Craig Neal out as New Mexico hoops coach after 4 seasons

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) After four years as head coach and 10 overall with New Mexico, Craig Neal and the Lobos have parted ways.

Athletic director Paul Krebs said in a statement late Friday: ''The time has come to move Lobo Basketball in a new direction.''

The move comes three weeks after Krebs had given Neal a vote of confidence following the Lobos' loss in the Mountain West Conference quarterfinals.

But in the ensuing weeks, four players with eligibility remaining - three of whom were considered starters - announced they're transferring.

Neal joined the New Mexico program as Steve Alford's associate head coach. When Alford left for UCLA, Neal took over.

He led the Lobos to a conference tournament championship and the NCAA Tournament in his first season, before losing in the first round. In each of the subsequent seasons, the Lobos were eliminated from the conference tournament in the first game and didn't make the NCAA or NIT tournaments. Neal finishes with a 76-52 record.

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