Albuquerque, NM (Sports Network) - The University of New Mexico found a successor to Steve Alford, naming Craig Neal the next head coach of the men's basketball team on Tuesday.
The 49-year-old Georgia Tech product becomes the 20th head coach in school history, and will be formally introduced at a press conference on Wednesday at 5 p.m. (ET).
Neal spent the past six seasons as associate head coach with the program, and for three years before that alongside Alford at the University of Iowa. He was given a five-year contract which is set to pay $750,000 a year plus incentives.
"Coach Neal understands what being a Lobo is all about. He impressed me with his vision, dedication, and passion for leading here," said university president Robert Frank.
The Lobos flourished with Neal in the associate's role, winning 155 games over the past six seasons, the most successful period in school history.
Neal played for the Trail Blazers, Heat and Nuggets during a brief NBA career. Following his playing days, he served as a scout and then assistant coach with the Toronto Raptors before departing for Iowa.