The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By David Stevens
Publisher 

Opinion: Greyhounds' new AD seems like a dreamer with a bright future

 

Last updated 7/24/2021 at 2:22pm



When Paul Weir was named head basketball coach at New Mexico State University in 2016, he quoted Theodore Roosevelt: “Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.”

When he accepted the head basketball coaching job at the University of New Mexico one year later, he addressed fans by quoting the Greek philosopher Atticus: “Every doubter is a dreamer with a broken heart,” he said.

And when he first met with fans and the media last week after accepting the athletic director’s job at Eastern New Mexico University, he talked about U. S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville and Youngstown State University President James Tressel. He cited them as examples of one-time college athletics coaches who found success in new career fields after they stopped coaching.

We don’t know him yet, but it’s safe to say Paul Weir, 42, is different than your average jock — he was an all-regional point guard at his high school in Toronto -- turned coach turned athletics administrator.

The man has master’s degrees in sports psychology, health and human performance and business administration. He has a doctorate degree in educational leadership. And he taught classes at UNM’s Anderson School of Management.

Oh, and two of his four teams at UNM had winning records. And don’t forget he led New Mexico State to its best basketball season in five decades when they went 28-6 and finished their year in the NCAA Tournament.

One might suspect the coaching resume itself would warrant a multi-page contract full of whereases and therefores when he signed up this month as ENMU’s new athletic director. Surprise again.

“None of that. This is Eastern, my friend,” ENMU President Patrice Caldwell wrote in an email responding to questions about terms of Weir’s deal. “Simple, direct, straight-forward. If that’s not your comfort zone, you may need to be somewhere else!”

Weir’s contract is one page, calling for an annual salary of $120,000 and $10,000 in moving expenses. The two-year agreement refers to him as an at-will employee who serves at the pleasure of the university president.

Time will tell if Weir finds a home at the Portales university or whether he returns to coaching major college basketball or whether he ends up as an athletic director at some Division I university that competes annually for national championships.

That resume, that interest in academics and Greek philosophers, suggests anything is possible in Weir’s future.

For now, ENMU has him and this feels like an interesting time to be a fan of the Greyhounds.

— David Stevens

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