Tuesday, April 26, 2016 | 2 a.m.
Marvin Menzies was introduced as UNLV's new head men's basketball on Friday.
And while Menzies starts a new journey for himself in Las Vegas, and a lot of the attention here in Las Cruces has been on his replacement, let's not forget about the job he did at New Mexico State. He's certainly left the program in very good standing for the next head coach.
Menzies went 198-111 in nine seasons in Las Cruces with five Western Athletic Conference Tournament championships and five NCAA Tournament appearances, four straight from 2012-2015, three WAC regular season titles and one NIT appearance. He also went 26-2 in the WAC regular season the past two years, won the conference regular season title each of the past two years and won 20 or more games in seven seasons at NMSU.
Menzies leaves NMSU with the third most wins in program history, only behind Lou Henson (307) and Neal McCarthy (248). Menzies is also tied with McCarthy for the second most NCAA Tournaments in program history. Only Henson has more with seven.
But in addition to the on-court success, Menzies' teams also had success off the court. His players graduated, the team's Academic Progress Rate is in good standing, the team grade point average was pretty solid and his players were out in the community with community service. The NMSU men's basketball team has led the athletic department in community service hours the past few years.
Menzies enjoyed success that has not been ignored.
"We certainly want to wish Marvin well," NMSU Director of Athletics Mario Moccia said in a news conference on Monday. "He certainly did a lot of tremendous things here in nine years and won an awful lot of basketball games. You have to tip your hat to someone who worked really hard and had a lot of success. Our student-athletes in men's basketball did a tremendous job academically and, for the most part, were they were good citizens in the community. Really touching all three bases, which is great."
In the past couple of years, Menzies' teams had virtually no off the court issues and a lot of players he coached during his tenure at NMSU are now playing professionally overseas.
I know a lot of people will focus on what he didn't do at NMSU in not winning a NCAA Tournament game, going 0-6 in the postseason and never beating a Power 5 or a Top 25 team during his tenure. And that he went just 3-15 against New Mexico or outside of the rivalry series, never really had a signature non-conference win. However, he did pretty well against UTEP as of late, sweeping the Miners last year and winning six out of the last seven meetings in the Battle of I-10 series.
But also with the limited resources Menzies had at NMSU, you could say what he did in Las Cruces was amazing. Menzies was a great fundraiser for his program and there's a reason why he's respected among college basketball coaches around the country and national media. There a lot of Division I programs and coaches who would take the success Menzies and the Aggies have had during his tenure in Las Cruces.
Not a lot of mid-major programs can say they've been to the NCAA Tournament four out of the last five seasons.
But, whoever the 25th coach for NMSU will be, Menzies has left the program in great shape and the new coach has lot of good things to work with. And Menzies will look to continue the success he's built as a head coach now at UNLV.
Mark Rudi can be reached at 575-541-5455, [email protected] or on Twitter @mrudi19.