bleedCrimson.net will be conducting a monthy Q&A with NMSU Athletics Director McKinley Boston. In this month's interview Dr. Boston discusses the men's golf team winning it's second WAC championship, improvements to the athletics facilities and the women's soccer team.
bleedCrimson.net: What are your thoughts on the men's golf team bringing home another WAC title.
Dr. McKinley Boston: To put it mildly, we were a little surprised but very very happy winning two out of the last three years, it's quite an accomplishment and do it with basically a young group. Scott has done a great job and for Tim [Madigan] to win Freshman of the Year and Scott to win Coach of the Year, it's just another strong statement of really where our program is and to be a Top 100 program, to have the women finish third and could have very easily have won. Our spring sports have had a pretty good spring season. It's exciting.
bc.net: Can you talk about the process of starting a new sport from scratch? You're starting the women's soccer program and the last program you started was the equestrian program but it was already a very successful club sport.
MB: The origin of it number one, there's interest and ability, we understand that. The second point is as part of our NCAA certification we did a pretty extensive Title IX assessment and we also as a university wanted to be in compliance of Title IX through the proportionality strategy which is that our sports participation would be equal to the proportionality of the undergraduate enrollment. We had 55% women and 45% men and with the addition of women's soccer in Fall of '09, we anticipate being somewhere between 55 and 56 percent women and 45, 44 percent men. So we will be in compliance with Title IX in terms of proportionality.
We're basically going to hire a soccer coach some time this summer, July, certainly no later than August. At some point during the year that coach would hire an assistant and they begin the process of recruiting, tryouts and pulling together a roster that will be in place for Fall '09. We'll have an actual round-robin schedule as part of the WAC in Fall '09. It's kind of ironic and interesting that every school in the conference except us sponsored women's soccer. Obviously the interest and ability in soccer in a predominantly Hispanic community is exciting for us because we also realize it'll be a sport that will help us connect with the culture of our community.
bc.net: What are your thoughts on the 2007/2008 athletic season as it's drawing to a close?
MB: Exciting in lots of ways. Certainly in football we'd love to have some of those injuries back, a few of those close games that we just couldn't win. But certainly we just didn't have enough depth to overcome the injuries to the critical positions that we had. Not having Chase really healthy but for probably half the season, losing Chris Williams was just devastating. We made progress, we're very excited about the upcoming year, we're much deeper. Obviously a change in defensive philosophy which should be interesting. Chase as a senior with a ton of weapons at his disposal will be fun. So we're excited about that.
Obviously Michael Jordan had a great year. You can't even begin to imagine that a mid-major program could be ranked as high as 12th or 13th in the country in terms of women's volleyball. That was exciting.
To see where our swim program has come in such a short time, beating New Mexico for the first time was rather special. They've had a great season. Having two swimmers be invited to the Canadian nationals talks to the overall quality that we had.
To win a regular season championship in men's basketball despite the initial eligibility challenges and change of a head coach. Obviously that triple overtime loss kept us from going to the NCAA basketball tournament in back to back years.
Coach Spence having the fifth best turnaround in women's college basketball last year was pretty exciting. To be in the finals three years in a row. I really thought we should have gotten an invitation to the WNIT. It's a good thing.
Also hosting the WAC volleyball tournament successfully, hosting the men's and women's basketball tournament was successful. We just got done hosting the WAC tennis tournament. Everything that we hear has been extremely positive.
Baseball and softball are having competitive seasons. It's been a great year to be an Aggie.
bc.net: Can you talk about your expectations for the upcoming '08/'09 campaign?
MB: You start with football and our expectations are that we're going to be bowl eligible. I think anything less than that would be a major disappointment. I think across the board you're going to see continued improvement. I know our volleyball schedule is going to be much more difficult but that schedule is designed to get us an at-large bit into the NCAA tournament. That speaks to where we are with that program. I think you're going to see Top 100 programs as the norm as we go forward. We're feeling pretty good about the progress that we've made in the last three years.
bc.net: Can you talk about improvements to the athletic facilities that are currently going on or in the planning stages?
MB: We added $2.7 million from the legislature this year and part of that money will be used toward enhancing some Title IX improvements. Certainly right now in the process of looking at a footprint for building a new women's track team room and locker room and coaches offices. We'll certainly continue to fine tune improvements on our football stadium, including beginning designs on new coaches offices across form the new team meeting rooms and the exploration of space for a permanent women's soccer area. Those are the priorities right now and we're excited about the support that the legislature continues to give us.
If you'd like to submit a question for next month's Q&A with Dr. Boston, visit the Contact Us page and select 'Ask Dr. Boston' from the drop-down menu. Each month we'll pick a few of the best questions and the answers will appear in next month's Q&A.