Men's Basketball News
NMJC Announces New Head Basketball Coach
May 8 – Hobbs, NM. New Mexico Junior College Athletic Director Richard Morris announced today that James Walter (“Jimmy”) Voight has been selected as the new head men’s basketball coach and professor of physical education.
According to Morris, it was Voight’s standout experience in coaching at junior and community colleges that gave him the edge over a field of highly qualified candidates. From the early 80’s through the mid 90’s, Voight served as assistant coach at Palm Beach Junior College and Central Florida Community College. But Morris insists it was his ten years’ experience as head coach at Bacone College and Eastern Oklahoma State College that convinced the hiring committee that Voight was their man. “He’s used to battling tough NJCAA Region II teams, teams like Carl Albert, Conner State, Seminole State, and the University of Arkansas-Ft. Smith. Not to mention that he simply has an impressive coaching history and obviously respects academics.”
What Morris refers to is Voight’s history of taking over programs that are among the worst in their respective conferences and regions of the NJCAA and turning them into consistent 20+ game winners and conference and regional contenders. At Bacone, for instance, in 1995-96 Voight stepped in to lead the struggling program from a 12-win, 18-loss season to the NJCAA Region II Runner-ups in 1999-2000, with a 24-9 season record.
Under Voight’s five-year leadership at Eastern Oklahoma State, the team consistently ranked as NJCAA Region II Runner-ups, Quarter Finalists, or Semi-Finalists, giving him an overall ten-year record of 219 wins and 99 losses.
Voight, who is completing a master’s degree secondary education this summer, is proud of the fact that, during those years, he has been able to keep the focus in the classroom, as well as on the court. “During my ten years as a head junior college coach, most of my players have graduated with their associate degrees and moved on to top NCAA universities across the country. In fact, during my five years at Eastern Oklahoma, every one of my scholarship sophomore players graduated with their AA degree. My 2003-04 team at Eastern Oklahoma, besides going 22-9 on the basketball floor, was recognized by the NJCAA as one of the Men’s Basketball Academic Teams of the Year.”
Morris also believes that Voight will be able to attract top athletes to the program. “Voight’s had a number of NCAA Division I universities scouting the campuses where he’s coached before, and I have no doubt we’ll be seeing them here at NMJC, too,” he said. “We’re looking forward to his recruiting and coaching talents.”
NMJC Head Basketball Coach Announces Resignation
March 16, 2006 — Hobbs, NM. Jeff McCool, men’s head basketball coach at New Mexico Junior College, has announced that come fall he will be making the transition from teaching students on the court to teaching them in the classroom.
At a press conference held in the Board Room of NMJC’s Pannell Library on Wednesday afternoon, McCool, who also serves as Director of the Del Norte Center and oversees the college’s Wellness Program, explained how he had recently been approached by the college’s Business & Technology Division to teach full-time. Holding a Master of Business Administration degree, McCool has previously taught economics for the division and currently teaches macroeconomics via Interactive Television (ITV) to 83 students throughout the region. “Teaching is something that’s extremely rewarding and exciting to me. Although I’ll miss coaching, I’m genuinely looking forward to being a full-time classroom professor. This is something to which I’ve given a great deal of thought.”
McCool, who has been employed at NMJC for twelve years, has served as head coach since the 1999-2000 season. According to Richard Morris, NMJC’s Athletic Director, “As a coach, he always had the very best interests of his student-athletes at heart. Now that he’s going into the classroom, I know he’ll do the very same.”
President Steve McCleery, while surprised, is supportive of McCool’s decision. “Jeff has been an invaluable part of this college for a long time. He’s done an outstanding job every step of the way, whether it was in serving as assistant coach, teaching, directing Del Norte, or heading our men’s basketball program these last seven years. I have the opportunity to honor Jeff’s most recent decision because I know he’ll do a great job. Besides, the college is first and foremost about serving students academically, and to offer them a professor the caliber of Jeff McCool is one of the best ways imaginable to serve those needs.”
John Baldwin, who began as assistant coach under McCool in the 1999-2000 season, also plans to go back into the classroom full-time. Baldwin, who has been with NMJC for 21 years, has quite a student following, according to Morris. “John’s classes are always the very first to fill up. The senior citizens especially love him, and I think it’s because he’s one of those people who’s very strong and very dependable, whether it’s in academics or athletics. He’s simply a great teacher. Having John and Jeff in the classroom is something great for the students and for NMJC.”
Baldwin is appreciative of the opportunity that McCool and the college have provided him. “As assistant coach, I’ve sincerely enjoyed working with Jeff and all the student athletes, and I look forward to continuing to serve NMJC in the future.”
According to Morris, a national search for a new head basketball coach will begin in the very near future. “Our main concern is and always has been how to best serve students. Finding the right physical education professor /coach to fill Jeff’s shoes will have to begin immediately.”
WJCAC Men's Basketball Coaches Pre-Season Poll 2005
- Midland College
- Howard College
- South Plains College
- Odessa College
- Frank Phillips College
- Clarendon College
- New Mexico Junior College
- New Mexico Military Institute