New Mexico Lobos

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New Mexico Lobos
UniversityUniversity of New Mexico
ConferenceMountain West
NCAADivision I (FBS)
Athletic directorEddie Nunez
LocationAlbuquerque, New Mexico
Varsity teams18
Football stadiumUniversity Stadium
Basketball arenaThe Pit
Baseball stadiumSanta Ana Star Field
Softball stadiumLobo Softball Field
Soccer stadiumAlbuquerque Convention Center
Great Friends of UNM Track Stadium/UNM Soccer Complex[1][2]
Other venuesJohnson Gymnasium
MascotLobo Louie and Lobo Lucy
Fight songHail, New Mexico
ColorsCherry and silver[3]
New Mexico is a member of the Mountain West Conference

The New Mexico Lobos are the athletic teams that represent the University of New Mexico, located in Albuquerque. The university participates in the NCAA Division I in the Mountain West Conference (MW) since 1999, after leaving the Western Athletic Conference. The university's athletic program fields teams in 16 varsity sports.

UNM teams have won 93 national championships. The women's cross-country won the NCAA championship in 2015 and 2017 and the Division I Skiing championship in 2004.


The Lobos name began in 1920. A UNM Weekly student newspaper editor, George S. Bryan, came up with the teams' name, the "Lobos", which is the Spanish word for wolf. Previously the University's teams were referred to as the "University Boys" or "Varsities".[4]

School colors[edit]

In the early years of the university, the school colors were black and gold. Tradition holds that in the 1890s, a faculty member suggested the school adopt colors more representative of New Mexico. Crimson and silver were initially suggested based on, respectively, the crimson evening glow of the Sandia Mountains and the description of the Rio Grande as a "silver ribbon winding through the valley" as seen by students and professors taking picnics in the Sandias. Crimson was later changed to the cherry color which is the color of the Sandia sunset. Cherry and Silver became the official colors in 1897. The school also used turquoise as an official color from 1973 to 1979.[5]

The fight song[edit]

In 1930, the UNM fight song was created. Dean Lena Clauve, a music education professor, wrote the music. Dr. George St. Clair, an English professor, wrote the lyrics.[6]


The University mascots are anthropomorphized wolves or "Lobos" named Louie and Lucy, they appear at every sporting and social event.[7] Lobo Louie was created in the early 1960s and Lobo Lucy was created in the early 1980s.[8]

For a brief period in the 1920s, a live wolf pup appeared at every football game. Jim Young, a government trapper, caught a wolf in the western part of the state.[9] A child teased the wolf at a game and was bitten, which forced officials of the school to get rid of the wolf.[8]

Sports sponsored[edit]

Men's sports Women's sports
Baseball Basketball
Basketball Cross country
Cross country Golf
Football Soccer
Golf Softball
Tennis Swimming and diving
Track and field Tennis
Track and field
† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor

The University of New Mexico sponsors teams in 7 men's and 9 women's NCAA sanctioned sports, competing in the Mountain West Conference.


A 2015 baseball game between New Mexico and Oregon State

The baseball team's head coach is Tod Brown, the pitching coach is Michael Lopez and the assistant coach/recruiting coach is Nate Causey.[10]

The Lobo baseball program began in 1899.[11]

In recent years the Lobo baseball program has seen much success; the team competed in the 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship tournament. Prior to 2010, the Lobos had not made an appearance in the tournament since 1962. In 2012 the Lobos captured both the Mountain West Regular Season and Conference Tournament titles. The Lobos have not made a College World Series appearance in its program's history.

UNM's baseball team plays at Santa Ana Star Field on the university's campus. They averaged 1,294 fans for the 2011 season and ranked 43rd in the NCAA per game.[12]

Men's basketball[edit]

Current Head Coach: Richard Pitino

Assistant Coach: Andy Hill

Assistant Coach: Isaac Chew

Assistant Coach: Eric Brown [10]

The first men's basketball team (1903)

The Lobo basketball programs were established in 1899, but began its first competitive teams in 1903 and 1906, respectively. In 1920 a head coach would be hired, Roy W. Johnson. The current head coach is Richard Pitino

Both men's and women's teams play in The Pit, formally known as Dreamstyle Arena, built in 1966. The Pit seats 15,411 spectators and ranks nationally in attendance for both men's and women's programs. Previously the Lobos played in Johnson Gymnasium and Carlisle Gymnasium, which both still exist on the main campus.

The Lobo men's basketball team has appeared in the NCAA tournament 14 times and have reached the second round seven times. UNM's most successful coaches in terms of wins are Dave Bliss, Bob King, Roy Johnson, and Steve Alford.

Women's basketball[edit]

Current Head Coach: Mike Bradbury
Assistant Coach: Valerie King
Assistant Coach: Keith Freeman[10]

The Lobo women's basketball team has appeared in the NCAA tournament 8 times. Former head coach Don Flanagan (1999–2011) is the most successful coach in terms of wins.[citation needed]

Men's and women's cross country[edit]

Current Head Coach: Joe Franklin

Assistant Coach: James Butler

Assistant Coach: Dr. Richard Ceronie

Assistant Coach: Laura Bowerman [10]

The women's cross-country team at the University of New Mexico, known as the New Mexico Lobos, won the NCAA championship in 2015. In 2015, head coach Joe Franklin was named NCAA women's coach of the year for the NCAA Mountain Region and the NCAA nationally.

In 2017, UNM won the women's national team title, and Lobo Ednah Kurgat won the individual title. The Lobo women were second place nationally in 2018.

New Mexico women's XC






Current Head Coach: Bronco Mendenhall
The first football team (1894)

The Lobo football program began in 1892, but compiled its first competitive team in 1894.[13]

The Lobos were previously coached by Mike Locksley from 2009-2011. He was fired in late 2011 after a dismal 2–26 coaching record in 2+12 years at New Mexico. Locksley took the place of Rocky Long (1998–2008), who was the winningest coach in the school's history.[7]

The Lobo football program has appeared in 12 bowl games since 1939. The Lobos have captured four wins in bowl games, including the 1946 Sun Bowl, the 1961 Aviation Bowl, and the 2007 and 2016 New Mexico Bowl.

UNM usually plays two large rivalry games each year with non-conference opponents, the Arizona Wildcats and the New Mexico State Aggies.[7] The Rivalry with the Aggies is referred to as the "Rio Grande Rivalry", the rivalry first began in 1894. The Lobos have led the series since the 1940s; it stands at 66–31–5 in favor of the Lobos. The Rivalry with the Wildcats is referred to as the "Kit Carson Rifle"; the rivalry began in the early 1920s. The Wildcats of Arizona have led the series. The last meeting with the teams was in 2008. The Lobos defeated the Wildcats 36–28.[14]

Men's golf[edit]

Current Head Coach: Glen Millican

Assistant Coach: Gustavo Morantes

Volunteer Coach: Sean Carlon

Dir of player personnel: Wright Zimmerly [10]

The men's golf team has won 24 conference championships:[15]

Many Lobo golfers have gone on to play and win on the PGA Tour including: Tommy Armour III (four wins), Charlie Beljan (one), Brad Bryant (one), Curt Byrum (one), Tom Byrum (one), and Tim Herron (four).

Women's golf[edit]

Current Head Coach: Jill Trujillo

Associate Head Coach: Britney Choy [10]

Women's soccer[edit]

Current Head Coach: Heather Dyche
Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator: Karley Nelson
Assistant Coach: Paul Maestas [10]


Head Softball Coach: Nicole Dickson

Assistant Coach: Morgan Spearman[10]

The Lobos softball team has appeared in two Women's College World Series in 1980 and 1981.[16]

Men's and Women's Track and Field[edit]

Current Head Coach: Joe Franklin

Joe Franklin is quoted as saying "We have to keep it fun" [17] Coach Franklin was at Purdue from 1986-1991. This upcoming year will be coach Franklin's fourteenth year as the Track and Field's head coach.[18]

