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New Mexico Fires Head Coach Craig Neal

The Lobos have fired the veteran coach.

New Mexico's men's basketball program is parting ways with its head coach.

ESPN college basketball insider Jeff Goodman is reporting that the Lobos have fired head coach Craig Neal.

The 53-year-old coach had been the program's head coach since 2013.

Neal had been an assistant coach at New Mexico from 2007-13 before taking over as head coach. Previously, he was an assistant at Iowa and with the Toronto Raptors. Neal played briefly in the NBA after starring at Georgia Tech.

The Albuquerque Journal has confirmed the firing.

Through athletics spokesperson Frank Mercogliano, the University confirmed just before midnight that Neal will not return. Details other than that were scant.

Neal’s contract, which was to run through the 2019-20 season, included a $1 million buyout and a requirement to pay him the rest of that contract year’s base salary of $300,000 if the school fired him. The contract year starts on April 1, which is why talks about his future, and angst among an increasingly frustrated fan base, grew so intense this week.

As New Mexico's head coach, Neal compiled a record of 76-52, making the tournament just once - in his first season. The Lobos won 17 games, going 10-8 in conference, in each of the past two seasons.