Former head coaches aim to turn New Mexico MBB into a winning program

Isabel Gonzalez

The University of New Mexico men’s basketball team has shaken up its staff this offseason. All three of the newly assigned members bring something different to the table, but head coach Paul Weir happened to select members who have all previously been head coaches themselves.

Ralph Davis – Director of Operations
Davis is entering his second season with the Lobos, so he’s not exactly new to the team. However, he does have a new title since he was promoted from video coordinator.

Davis was born in New York, but has now been in New Mexico for 10 years. He was with the New Mexico Military Institute Broncos before arriving at UNM. Through 2009-2015, Davis served in the assistant/associate coach capacity. He later became the Broncos’ head coach. Going from that top leadership position to a video coordinator was not an easy move but Davis admitted it was worth it.

“It was a challenge. You are running your own program, being the final say in a lot of things, to now being the guy who suggests things. Of course I thought it was worth making the leap because of the level, the history of the program and fan support. All those things played a factor in my decision of coming here.”

While he is happy with the Lobos and sees the experience as valuable, Davis said he would like to work toward being a head coach again someday at a higher level than before. But wherever he is and whatever he is doing, he has one set goal:

“I would love to be described as a champion in some level.”

Fun fact: he loves musicals

Dan McHale
McHale began his career early as a 21-year-old graduate assistant at Louisville, which he described as starting working at Microsoft or Google from day 1. He climbed the ladder all the way to the top, eventually becoming a head coach at Eastern Kentucky University from 2015-2018.

“His experience as a Division I head coach, at the highest levels of college basketball, and in our style of play make him a perfect addition for us,” Weir said about McHale when the announcement of his hiring was first made. “We are lucky to have someone of his experience joining our team.”

The biggest advice McHale would give to anyone going into a coaching career is to network and learn as much as possible because it all comes in handy at some point or another. He has a family so all his free time goes toward his three children who are ages ten, seven and four. His career is still important to him but he is not looking for any major leaps any time soon.

“That’s a better question for Ralph. When I was his age I wanted to climb up the ladder and be a head coach,” McHale said when asked where he would like to see himself in the future. “I’ve done all that. I just want to still be part of a winning program.”

Craig Snow – Special Assistant to the Head Coach
When asked about his title, Craig Snow had a good sense of humor and made a reference to The Office.

“It’s like Dwight Schrute,” he laughed. “The way I look at is just to try to find creative ways to help Paul with day to day stuff, whatever that may be.”

Snow, who is coming straight from New Mexico Highlands University, admitted it’s not very typical for a coach to come into the role from a Division II school. However, he believes his most recent experience as head coach and athletic director will allow him to help the team in different areas.

“The biggest thing for me with the head coach experience was just learning my limitations more than anything else,” Snow explained. “Almost like falling in love with my flaws. These are areas where I wasn’t very good and trying to find people that I can put around me that can help fill those gaps. It made me a little more comfortable in my own skin.”

Snow said insecurities are common for head coaches and that getting over them give a person more power. He said he feels he has a lot more to contribute to the Lobos now than when he was previously at UNM from 2011-2014. He has now done everything from video coordinator to head coach. While those jobs are all a little different, his approach has and will always been the same:

“Wherever you are, if you win, things take care of themselves.”