Chris Jans: Mississippi State Will Play With Swagger And Confidence
Chris Jans has coached the New Mexico State Aggies for the last 5 years. He would have made the dance 4 out of those 5 years if there was a tournament in the 2019-2020 season. Now, he is with the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the SEC. MSU hasn’t done well in the NCAA Tournament or even the NIT tournament. In the NCAA tournament, they haven’t made it past the Round of 32 since 1996. They did go to the Finals in 2021 for the NIT tournament, but they lost to Memphis. Mississippi State wants to start a new culture in their program with Chris Jans. He has vowed the same with this program, ensuring they will play with swagger and confidence. Jans’ quote on the opportunity with Mississippi State provided by NBC Sports:
“This is a dream opportunity for me,” said Jans, who was hired on Sunday, a day after guiding New Mexico State to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. “I’ve been coaching for 30 years and when I started this odyssey, I wanted to be in a place like Mississippi State.
“I didn’t dream of being at Mississippi State. I didn’t really have a dream job. I just wanted to be somewhere where it was important and we were on the biggest stage, we’re competing with and against the best players in college basketball and the best coaches in college basketball. And obviously in the SEC and at Mississippi State, we’re going to get the opportunity to do that.”
“We’re never going to step on the floor without a chip on our shoulder,” he added, “and we’re never going to look down at the other bench or the other half of the court as we’re warming up and fear anybody.”
The Athletic Director of Mississippi State, John Cohen, also spoke highly of Chris Jans and his resume:
“Coach Jans is a proven leader and a proven winner,” Cohen said. “He’s considered by many industry experts to be one of the elite coaches in the entire country. His overall resume really speaks for itself.”
Could this be the start of something great for Mississippi State? The culture could be changing at MSU for the better. There’s no doubt that New Mexico State will miss Chris Jans and the success he brought to their program, but by being in the SEC, Jans will have access to more talent to try to have more success than just making it to the Round of 32. MSU wants the same thing. As a coach once told me: “It’s not always about X’s and O’s, but rather Jimmy’s and Joe’s.” We’ll see how Chris Jans fares in the stronger SEC.