexico.

But Boston could be looking for another rising star to duplicate the success in hiring Reggie Theus out of Louisville. Menzies, who has strong ties to California, and Terry, who is well-connected in Texas, could fit that profile if he's looking to give a longtime assistant a shot at the job.

Whoever lands the gig is expected to retain assistant Chris Pompey, so the WAC tournament title champs can keep the core of their players. But the biggest catch of them all, incoming Pittsburgh-area player Herb Pope, may not return. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on Tuesday that Pope may attempt to get out of his national letter of intent now that Theus is off to the Sacramento Kings.

The NMSU job is considered one of the top jobs in the WAC, and one of the best mid-major jobs in the country.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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