Laird returns to New Mexico State Basketball Staff

Preston Laird has been welcomed back to New Mexico State to be part of Head Coach Jason Hooten‘s Men’s Basketball staff. 

Laird makes his way back to Las Cruces after spending five seasons as an assistant coach under Darrel Walker for the Little Rock Trojans. Last season, Laird helped lead the Trojans to a 21-win season and secure the OVC regular season championship and the number one seed in the conference tournament after being picked to finish seventh in the 11-team Ohio Valley Conference.  

He also played a pivotal role during the 2019-2020 campaign, his first season as an assistant coach on staff, helping the Trojans reach 21 wins. That season, the Trojans were picked 11th in the Sun Belt preseason poll and managed to claim the regular season championship.  

During the 2020 season, Laird helped mentor Ruot Monyyong, Markquis Nowell and Kamani Johnson to All-Sun Belt honors. Laird was also recognized in the off-season as one of the top 50 most impactful mid-major assistant coaches by Silver Wave Media – receiving the same recognition in 2022. 

Before his time at Little Rock, Laird spent three seasons at UNLV, beginning as the Director of Basketball Operations for the Rebels before being promoted to assistant coach. He was promoted before to the 2018-19 season after being part of the UNLV staff that won 20 games in 2017-18. 

Prior to his time in the Sin City, Laird spent four seasons at NM State, working with former head coach Marvin Menzies before following him to UNLV. At NM State he served in numerous positions and played a key role in helping the Aggies to four-straight postseason appearances and a pair of WAC regular season titles. 

During his four years in Las Cruces, Laird was a member of the New Mexico State staff that made three-straight NCAA tournament appearances from 2013-15, posting an overall record of 97-43 and going 52-10 in conference play during that span. In his role with the Aggies, he led basketball operations while also assisting the program in off-court player development and academics. Notably, Laird was instrumental in the development of NBA All-Star and world champion Pascal Siakam of the Indiana Pacers.  

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Laird played four seasons of basketball at the University of Memphis. Starting as a walk on, Laird earned a full scholarship and became a team captain with the Tigers. During his time at Memphis, Laird helped them reach three NCAA tournament appearances and a Sweet 16 run in 2009 while under the leadership of Head Coach John Calipari.  

Laird earned his bachelor’s degree in communications from Memphis in 2012 and holds a master’s in curriculum and instruction from New Mexico State, which he earned in 2014.

QUOTABLE | Head Coach Jason Hooten 

“We are very excited to add Preston and his family to our coaching staff. He is a terrific young coach and someone that I’ve gotten to know over the past couple of years. Preston really understands the game and has proven himself a good recruiter. He will bring a strong knowledge of what it takes to win and cultivate young student athletes. Preston is a tremendous role model and someone that I’m excited to work with, and it was quite evident from the beginning that Preston truly enjoyed his time here at New Mexico State while working for former Aggie Head Coach Marvin Menzies. Welcome home Preston!”.

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