SILVER CITY, N.M. -- Director of Athletics, Scott Noble, announces the hiring of new Head Women's Basketball Coach Josh Pace. He takes leadership of the program after spending last season as the associate head coach for the Mustangs
"I would like to thank Scott Noble and staff for the opportunity to be the next coach of the Western New Mexico Women's basketball team. Our main goal will be to come in and get better everyday on and off the court. We will look to compete in the tough Lone Star Conference, also focus on our student athletes to continue success in the classroom. Basketball has been an integral part of my story and I look forward to coaching the next generation of Mustang student-athletes."
Pace won an NCAA championship as a player at Syracuse in 2003 under head coach Jim Boeheim and played professionally both abroad and in the U.S. for 10 years.
A four-year player for Syracuse, Pace worked for a spot in the starting five Orangemen lineup after Carmelo Anthony left early for the NBA. Pace, a 6-5 shooting guard/small forward, was a key contributor on the Orange's 2003 national championship squad, averaging 8.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.2 steals during the team's tournament run.
As a starter in the 2004 and 2005 seasons, Pace averaged better than 10 points and five rebounds per game for Syracuse. He earned All-Big East honorable mention and was named to the Big East All-Tournament team as a senior, as well as garnering the Big East Sportsmanship Award.
Undrafted out of college, Pace was invited to join the Utah Jazz for the 2005 summer league before signing on with the Nelson Giants in New Zealand. He would earn NBL All-Star honors in his first professional season, scoring 19.1 points per game. Pace played in both Finland and New Zealand during the 2006-07 season before returning stateside to join the East Kentucky Miners of the CBA. He led the Miners with 23.0 points per game to earn All-CBA second team status in 2008.
Pace then signed with BC Kalev/Cramo in Estonia for the 2008-09 season, winning an Estonian national championship and Estonian National Cup with the club. He would again return to the U.S. to play for the Southeast Texas Mavericks of the ABA in both the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons, while also competing with the Hawke's Bay Hawks in New Zealand during the offseason. Pace signed with the Manawatu Jets (coached by former Pepperdine head coach Ryan Weisenberg) in 2012, and would go on to lead the league in scoring with 23.1 points per game.
Pace moved on to rejoin the Nelson Giants for the 2013 and 2014 seasons, while also spending time with the Townsville Crocodiles in Australia in between seasons. He joined the Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks in 2014, helping the team to an undefeated season and championship before deciding to pursue coaching opportunities.
"There was no need to look any further than just outside my office door," said Noble. "Josh's strengths and experience are not just in his extensive playing career, or his knowledge of the game of basketball, but in his personal character. He is truly a players' coach. His former players at Pepperdine University, as well as our current players, could not say enough great things about Josh. He is highly motivated, which makes him a relentless recruiter, and brings with him a natural energy and urgency. I can't wait for next November!"
Pace will take over the head coaching duties immediately.