No matter what happens Saturday afternoon when the Mustangs close out the regular season one thing is certain; it will be the last home game for Coach Mark Coleman. After 29 years of coaching college basketball, Coleman will be stepping down as WNMU men’s basketball coach to focus on family and his duties as Athletic Director for Western New Mexico.

Coach came to WNMU at a time when the program was making national and regional news for all the wrong reasons. Coleman hit the ground running in 2003 and things were rocky at first. But as Coach began to recruit his style of players, the Mustangs began to win, first in the Heartland Conference and then when the Mustangs returned to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

Coleman took the Stangs to the RMAC playoffs in 2008 for the first time then returned to the post season in 2011. The Mustangs could make another appearance in the postseason this year with a win over NM Highlands on Saturday. Almost as importantly Coleman has brought an excitement back to Mustang basketball that has been missing since Dick “Drag” Drangmeister roamed the sidelines in the 70’s and 80’s. The roar of an excited crowd is once again shaking the rafters of Brancheau Field House as the Mustangs have developed an unrivaled home court advantage under Coach Coleman’s tutelage.

There have been a lot of great wins over the last decade including knocking off #9 Mesa State or the two wins over nationally ranked programs this season, #13 Adams State University and #20 Fort Lewis College. Let’s not forget all the exciting games like beating Ft. Lewis 5 of the last 6 years with two overtime games and 5 games decided by a total of 13 points.

Coleman and the Mustangs were never one to back down from a challenge either, taking on one of the toughest non-conference schedules in D-II. Whether it’s playing in state schools, NMSU or UNM, the 2010-11 season when the Mustangs took on six different NCAA Division I schools or taking on the top D-II schools like Chaminade, Hawaii-Hilo or Grand Canyon, Coleman always challenged his players to be the best.

Prior to coming to Western, Mark began his coaching career in 1983 as an assistant at Vermont followed by short stints at Canisius and George Mason, where he helped the Patriots get to the NIT post season tournament for the first time in the school’s history. He then took a job as a top assistant at Pitt where he was responsible for recruiting and scouting. During his eight years helping to guide that program, the Panthers made five NCAA tournament appearances and earned two Big East Conference titles.

As a player, Coleman hit the floor at St. Lawrence University where he was a three time all conference selection, team captain and MVP as a senior and led the Saints to two D-III NCAA tournament appearances.

Throughout his 29 years in the coaching ranks Coleman has seen seven former players enter the NBA including Charles Smith of the NY Knicks and Eric Mobley of the then Vancouver Grizzlies. Coach has also sent a number of players into other professional leagues including former Mustangs Casey Crevelone, a top player in the Australian professional basketball league and Trey Clarkson, who won an Italian league national championship a couple of years ago.

But more importantly Coleman recruits players who graduate and go on to be successful in other careers. His student-athletes graduate at one of the highest rates in the RMAC having successful careers in coaching, business, politics or education.

This weekend the Mustang faithful will have one last chance to see their coach roam the sidelines, ‘consulting’ with officials, exhorting his team to a win and taking the Mustangs to another post season appearance. It will also be senior day with the Stangs saying goodbye to five players along with Coach Coleman. Admission is free with the first 100 kids getting free T-shirts and a ceremony after the game to include player recognition and free cake.

Game time is 1:00 for the Lady Stangs and 3:00 for the Mustangs.

Live from Silver City

Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates

Welcome to Three Times Weekly Updates! You will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.
You can unsubscribe anytime. We never share or rent your email to anyone.

Fire Alerts

Editor's Note

The Grant County Beat endeavors to post to the Elections page, under News, at the least, notices of candidates for Grant County races. Some candidates for statewide races have also sent their notices. 

The Beat continues to bring you new columnists.Recent additions  include the Christian Corner, for those who are already Christians or are exploring the beliefs.

The second is a business-centered column—Your Business Connection by the New Mexico Business Coalition. The group works to make policy in the state of New Mexico better for all businesses, large and small.

The Beat has a column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.

The Beat totally appreciates its readers!  


All articles and photos indicated by a byline are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.

Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ad on the Beat.

Feel free to notify editor@grantcountybeat.com, if you notice any problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

If you subscribe to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option on the left side of this page, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Note: This is another component that is in progress of going to a different software to make it easier for you to use and find classifieds that interest you. Check Out Classifieds. And look at Sponsors to see who is helping the Beat.

It's really easy to check to see if there's a classified ad. Just click on Classifieds in the blue menu and the page will open letting you know if there is a classified ad. Remember that your buying classified ads gives you a wide readership, as well as supporting the Beat. Post YOURS for quick results!

Note that if an article does not have a byline, it was sent to the Beat and written by someone not affiliated with the Beat

When you click on the blue and orange button on the upper left side of most pages, you will find out how you can help the Beat defray its expenses, which, with increased readership, continue to grow. You will arrive at a page that gives you options of how you can Help the Beat. All help is greatly appreciated and keeps the news you want and need coming into your browser.

Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News.

Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—www.grantcountybeat.com