New Mexico State Aggies

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New Mexico State Aggies
UniversityNew Mexico State University
ConferenceConference USA
NCAADivision I (FBS)
Athletic directorMario Moccia[1]
LocationLas Cruces, New Mexico
Varsity teams16
Football stadiumAggie Memorial Stadium
Basketball arenaPan American Center
Baseball stadiumPresley Askew Field
Softball stadiumNM State Softball Complex
Soccer stadiumNM State Soccer Athletic Complex
Other venuesNew Mexico State University Golf Course
NM State Swimming and Diving Complex
NM State Tennis Center
NMSU Track and Field Complex
MascotPistol Pete
Fight songAggie Fight Song
ColorsCrimson and white[2]
CUSA logo in New Mexico State's colors

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. Since 2023 the Aggies have competed in Conference USA in all men's and women's sports. New Mexico State sponsors six men's and ten women's teams in NCAA sanctioned sports.[3] The athletic director is Mario Moccia, who has held the position since January 2015.


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.


Conference history[edit]

The NMSU Aggies have had various conference affiliations, listed below with the year of change:[4]

NMSU maintains major rivalries with the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, 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 in Phoenix, Arizona, as two of the conference's more passionate fan bases and successful programs.

The Big West Conference discontinued its sponsorship of football after the 2000 season, and the WAC dropped it following the 2012 season.

On November 5, 2021, an offer to join Conference USA was accepted with a start date of July 2023.[5]

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
† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor.


An Aggies baseball player running the bases during a game in 2014

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. Under Chris Jans, the Aggies won their first NCAA tournament in 2022, the program's first tournament victory in 25 years. After the season, Jans was hired to coach at Mississippi State. His replacement, Greg Heiar, was dismissed on February 15, 2023, in the wake of scandals involving a NMSU basketball player fatally shooting a University of New Mexico student and several NMSU basketball players sexually assaulting a teammate; the university also canceled the rest of the team's games for the 2022–2023 season.[6]


The 2022 Aggies football team celebrating a victory at the 2022 Quick Lane Bowl

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 6 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 against 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).


The Aggie softball team has appeared in one Women's College World Series in 1981.[7]


Since the arrival of head coach Mike Jordan in 1998 the Aggies have established a rich tradition as one of the nation's most consistently competitive mid-major volleyball programs. In Jordan's quarter century at the helm the Aggies have made 10 NCAA Tournament appearances and won or shared a combined 19 regular season and tournament championships across their time in both the Sun Belt[8] and Western Athletic Conferences.[9] In 2006 the Aggies became the first opponent in eight years to defeat perennial national power Hawaii in WAC play, snapping its NCAA record 114-match conference winning streak.[10]

Former varsity sports[edit]

  • 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.[11]

Athletic facilities[edit]

  • 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[edit]

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.


"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 2007 as a universal logo.

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[edit]


Men's basketball

Women's basketball


  1. ^ Mario Moccia (January 5, 2015). "Mario Moccia Bio – – The Official Website of New Mexico State Athletics". Archived from the original on February 3, 2015. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  2. ^ "Conference USA Brand Identity Guide" (PDF). June 22, 2023. Retrieved July 9, 2023.
  3. ^ "The Official Website of New Mexico State Athletics". Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  4. ^ [1] Archived June 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Conference USA Adds Four Members" (Press release). Conference USA. November 5, 2021. Retrieved November 5, 2021.
  6. ^ "NMSU fires coach Heiar in wake of hazing claims". February 15, 2023.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ "2023 Sun Belt Volleyball Record Book, p.1" (PDF). Retrieved July 30, 2023.
  9. ^ "2022 WAC Volleyball Record Book, p. 19" (PDF). Retrieved July 30, 2023.
  10. ^ "NM State Volleyball Media Giude, p. 19" (PDF). Retrieved July 30, 2023.
  11. ^ "NMSU axes Equestrian program... Again". Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  12. ^ Reggie Jordan
  13. ^ [2] Archived November 22, 2005, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Former Aggies to be inducted into intercollegiate athletic hall of fame – the Round up – Sports". Archived from the original on September 12, 2004. Retrieved December 23, 2008.

External links[edit]