New Mexico State Aggies
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|New Mexico State Aggies|
|University||New Mexico State University|
|Conference||Western Athletic Conference|
|NCAA||Division I FBS|
|Athletic director||Mario Moccia|
|Location||Las Cruces, New Mexico|
|Football stadium||Aggie Memorial Stadium|
|Basketball arena||Pan American Center|
|Baseball stadium||Presley Askew Field|
|Softball stadium||NM State Softball Complex|
|Soccer stadium||NM State Soccer Athletic Complex|
|Other arenas||New Mexico State University Golf Course|
NM State Swimming and Diving Complex
NM State Tennis Center
NMSU Track and Field Complex
|Fight song||Aggie Fight Song|
|Colors||Crimson and White|
The New Mexico State University teams are called the Aggies, a nickname derived from the university's agricultural beginnings. The mascot is known as "Pistol Pete". NMSU's colors are crimson and white. The Aggies compete in the Western Athletic Conference in all men's and women's sports except football, in which the Aggies are Independent. New Mexico State sponsors six men's and ten women's teams in NCAA sanctioned sports. The athletic director is Mario Moccia, who has held the position since January 2015.
- 1 Nickname
- 2 History
- 3 Sports sponsored
- 4 Former varsity sports
- 5 Athletic facilities
- 6 New Mexico State traditions
- 7 Notable former Aggie athletes and coaches
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The "Aggies" nickname derives from the university's agricultural roots and status as a land grant institution. Prior to 2000 the women's intercollegiate athletic teams were known as the Roadrunners, placing NMSU among the handful of NCAA Division I schools which had separate nicknames and mascots for its men's and women's programs. By the late 1990s sentiment began to grow for the university to adopt a single, uniform mascot for all its athletic teams, and during the 1999–2000 academic year the school's female student athletes voted to adopt the "Aggies" moniker. NMSU's women's teams officially became the Aggies at the start of the 2000–2001 academic year.
The NMSU Aggies have had various conference affiliations, listed below with the year of change:
- 1931 – Border Conference
- 1962 – Independent
- 1971 – Missouri Valley
- 1983 – Big West (formerly Pacific Coast Athletic Association)
- 2001 – Sun Belt
- 2005 – WAC
- 2014 – Sun Belt (football only)
NMSU maintains major rivalries with the University of New Mexico, called the "Rio Grande Rivalry", and with the University of Texas at El Paso, called "The Battle of I-10." The winner of the NMSU-UTEP football game receives the Silver Spade trophy. Since a major reconfiguration of the WAC in 2013, NMSU has also developed a rivalry with Grand Canyon University as two of the conference's more passionate fan bases and successful programs.
|Men's sports||Women's sports|
|Tennis||Swimming and diving|
|Track and field†|
|† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor.|
New Mexico State's first baseball team was fielded in 1907. The team plays its home games at Presley Askew Field.
NMSU Basketball has seen much success throughout the years, highlighted by an NCAA Final Four appearance in 1970. The Aggies basketball program has seen 19 NCAA Tournament appearances, 5 NIT Tournament appearances and 16 conference championships. The Aggies have won the WAC four years straight, and have made the NCAA tournament in five of the last six years. The current head coach is Chris Jans.
The Aggies won the Sun Bowl in 1959 and 1960 under coach Warren B. Woodson and continued to do well until he was let go in 1967. Since then the Aggies have had only 4 winning seasons and 2 conference championships in 1976 and 1978. The 1976 championship was shared with Tulsa.
NMSU usually plays two big rivalry games each year with non-conference opponents New Mexico and UTEP. UTEP is located just 45 miles to the south on I-10. This rivalry is often referred to as The Battle of I-10. UNM is less than 250 miles to the north on I-25. This rivalry was traditionally called The Battle of I-25 until it officially became the Rio Grande Rivalry in 2007 as part of a points system that includes all varsity sports competitions between the two schools.
The men's golf team has won 17 conference championships:
- Missouri Valley Conference (5): 1973, 1976, 1980–81, 1983
- Big West Conference (3): 1987^, 1995, 2000^
- Sun Belt Conference (1): 2004
- Western Athletic Conference (8): 2006, 2008–11, 2013–15
Aggies who have won at the professional level include Rich Beem (three PGA Tour wins including 2002 PGA Championship), Bart Bryant (three PGA Tour wins), Tom Byrum (one PGA Tour win), and Steve Haskins (two Web.com Tour wins).
Former varsity sports
- Equestrian - At the time of disbandment in 2017, equestrian was recognized by the NCAA as an "emerging sport" for women, but did not yet have an NCAA-sponsored team championship. The equestrian team formerly competed as a member of the United Equestrian Conference and the National Collegiate Equestrian Association, but was considered by the NCAA to be an Independent.
- Aggie Memorial Stadium – Football
- Pan American Center – Men's and women's basketball, Volleyball
- Presley Askew Field – Baseball
- New Mexico State University Golf Course – Men's and women's golf, Men's and women's cross country
- NM State Soccer Athletic Complex – Women's soccer
- NM State Softball Complex – Softball
- NM State Swimming and Diving Complex – Women's swimming and diving
- NM State Tennis Center – Men's and women's tennis
- NMSU Track and Field Complex – Women's outdoor track and field
New Mexico State traditions
NMSU's "Aggie Fight Song" is based on a popular turn-of-the-century song titled "Oh Didn't He Ramble." The music and lyrics are similar to songs used by several other universities, most notably Cal ("California Drinking Song") and Ohio State ("I Wanna Go Back to Ohio State"). However, only NMSU uses it as the primary school song. The fight song's lyrics have evoked some controversy in recent years due to the reference to drinking, but a vast majority of students and alumni support preserving the traditional lyrics.
