McKay Leaving Oregon State

Ritchie McKay has accepted the offer to become the men's basketball coach at the University of New Mexico, it was confirmed late Thursday by Oregon State athletic director Mitch Barnhart.

It had been reported Wednesday that OSU had given New Mexico permission to interview McKay. New Mexico will sign McKay to a five-year deal that could pay up to $500,000 annually. McKay leaves Corvallis with a 22-37 record in two seasons.

McKay has personal ties to New Mexico, as his father, Joe, played for the Lobos from 1960-1963.

It was a tumultuous year for the Beavers. They finished ninth in the conference and missed the Pac-10 tournament. Guard Jimmie Haywood and Forward Brian Jackson quit the team in the middle of the season, before a key game with Washington, citing differences with McKay and personal reasons. Haywood announced he was transferring to the University of Portland, while Jackson later returned after working out his problems with McKay.

Barnhart has already begun a search for McKay's replacement. It is doubtful that any of McKay's assistants will be considered for the position, with Barnhart said to be leaning toward a candidate from outside the program.

Related Articles
New Mexico hires McKay away from Oregon State (Gazette Times)
New Mexico hires McKay (Oregonian)
New Mexico hires OSU's McKay (Statesman Journal)

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