New Mexico State Aggies

New Mexico State Aggies - History

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School Name

New Mexico State was originally known as New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. In 1959, after two years of state-wide discussions, the school�s Board of Regents voted to change the name of the institution to New Mexico State University as a symbol of progress, growth and stature.

Hall of Fame

Allan Sepkowitz (Football 1969-71) helped New Mexico State to its only two bowl victories during his three seasons as an Aggie lineman from 1959-61. Sepkowitz played four positions on the offensive line (both guards and both tackles) as well as starting on the defensive line under Warren Woodson, the winningest coach in Aggie
New Mexico football historyhistory. NMSU posted a 24-7-1 mark during Sepkowitz' career. The 1959 and '60 teams earned Sun Bowl victories, defeating North Texas State, 28-8, and Utah State, 20-13. The 1960 club posted a perfect 11-0 mark and won the Border Conference Championship, the Aggies' first in 22 years. A key to the league title was a 27-24 win over Arizona State at the Sun Devils' homecoming. ASU lead 24-20 and was driving for a clinching score when Sepkowitz forced and recovered a fumble on the goal line. NMSU then drove for the gamewinning touchdown. Sepkowitz accepted a position as a biology teacher and assistant football coach in 1965 at Andress High School in El Paso, Texas. In 1976, he took over as head coach and went on to become the winningest coach in El Paso high school football history. From 1987-1992, Andress won an El Paso record 45 consecutive games against local teams. Sepkowitz graduated from NMSU in 1961 with a degree in biology. He and his wife, June, have four children, Chad, Mike, David and Holly.

Aggies & Roadrunners

These days, when people think of "Aggies" they think of New Mexico State University athletics. Historically, we're called Aggies because NMSU started out primarily as an agricultural school. We first opened our doors in 1888 and were long known as the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. Now New Mexico State is a major university, offering undergraduate and graduate programs and conducting important research in a wide range of fields. But for many years, NMSU was one of the few schools in the country that had separate nicknames for its men�s and women�s teams. Men�s teams were known as the Aggies while the women�s teams were known as the Roadrunners. When the women�s program first began at NMSU, it was a separate entity from the men�s athletic department, and thus, decided on a different mascot. When the two departments merged in the 1970s, Roadrunners was kept as the women�s nickname. Today, all NCAA athletic teams at NMSU are proudly called "Aggies."

Pistol Pete

New Mexico State�s mascot, known as Pistol Pete, roams the sidelines at Aggie games. But the name Pistol Pete comes from a real western gunman in the late 1800�s named Frank Eaton. As a child, Eaton�s father was killed by the four Campsey brothers and the two Ferber brothers, all members of the Regulators. By the age of 15, Eaton had become a quickdraw and a marksman, but went to Fort Gibson, a cavalry fort in the northeast part of Indian Territory, to improve his shooting skills. It was at the fort where he gained the nickname Pistol Pete. In a fair gunfight in 1881 in Albuquerque, Pistol Pete killed the last of the six men responsible for his father�s murder.

Victory Bell

In the 1940s, the Victory Bell, a gift of the Class of 1939, was housed in an open-sided structure on the Horseshoe and rung to announce Aggie victories. In 1972, the bell was rededicated as the NMSU Engineer's Bell and now sits on a platform near Goddard Hall. On game days, various school organizations take turns in toting the ringing bell around Las Cruces prior to kick-off. The Bell is then taken to Aggie Memorial Stadium where it salutes Aggie touchdowns with its distinctive - and loud - chimes.

Fight Song

�Aggies, Oh Aggies
The hills send back the cry
We�re here to do or die
Aggies, Oh Aggies
We�ll win this game or know the reason why
And when we win this game
We�ll buy a keg of booze
And we�ll drink to the Aggies
�Til we wobble in our shoes
Aggies, Aggies, go Aggies
Aggies, Oh Aggies
The hills send back the cry
We�re here to do or die
Aggies, Oh Aggies
We�ll win this game or know the reason why�

"A" Tradition

In 1920, students of then New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts scouted for an appropriate place to display their school letter. Tortugas Mountain, located three miles east of campus, seemed a natural spot. Brave males gathered enough stones to form a big "A" easily visible from campus and the surrounding area. On the following day, April 1, students trudged up the mountain side with their five-gallon cans of whitewash and splashed it on the stones, turning them into a gleaming white "A".

For many years, giving the "A" its annual fresh coat of whitewash was an all school effort. The seniors mixed lime and water at the foot of the mountain � freshmen and sophomores toted the mixture up to the juniors who splashed it on the "A." With the growth of the university through the years, the tradition was taken over by the Greek Council.

The Logo

Previously, New Mexico State�s men�s athletics logo has been a caricature of Pistol Pete, while the women�s teams have used a Roadrunner. Recently, NMSU introduced an androgynous logo that represents both the men�s and women�s programs.

Conference Affiliation

New Mexico State is currently in the Sun Belt Conference. Throughout the school�s athletic history, New Mexico State has been a member of the Border Conference, the Missouri Valley Conference and the Big West Conference.

Smoki the Wonder Dog

At every Aggie home football game, fans are treated to a showing by �Smoki the Wonder Dog.� Smoki takes the field to retrieve the kicking tee following each NMSU kickoff.

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