Additionally, during the time that NMSU's women's teams were known as the Roadrunners, an arrangement of the theme song from the Warner Bros. "Road Runner" cartoons was used as the unofficial women's fight song. However, since the adoption of the Aggies nickname by the women's teams, this practice has fallen from use and the "Road Runner" song is no longer used.
For many years, NMSU's athletics logo was a caricature of gunfighter Frank "Pistol Pete" Eaton which is identical to the logo used by Oklahoma State. A block "NM STATE" logo was introduced in the late 1990s as a universal logo that could be used for both the Aggie and Roadrunner athletic programs.
The current athletics logo was initially designed in 2005 as part of a plan to remake the university's image on the national stage; Pete's pistol was replaced with a lasso, and his name was briefly officially abbreviated to simply "Pete". In addition to the new logo, the costumed mascot seen at games was also given a new look, losing his six shooters and holster belt in favor of a lasso. The disarming of Pete led to a massive uproar among students, alumni and outsiders demanding the return of Pete's guns. The most popular nickname given to the widely unpopular new mascot was "Lasso Larry". After one year the university changed the mascot in favor of a real student dressed in more traditional cowboy attire, carrying a holster belt and six shooters, and wearing nothing on his head but a black cowboy hat. The "Pistol Pete" name was also restored. In 2007, NMSU modified the "Lasso Larry" logo to remove the lasso and once again depict Pistol Pete carrying pistols, and this is now the official athletics logo.
Notable former Aggie athletes and coaches
- Davon House, current Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback
- Jonte Green, former Detroit Lions cornerback
- Taveon Rogers, former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver, currently playing with the LA KISS of the AFL
- Jeremy Harris, current Washington Redskins cornerback
- Kemonte Bateman, former Denver Broncos wide receiver, currently playing with the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL
- Donte Savage, former Green Bay Packers linebacker
- Carl Nicks, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive lineman
- Chris Williams, former New Orleans Saints wide receiver, currently playing with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL
- Buck Pierce, former player of and current QB coach with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL
- Leo Barker former NFL linebacker, played in Super Bowl XXIII with the Cincinnati Bengals;
- Courtney Bryan, NFL safety;
- Nick Cole, current Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman;
- Roy Gerela, former NFL kicker, won three Super Bowls with the Pittsburgh Steelers;
- Duriel Harris, former NFL receiver;
- Charley Johnson, former NFL quarterback, only football player in school history to have his uniform number (33) retired, member of Denver Broncos Ring of Fame;
- Kenton Keith, NFL and CFL running back (Indianapolis Colts, Hamilton Tiger-Cats);
- Donald Malloy, former NFL, CFL, and Arena Football League strong safety;
- Denvis Manns, former NFL Europa running back, third player in NCAA history to rush for 1,000 years in four consecutive seasons;
- Joe Pisarcik, former NFL and CFL quarterback;
- Siddeeq Shabazz, former NFL and CFL safety;
- Troy Sienkiewicz, former NFL San Diego Chargers offensive lineman;
- Danny Villanueva, former NFL punter and placekicker, later became a prominent television executive and was instrumental in founding Univision;
- Tony Wragge, current San Francisco 49ers guard;
- Fredd Young, former NFL linebacker Seattle Seahawks;
- Randy Brown, former NBA guard, won three NBA Championships with Chicago Bulls, current assistant coach of Chicago Bulls;
- Steve Colter, former NBA guard with Portland, LA, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, Sacramento and Cleveland
- Jimmy Collins, former ABA and NBA guard, member of 1970 Final Four team, current head coach at UIC;
- Charlie Criss, former ABA and NBA guard, member of 1970 Final Four team;
- Lou Henson, former player and head coach, currently sixth-winningest coach in NCAA history with 779 career wins;
- Reggie Jordan, former NBA guard, Los Angeles Lakers, Atlanta Hawks, Portland Trail Blazers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Washington Wizards.
- Sam Lacey, former NBA All-Star center, member of 1970 Final Four team;
- Reggie Theus, former head men's basketball coach; former NBA Head coach of Sacramento Kings;
- John Whisenant, former NBA guard, former coach of WNBA's Sacramento Monarchs, 2005 WNBA Coach of the Year; Former Assistant Coach at the University of New Mexico
- "Super John" Williamson, former ABA and NBA guard, number retired by New Jersey Nets
- Anita Maxwell, former WNBA forward for the Cleveland Rockers, only basketball player (male or female) in school history to have her uniform number (40) retired.
- Mario Moccia (2015-01-05). "Mario Moccia Bio – NMStateSports.com – The Official Website of New Mexico State Athletics". NMStateSports.com. Archived from the original on 2015-02-03. Retrieved 2015-07-12.
- "Color Palette | Discover the NMSU Brand | New Mexico State University". Retrieved July 4, 2016.
- "The Official Website of New Mexico State Athletics". NMStateSports.com. Retrieved 2015-07-12.
-  Archived June 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- Plummer, William; Floyd, Larry C. (2013). A Series Of Their Own: History Of The Women's College World Series. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States: Turnkey Communications Inc. ISBN 978-0-9893007-0-4.
- "NMSU axes Equestrian program... Again". lcsun-news.com. Retrieved 2018-07-03.
- Reggie Jordan
-  Archived November 22, 2005, at the Wayback Machine
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2004-09-12. Retrieved 2008-12-23.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)