Keys named Video Coordinator at New Mexico State

When it comes to knowing what it takes to be successful as an Aggie, incoming Video Coordinator Billy Keys knows a thing or two. Head Coach Greg Heiar made the announcement that the Aggie legend would be joining the NM State coaching staff.
Keys suited up for the Aggies for two seasons in the late ’90s and served as a vital part of their NCAA Tournament berth in 1999. After wrapping up his college career with the Aggies, Keys spent 14 years as a professional, playing in various countries including Spain, Italy, Israel, Greece, Ukraine and Finland. Once his playing days were over, he turned his focus to teaching the next generation.
The Chicago, Ill., native is well-known in Las Cruces for his accomplishments as a player, however, he also began his coaching career in The City of Crosses. As an assistant coach, he contributed to the success at Centennial High School prior to earning the head coaching job at Mayfield High School. Keys spent four years at the helm of the Trojans’ program before relocating to the upper portion of the state where he served as the Associate Head Coach at Northern New Mexico College for three seasons.
As an associate head coach with the Eagles, he assisted in guiding NNMC to 33 wins, including posting a 12-3 record this past season.
In his lone season as an assistant at Centennial, Keys helped lead the Hawks to a 28-4 overall record and the title of 2015 NMAA Class 5A State Champions. He then took over as the bench boss at Mayfield where he coached the Trojans to 38 victories.
As a student-athlete at NM State, Keys was an important piece on a pair of squads that were coached by the late, great Lou Henson. Keys paced the Aggies in scoring during the 1998-99 season as he averaged 17.3 points per game and helped lead NM State to its 15th NCAA Tournament appearance in school history. In just two seasons in an Aggie uniform, he managed to accumulate 1,004 points – making him one of just 37 Aggies to reach the 1,000-point milestone.
Not only was Keys an exceptional scorer, but he could also facilitate and create for his teammates. He was the Aggies leading assister in both seasons he appeared in the Crimson and White, dishing out 160 helpers in 1998-99 and 150 in the following season. Both assist totals remain among the top ten single-season marks in program history. Keys’ 310 career assists also remain ninth all-time in NM State history.
Aggie historians might also remember Keys as an imposing defender as he led NM State in steals both seasons that he played in front of Aggie Nation.
While a member of the Aggies, Keys collected his fair share of honors and awards. He was a First Team All-Big West member in 2000, was twice named to the Big West All-Tournament Team and was selected as the Big West Player of the Week once in 2000.
In February of 2007, Keys was named to the NM State All-Century Team as he was listed among 21 Aggie legends that included the likes of Lou Henson and NM State all-time leading scorer and Keys’ teammate, Eric Channing. William Benjamin, the father of soon-to-be Aggie, Deuce Benjamin, was also a member of the All-Century team alongside Keys.

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