Pierce, Nohara, Cottrell To Enter NMSU Athletics Hall Of Fame

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State Athletic Department will induct Jimmy Cottrell, Hoku Nohara and Alane (Pierce) Stutzman into its 2018 US Bank/NM State Athletic Hall of Fame class on Friday, Feb. 23. The 6 p.m. (MT) event is open to the public and will take place in the Danny Villanueva Victory Club on the third floor of the Stan Fulton Athletic Center.

Tickets are $40 per person and can be purchased by calling Nicole Gomez at 575-646-8050 or via email at nicolemg@nmsu.edu. Deadline to purchase tickets for the event is Wednesday, Feb. 21.

"It is an honor to recognize these three former student-athletes with their selection into the US Bank/New Mexico State Athletics Hall of Fame," Director of Athletics Mario Moccia said. "This is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a former student-athlete and all are deserving of enshrinement. Hall of Fame weekend will be wonderful for the inductees as well as our fans as we induct these deserving individuals. I would also like to thank US Bank for making this event possible."

Cottrell (2002-05) is the 45th Aggie football player to be enshrined while Nohara (2008-11) becomes the third softball player voted into the hall of fame. Stutzman (1983-86) is the sixth volleyball player and third in as many years to be honored.

The trio will be recognized at a dinner on Friday, Feb. 23, followed by an on-court recognition during halftime of the Aggie men's basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 24.

Cottrell was a 2005 Sports Illustrated Honorable Mention All-American his senior year and led the Aggies in tackles all four seasons – including an NCAA best 179 total tackles in 2005. The 179 tackles was also a single-season record in the Western Athletic Conference by 10 tackles. Cottrell also holds the WAC single-game record with 25 tackles against Utah State on Nov. 26, 2005. During his tenure as an Aggie, the linebacker also racked up First-Team All-Sun Belt honors as well as First-Team All-WAC honors on the defensive side of the ball. He finished his career with 463 tackles (210 solo) – which is good for third all-time in Aggie history. Cottrell was critical piece on defense on the 2002 team – which was the last Aggie squad to have a winning season prior to the recent success of the 2017 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl Championship team.

"I am extremely humbled and incredibly honored to be inducted into the US Bank/NM State Sports Hall of Fame," Cottrell said. "I remember walking through the sports hall of fame as a freshman and dreaming that one day my name would be included among the greatest to have played at or contributed to New Mexico State Athletics. For that dream to have come to fruition is remarkable and I still can't quite believe it. New Mexico State provided me the opportunity to receive an education and live out my dreams. I could not have asked for more, and for that opportunity I will be forever grateful."

Nohara, arguably one of the best hitters in NM State history, had an illustrious career with the Aggies, culminating with her 2011 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Second-Team All-America honor. She's also a two-time NFCA All-West Region winner in addition to being a two-time First-Team All-WAC player and Second-Team All-WAC recipient. The Hawaii native is the all-time leader in home runs (65), RBI (209), walks (138), slugging-percentage (.738) and on-base percentage (.490) while holding the fifth-most hits ever at 217 to go with a .356 career batting average – which is good for sixth. Nohara is also ranked in the top-five for several single-season records. Her 1.007 slugging-percentage and 63 walks in 2011 not only led the program but the conference as well. Despite wrapping up her career in 2011, Nohara's 64 career dingers and 209 RBI are first and second, respectively, career-wise for the WAC. Her 138 drawn walks still tops all players while her 0.43 home runs per game in 2011 led the NCAA. