New Mexico State Aggies

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New Mexico State Aggies
University New Mexico State University
Conference Western Athletic Conference (except football)
Sun Belt Conference (football only)
NCAA Division I FBS
Athletic director Mario Moccia[1]
Location Las Cruces, NM
Varsity teams 16
Football stadium Aggie Memorial Stadium
Basketball arena Pan American Center
Baseball stadium Presley Askew Field
Soccer stadium Soccer Athletic Complex
Mascot Pistol Pete
Nickname Aggies
Fight song Aggie Fight Song
     Crimson       White [2]

New Mexico State University's 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 a member of the Sun Belt Conference.[3] The current athletic director is Mario Moccia, who has held the position since January 2015.


New Mexico State sponsors six men's and eleven women's teams in NCAA sanctioned sports:[4]

  • = The football team competed as an independent in 2013 before joining the Sun Belt Conference as an affiliate member in 2014.
  • * = The equestrian team competes as an independent.


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.


"Lasso Larry" logo (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 controversial 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. Popular T-shirts worn around campus featured the old Pistol Pete logo modified to show an oversized gun in his hand, with the slogan “Who Brings a Lasso to a Gunfight?” The decision was even criticized by Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly during his "Most Ridiculous Item of the Day" segment.[5] The most popular nickname given to the widely unpopular new mascot was "Lasso Larry". After one year the university dumped the cartoonish 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.


The NMSU Aggies have had various conference affiliations, listed below with the year of change:[6]

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.


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 Marvin Menzies (8th season).


One of many football games played in Aggie Memorial Stadium

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.


Men's golf[edit]

The men's golf team has won 17 conference championships:

^ Co-champions

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 Tour wins).

Fight song[edit]

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.


Notable former Aggie athletes and coaches[edit]


Men's Basketball

Women's Basketball


External links[edit]