You have to go back 50 years to find a New Mexico State men's basketball coach that was a total failure -- 1965-66, and the one-year wonder, Jim McGregor - who was a very successful international promoter/coach - but FAILED miserably at New Mexico State in his one season .. a 4-22 record. That was enough for Presley Askew, the NMSU AD, who then promptly made the all-time great decision of hiring Lou Henson from Hardin-Simmons, bringing back a local boy to coach.
Since then, the succession of coaches have been successful coaching NMSU.
It really started with Presley Askew in the late 50s and early 60s. Lou Henson brought his own signature in creating NMSU basketball lore with Sweet Sixteens and a Final Four. Henson left for a much better opportunity after 9 seasons to Illinois - though Illinois had not been successful in basketball for some time, the lure of money and big-conference play took Henson away. Ken Hayes was hired from Tulsa to coach the Aggies. Hayes was a moderately successful coach with Tulsa, and had good seasons for New Mexico State, but not up to expectations that Lou Henson had established with the fans. Hayes had hired an extremely successful high school coach as an assistant named Weldon Drew. But he had not proven himself as a college coach, however to retain continuity in the program after Hayes left back to his native Oklahoma for Oral Roberts, Drew was promoted to head coach, and again, was successful for the first four years. His last two years were unmemorable, and Drew was fired.
When New Mexico State hired its next coach, it brought in a successful coach from Weber State, who had established a relentless defense with NCAA Tournament pedigree (4 appearances in previous 8). McCarthy had a few seasons of adjustment to bring in his style of play and players, but the success he brought to NMSU was outstanding - 5 straight NCAA Tournament appearances and a Sweet Sixteen. After McCarthy departed Lou Henson was brought back and he again had success at NMSU. Though before he resigned the team was not doing well, due more to the coach's health problems than anything. The next coaching hire was Reggie Theus, the brash, Hollywood-style assistant from Louisville, who had no head coaching experience. He was successful and moved on to better things. Marvin Menzies was brought in with the same experience as Theus, and again from Louisville. He was successful at New Mexico State, and moved on to UNLV last year for greener pastures after 9 seasons at NMSU. Paul Weir was promoted after Menzies' departure - and after one successful season, it appears though Weir is going for a better opportunity at the University of New Mexico.
The eight coaches for New Mexico State since the failed Jim McGregor have departed for opportunites (Henson 1st time, Hayes, Theus, Menzies, Weir); with Drew (fired for bad seasons), McCarthy (blackballed after academic scandal), and Henson (2nd time, health) departing for other reasons.
Where will the next New Mexico State coach come from? It's anyone's guess. But I suspect he'll be successful, like eight coaches in the past 50 years. New Mexico State basketball is a program built with success in its foundation.