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New Mexico State Names New AD

September 17, 1998

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) _ Jim Paul was hired Thursday as athletic director at New Mexico State, where he has been interim AD the last year.

Prior to his interim appointment in August 1997, Paul was the owner and president of the El Paso Diablos of the Texas League.

``I want the people of Las Cruces to know how excited I am,″ Paul said. ``I want the faculty and staff, and the students of this university to know how excited I am about this. We’re going to progress forward and have a lot of fun doing it.″

Paul, 55, became interim AD when Al Gonzales was reassigned to another position within the school during an administrative shakeup.

``I have been very happy with the direction the athletics department has taken under Jim’s leadership,″ New Mexico State president William Conroy said. ``I’m especially pleased with the emphasis that Jim has put on academic achievement.″

Paul was one of five finalists for the job.

During his tenure, Paul fired basketball coach Neil McCarthy over a contract dispute and how the basketball program was run. He also cut the men’s swimming and track programs to save money.

But New Mexico State also will spend $300,000 more on women’s sports this year, which Paul has said will bring it into compliance with federal requirements that women athletes get the same chance as men to participate.

And, aiming for better attendance and revenue, Paul has upgraded the football and men’s basketball schedules.

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