Franklin has led his team to 12 straight women's Mountain West titles.[10]

Former varsity sports[edit]

  • Skiing - UNM skiing officially became an NCAA-sanctioned program in 1982.[19] They won a national championship in 2004.[20] Citing financial issues, skiing was permanently eliminated in 2019.[19]
  • Women's beach volleyball - Beach volleyball was permanently eliminated in 2019 due to financial issues.[21]
  • Men's soccer - in 2018, UNM men's soccer was permanently eliminated due to financial issues.[22] They reached the College Cup twice, finishing as national runners-up in 2005.
  • Men's wrestling - in 1999, men's wrestling was permanently eliminated due to Title IX considerations and financial issues.[23]
  • Men's gymnastics - Men's gymnastics had 16 individual NCAA champions.[20] In 1999, men's gymnastics was permanently eliminated due to Title IX considerations and financial issues.[23]
  • Men's swimming - in 1999, men's swimming was permanently eliminated due to Title IX considerations and financial issues.[23]



NCAA team championships[edit]

New Mexico has won 3 NCAA team national championships.[24]

National runners-up[edit]

  • Division I Women's Cross Country (2022)
  • Division I Men's & Women's Skiing (1992, 2006)
  • Division I Men's Soccer (2005)

Notable former Lobo athletes and coaches[edit]



  • Roy Johnson, former UNM athletic director and football/basketball coach


Track and Field[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Great Friends of UNM Track Stadium". August 5, 2015. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
  2. ^ "UNM Soccer Complex". May 12, 2015. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
  3. ^ The University of New Mexico Athletics Art Sheet (PDF). April 9, 2022. Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  4. ^ "Lobo Nickname". The University of New Mexico Lobos. University of New Mexico. Retrieved June 5, 2015.
  5. ^ "UNM Traditions - Cherry and Silver :: New Mexico's Flagship University | The University of New Mexico". Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  6. ^ "The Fight Song :: New Mexico's Flagship University | The University of New Mexico". Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c "Know your enemy: New Mexico edition". One Bronco Nation Under God. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  8. ^ a b "UNM Traditions - The Lobo Mascot :: New Mexico's Flagship University | The University of New Mexico". Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  9. ^ "UNM Traditions - The Lobo Mascot :: New Mexico's Flagship University | The University of New Mexico". Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i "The University of New Mexico Lobos". Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  11. ^ "2015 University of New Mexico Lobo Baseball Quick Facts" (PDF). University of New Mexico. Retrieved June 5, 2015.
  12. ^ Cutler, Tami (June 14, 2011), 2011 Division I Baseball Attendance (Adobe Acrobat), Wichita State Athletic Media Relations, archived (PDF) from the original on June 8, 2012
  13. ^ "University of New MexicoFootball Record Book (1892-present)" (PDF). University of New Mexico. Retrieved June 5, 2015.
  14. ^ "Arizona/New Mexico football rivalry goes way back and has some interesting legends surrounding it". Arizona Desert Swarm. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  15. ^ "University of New Mexico 2011 Men's Golf Virtual Media Guide". Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ "New Mexico Coach Joe Franklin: "We Have to Keep It Fun"". Runner's World. October 13, 2015. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  18. ^ "The University of New Mexico Lobos - Staff Directory". Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  19. ^ a b "Citing financial struggles, UNM drops skiing programs - Albuquerque Journal". Retrieved July 5, 2022.
  20. ^ a b "National Championships". University of New Mexico Lobos athletics. June 10, 2020. Retrieved July 5, 2022.
  21. ^ "UNM beach volleyball set to open what could be final season - Albuquerque Journal". Retrieved July 5, 2022.
  22. ^ "New Mexico soccer fighting after cut". July 20, 2018. Retrieved July 5, 2022.
  23. ^ a b c Wright, Rick (May 7, 1999). "High ground, Uphill battle". Albuquerque Journal. pp. D1.
  24. ^ "All Divisions/Collegiate Total Championships : Championships History (through July 2, 2014)" (PDF). Retrieved June 4, 2015.

External links[edit]