New Mexico State fired head basketball coach Greg Heiar on Tuesday night, two days after the program canceled the rest of its season amid allegations of hazing.
“Earlier today, I made the decision to terminate men’s basketball coach Greg Heiar,” university chancellor Dan E. Arvizu wrote in a letter to the campus community. “Director of Athletics Mario Moccia informed him of my decision this afternoon. This comes after learning of hazing allegations involving student-athletes on our men’s basketball team.
“As I’ve stated previously, hazing has no place on our campus, and those found responsible will be held accountable for their actions. I am committed to the safety and well-being of all members of our campus community, as well as to the integrity of our university.”
Arvizu added that decisions on the remaining coaching staff were pending and will be made at the end of their investigation.
New Mexico State initially suspended its program Friday night and placed the coaching staff on paid administrative leave after allegations of “violations of university policy” were brought to light.
Per a police report, a player on the team accused three of his teammates of false imprisonment, harassment and criminal sexual contact. The victim went to police on Friday wishing to file a report but not pursue criminal charges. He said the incidents had been occurring since last summer, both in the locker room on campus and during road trips.
“Through an expansive review and full investigation, we will work to ensure we fully understand what happened here, and that those found responsible are held accountable,” Arvizu wrote. “We will also ensure that support systems are in place to prevent this from happening again.”
Heair, 47, was hired after one season as head coach of Northwest Florida State of the National Junior College Athletic Association. He had previously been an assistant at Southern Miss (2009-11), Wichita State (2011-17), LSU (2017-20) and East Tennessee State (2020-21).
He was brought on last offseason to replace Chris Jans, who took the Aggies to three NCAA Tournaments in five years and coached them to a 122-32 record before taking the same position at Mississippi State.
In November, New Mexico State player Mike Peake was involved in a shootout that resulted in the death of a University of New Mexico student at UNM’s Albuquerque campus. Per a police report, four New Mexico students lured Peake to campus, and he was shot in the leg in an altercation. Peake reportedly brought a gun with him and fired back, killing a 19-year-old student.
Peake was indefinitely suspended from the team during an investigation. He has not yet been charged.
Three players have announced they’ve left the team since the season was suspended. The Aggies went 9-15 (2-10 Western Athletic Conference) under Heiar.
–Field Level Media