New Mexico State head men’s basketball coach Chris Jans rounds out his staff with the hiring of Andy Schmitt and Jovan Austin. Schmitt will serve as the director of basketball operations while Austin serves as graduate assistant.
“Coach Schmitt was exactly what we were looking for to complete our staff,” Jans said. “He is smart, hungry, and productive. We are thrilled Andy and his family have elected to join our program!”
Schmitt comes to the City of Crosses after spending the last two seasons at Division II Texas A&M-Commerce where he was an assistant coach under head coach Sam Walker. While there, he helped the Lions reach the NCAA Tournament for the sixth-time in program history last season and saw two players named to the all-conference team.
“I am very humbled to have the opportunity to serve Coach Jans and the New Mexico State basketball program in any way possible,” Schmitt said. “To be able to learn from Coach Jans and the rest of the staff at a program as storied and successful as New Mexico State is very exciting.”
In his first season with the A&M-Commerce, the Lions knocked off five top-25 opponents – three of which came on the road. While there, Schmitt saw the team set the single-game scoring record with 132 points against Houston-Tillotson.
Prior to joining the Lions, he served as a graduate assistant coach and director of basketball operations at Austin Peay. While there, the Governors saw their win total in 2013-14 improve from the previous season. Schmitt also oversaw team travel, film, scouting reports and monitored academics for the team.
Before his time in Clarksville, Tenn., Schmitt was a student assistant at Illinois. During his time there, the Fighting Illini went 60-42 – including a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances (2011, 2013) and a Maui Invitational title in 2013.
The Quincy, Ill., native received his bachelor’s in communications from Illinois in 2013 and then his masers in Health and Human Performance with honors from Austin Peay in 2014. Schmitt and his wife Jen have one daughter, Emersyn.
Austin joins the Aggie staff with some familiarity to the program having played under Jans at Bowling Green (2014-15) and then with Schmitt at Texas A&M-Commerce (2015-17).
The Grand Prairie, Texas, product wrapped up his collegiate career at Division II Texas A&M – Commerce in the spring of 2017 where he averaged 9.0 points, 2.6 assists and 1.6 steals. While in Commerce, Texas, Austin helped guide the Lions to just their sixth NCAA Tournament berth.
Before his time at Texas A&M – Commerce, Austin was a valuable reserve player off the bench for Jans at BGSU. He was second on the team with 87 assists on the year while leading the team in that category 13 times. The 6-1 guard recorded an assists in 29-of-33 games that season with a season-high of seven coming against Chicago State.
“We are excited to have Jovan begin his coaching career with us,” said Jans. “Jovan has a bright future in this business and will bring a familiarity with me and our system, which will prove to be helpful.”
Prior making the jump to Division I, Austin played at Paris Junior College where he was named second-team all-conference and third-team all-region. While in Paris, Texas, he guided the Dragons to both the regular-season and NJCAA Region XIV Tournament Championship with a 26-8 overall record. Paris advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NJCAA National Tournament that year thanks to Austin, who averaged 9.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists.
He began his collegiate career at Division II Angelo State where he was named the Lone Star Conference Freshman of the Year after averaging 12.3 points, 3.5 assists and 2.0 boards. As a true freshman, Austin started in 23-of-26 games for the Rams.
A graduate and three-time letter winner at South Grande Prairie high School, he helped the Warriors to a 35-3 overall record and district championship. For his efforts, he was named the district 7-5A offensive MVP.