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Who is David Anwar? | Quinn Satterlund

If I were to go up to anyone here at CCA and pose the question of “Who is David Anwar?”, I would receive a multitude of quizzical looks, mellow shrugs, and a lot of “I don’t know”s. That’s okay, because up until two weeks ago, I didn’t either.

The assistant head coach of the New Mexico State Aggies, Anwar helped lead the team in a first-round upset against the number five ranked University of Connecticut, with not only his stellar recruiting skills (which may lean more into the illegal side) but also his basketball knowledge and coaching ability.

With Anwar as an assistant coach, the Aggies have won at least 25 games in four of five seasons. In that same span, NM State captured three-consecutive WAC regular-season championships (2018-20) as well as a pair of WAC Tournament crowns (2018 and 2019). Two of the program's 22 NCAA Tournament berths have been generated in Anwar's tenure, too. But first, let’s learn more about this near-mythical figure in New Mexico College Basketball.

Not much is known about Anwar who, besides a fairly inactive Twitter account, has few mentions of his personal life on the internet. However, what is known is that the Philadelphia native started his career at the prep level in his home state and Massachusetts, helping many of his players reach Division I and II.

In 2004, Anwar received a master’s degree in Sports Management and Leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University, and started a coaching position at Nebraska University in 2006. For the Huskers, Anwar brought his wealth of talent, and under his tutelage helped bring NU to the playoffs three times in his five years there. With his recruiting skills, Anwar “land[ed] Nebraska arguably its best recruiting class in the Big 12 era in 2007,” and that NU’s recruiting class was “ranked in the top-25 by three major scouting services in’s Bob Gibbons (21st),’s Van Coleman (12th), and’s Clark Francis (5th),” according to Hoop Dirt Magazine.

After his tenure at Nebraska, Anwar moved onto the University of North Texas, where he was the team’s lead recruiter. It was here, however, that some controversy was raised, as a UNT student was paid to have sex with another basketball coach in Anwar’s apartment. 3 UNT players were arrested and faced charges about an alleged prostitution ring, however, they were not indicted. Anwar himself was never arrested nor was he ever allegedly involved with the ring, but when asked by WFAA, a news station in Texas, about the sexual encounter, he answered, “I deny everything,” and hung up.

It was after his time at UNT that Anwar joined NMSU (the news of the incident were not released until Anwar’s second year at NMSU, and NMSU administration cleared Anwar of any wrongdoing), where he quickly found his home. In his first year with the Aggies, he helped secure a Western Athletic Conference title, as well as a March Madness berth. Sadly, New Mexico State fell to the number five ranked Clemson in the first round, a feat that was repeated the next year as well. After a break from March Madness due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Anwar and the Aggie’s returned, ready for more. Sadly, NMSU did not clinch a playoff berth that year, losing in the finals. This loss only seemed to reinvigorate the Aggies, as the next year, for the first time in nearly a quarter of a century, NMSU clinched the first round. Upsetting the number five ranked Connecticut, 70-63. With many years left for Anwar, it’s clear that there is something special in the future for this bright coaching talent.

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