New Mexico State head men’s basketball coach Paul Weir announced the appointment of Hall of Fame coaching legend Lou Henson as Special Advisor to the Aggie program.
“I am ecstatic that Coach (Henson) will be joining our program,” said Weir. “To add a person of his competencies and experiences comes along once in a lifetime. To be able to lean on him is an opportunity I simply was not going to let slip away.”
Henson, inducted to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame last November, had a 41-year career as a collegiate head coach, all at the NCAA Division I level, posting a record of 779-412 with a 65.4 winning percentage.
He’s the all-time winningest coach at both New Mexico State and Illinois, and started his career at Hardin-Simmons.
“I’m elated to be named Special Advisor to Coach Weir’s staff,” said Henson. “I’ve had conversations over the years with Coach Weir regarding basketball philosophy, coaching techniques and recruiting. We’re definitely on the same page. I have been greatly impressed with his knowledge of the game and ability to teach it.”
“When Athletics Director (Mario) Moccia announced his hiring I was blown away by the reception and welcome that Paul received both locally and statewide. In Coach Weir, the Aggies have the entire package and I am happy to help in any way to maintain the level of success that has been achieved in recent years.”
A 1955 graduate of NM State, Henson coached 16 years in two stints for his alma mater, posting a 289-152 record. He also tallied a 423-224 mark in 21 years at Illinois and amassed a 67-36 record in four seasons at HSU.
He is currently 14th all-time in career Division I victories, and was sixth on that list when he fully retired from the floor in January of 2005.
Henson is one of only 13 coaches to take two different schools to the Final Four. During his Aggie career, Henson’s teams made NM State’s only Final Four appearance (1970), 19 NCAA appearances, four NIT appearances, won two conference championships and produced five all-Americans.
The announcement of Henson as special advisor is the first staff appointment for the Aggies by Weir who was named the 25th Aggie coach on April 26.
“We will be making several staff changes to help invigorate the program with new skill sets, ideas, and emotions,” said Weir. “But Coach brings an esoteric element that no one else in the country can provide. His accomplishments are legendary but also of infinite value to us because they happened right here at home.”
Photo Courtesy NMSU Athletics