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Fired New Mexico State basketball coach Greg Heiar hired by a Missouri junior college

FILE - Then-LSU assistant coach Greg Heiar, center, shouts from the sideline during the team's NCAA men's college basketball tournament game against Yale in Jacksonville, Fla., March 21, 2019. New Mexico State suspended operations of its men's basketball program indefinitely Friday night, Feb. 10, 2023, and placed its coaching staff, including Heiar, on paid administrative leave. ( AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, File)
Stephen B. Morton/AP
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FR56856 AP
FILE - Then-LSU assistant coach Greg Heiar, center, shouts from the sideline during the team's NCAA men's college basketball tournament game against Yale in Jacksonville, Fla., March 21, 2019. New Mexico State suspended operations of its men's basketball program indefinitely Friday night, Feb. 10, 2023, and placed its coaching staff, including Heiar, on paid administrative leave. ( AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, File)

PARK HILLS, Mo. (AP) — Former New Mexico State basketball coach Greg Heiar has been hired to coach Mineral Area College, a junior college in Missouri, four months after he was fired in the wake of the Aggies' hazing scandal.

Heiar was dismissed from New Mexico State in February following hazing allegations within the team that shut down the program for the season. The Aggies were 9-15 overall and 2-10 in the Western Athletic Conference when the season was stopped.

New Mexico State agreed to pay $8 million to settle a lawsuit involving two basketball players who said they were sexually assaulted by teammates, according to state records released Wednesday.

Mineral Area College, located about 65 miles southwest of St. Louis, announced the hiring Saturday, citing Heiar's 20-plus years of college coaching experience and his National Junior College Athletic Association Division I national championship and coach of the year award in 2022 while at Northwest Florida State.

The 47-year-old Heiar said in a statement that he was looking forward to being a part of the institution and community.

“Now it’s time to get started building a championship team,” he said.

MAC athletic director Jim Gerwitz, in a statement, acknowledged Heiar’s controversial past, but said that he was excited about the opportunity for the basketball program. The school said it was aware of the litigation involving Heiar and New Mexico State and considered the litigation and related allegations during the hiring process.

“Greg brings a wealth of knowledge on the court and off the court in recruiting, including having coached a NJCAA national championship team,” Gerwitz said.

Gerwitz said the committee that hired Heiar considered his college coaching career and contacted past administrators.

The school said it was aware of the litigation involving Heiar and New Mexico State and considered the litigation and related allegations during the hiring process.

In its statement, the school said it "received overwhelmingly positive feedback regarding his ability to develop student-athletes, promote success both in the classroom and on the court, and create a championship culture that will provide a springboard for players to be successful at Mineral Area College and beyond.”