NMSU Athletics Director McKinley Boston has taken some heat in recent months for his handling of the Hal Mumme situation.
Granted, Mumme's status in his final weeks at NMSU was tenuous at best and it was obvious he was a lame duck coach for the stretch run of the team's schedule.
A good deal of the burden fell on Boston, as it should. He is the AD of the school and hired Mumme to be the face of the football program. This is a bottom line and pressure packed business and pressure is felt on everyone when the standards of the fan base and community are not met.
Lets look at some of the things Boston has done in his tenure at NMSU, which started four years ago:
- He hired Mumme
- He hired Reggie Theus
- He hired Marvin Menzies
- He oversaw massive expansion of facilities on the NMSU campus.
- He brought in a handful of WAC tournaments, including the basketball tournament the last two years. The Aggies went to the NCAA tourney one of those seasons and went to the tournament finals the other.
- He has been the guiding hand as the school has transitioned to the WAC
These are just some of his accomplishments and I'm sure I'm leaving out some as well. The bottom line is that the Mumme situation did not work out. Hal didn't win enough games and alienated the community in the process.
Theus was gold but then he bolted. I was very hard on Menzies upon the coach's arrival at the school last year but have been pleased with what I've seen/heard about regarding the hoops team this season. Still, I believe the jury is still out on Marvin as the year is young.
Can't fault Boston for the expansion of the facilities, nor the oversight of the WAC tournaments.
And while Mumme didn't work out, not everyone is perfect. Boston said today during the press conference announcing the coach's dismissal that hiring coaches, recruiting players and winning ballgames is not an exact science. Sometimes, these things don't work out.
I would have to say that Boston will need to hire a good football coach because Las Cruces needs a winner on the field. It's time for the bowl drought/laughing stock program talk comes to an end, or at least subsides. As for his job, of course he needs to find a good coach to relieve some of the pressure. He wouldn't be the AD at a Division-I school if that weren't the case. But the coach will get some years to pan out. Keep an eye on the hoops team under Menzies. He's truly Boston's guy and the program seems to be off on the right foot early on this year. If they do flounder and the football team does not turn it around, the complaints about the AD become increasingly legitimate. Until then, give it a chance and let things unfold in a timely manner.