By Kevin Wilson

Weir hopes to set standards


Last updated 6/19/2021 at 3:22pm

Kevin Wilson

Paul Weir discusses his vision should he be hired as the next athletic director at Eastern New Mexico University. Weir, former men's basketball coach at the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State, visited the Portales campus Wednesday.

PORTALES - Should he be selected as the next athletic director at Eastern New Mexico University, Paul Weir has three standards he wants to apply to every decision.

Will it improve resources? Will it improve enrollment? Will it improve retention?

"There has to be a guiding directive," Weir said during a community back-and-forth Wednesday morning at Greyhound Arena.

Weir, former head coach of the University of New Mexico men's basketball team, was the first of four candidates scheduled to make an on-campus visit. The selection committee has scheduled Wednesday for Nate Davis, associate athletic director at Pittsburg State; Friday for Brock Wismiller, senior associate athletic director at Upper Iowa University; and June 30 for Tony Hoops, athletic director at Bethel College.

Dustin Seifert of the selection committee told the Greyhound Arena crowd Chancellor Patrice Caldwell will decide who to hire, with the committee providing strengths and weaknesses of each candidate.

Weir, who first came to New Mexico in 2007 to become an assistant coach at New Mexico State, told the crowd about the experiences he has had not just as a coach but as a member of a university's collective mission. He said the ultimate role of an athletic director was to serve student athletes, and he would make connections with student-athletes while being careful not to usurp the coach-player relationships.

Competing for Lone Star Conference championships is important, he said, but so is lining up a great faculty guest speaker or creating an internship program.

"Don't tell me we're Eastern; don't tell me we don't have the money," Weir said. "We can find a way that's cheaper (while still providing a great experience)."

Weir said although he was a younger coach, he doesn't live in their world. He doesn't have social media, and couldn't imagine the stress a high school or college student has knowing every mistake they make could be public. But coaches and administrators need to help students navigate more challenging lives.

"The idea of what a coach is has changed," Weir said. "But I think, more than ever, what we need out of our positions of power is leadership."

Audience questions to Weir included:

• His core beliefs: Weir believes in a work ethic, the ability to work smart so that ethic doesn't become wasted hours, appreciation and belief; "I want to believe we're going to do it."

Regarding work ethic, Weir said the assistant coaches he brought from New Mexico State to UNM were generally the ones who were at the office before he was.

• Working with new coaches: Due to a combination of turnover and COVID-19 restrictions that kept ENMU from competing in fall sports, the college will enter 2021-22 with its football, men's basketball, women's basketball, women's soccer and softball coaches making their Greyhound debuts. Weir said he would look forward to being a mentor to those coaches.

• College athlete compensation: Numerous states, including New Mexico, have instituted laws allowing college athletes to profit off of their name and likeness. Weir said the NCAA's "Power 5" conferences will see most of the impacts, and "there's not a huge appetite for that" at smaller Division I schools and most Division II schools.

He imagined ENMU would only see small impacts, i.e. a well-known player ran their own sports camp and ENMU lost the proceeds it would have generated doing a similar camp under its own umbrella.


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