New Mexico State Aggies

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.[3] The athletic director is Mario Moccia, who has held the position since January 2015.

New Mexico State Aggies
UniversityNew Mexico State University
ConferenceWestern Athletic Conference
Independent (Football)
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 arenasNew 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]


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

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.

Sports sponsored

Men's sports Women's sports
BasketballCross country
Cross countryGolf
TennisSwimming 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, but have won no NCAA tournament games in over 25 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.

Men's golf

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.[5]

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.[6]

Athletic facilities

  • 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

Fight song

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


Men's basketball

Women's basketball

  • Anita Maxwell, former WNBA forward for the Cleveland Rockers,[8] only basketball player (male or female) in school history to have her uniform number (40) retired.[9]


  1. Mario Moccia (2015-01-05). "Mario Moccia Bio – – The Official Website of New Mexico State Athletics". Archived from the original on 2015-02-03. Retrieved 2015-07-12.
  2. "Color Palette | Discover the NMSU Brand | New Mexico State University". Retrieved July 4, 2016.
  3. "The Official Website of New Mexico State Athletics". Retrieved 2015-07-12.
  4. Archived June 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  5. 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.
  6. "NMSU axes Equestrian program... Again". Retrieved 2018-07-03.
  7. Reggie Jordan
  8. Archived November 22, 2005, at the Wayback Machine
  9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2004-09-12. Retrieved 2008-12-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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