Former New Mexico State coach Chris Jans was considered a target for the Kansas State Wildcats, who are looking to replace Bruce Weber, but on Sunday, Jans agreed to a deal with Mississippi State.
Jans led New Mexico State to an upset of fifth-seeded UConn in the first round of the NCAA tournament last week, which was the school’s first NCAA tournament win since 1970. Jans has gone 122-32 in five seasons at New Mexico State, which includes four regular-season WAC championships and three NCAA tournament appearances.
Jans has gone 143-44 over five years as a Division 1 head coach at New Mexico State, along with one at Bowling Green. Jans also spent time as an assistant coach at Wichita State during the Shockers’ undefeated 2013-14 regular season, which is one of the reasons his name came up as a possibility for Kansas State. Jans also won a Division II junior college national championship as the head coach at Kirkwood in 1998, one of four junior college head-coaching jobs he has held.
Jans was asked about the K-State opening last week in a press conference, and at the time he said, “I haven’t spent much time thinking about that. I can’t control what other people write, say, or tweet. Unfortunately, that’s just the way of the world, and in our industry, it happens every spring across the country. I guess my reaction is, ‘I would rather be a coach that is being talked about that way than the other way.’ There’s always specultion on guys not being retained [but] that’s just a part of the business.”
Jans will replace Ben Howland, whom the Bulldogs separated from after he a posted 134-98 record but failed to win an NCAA tournament game in his seven seasons in Starkville. Mississippi State last won an NCAA tournament game in 2008.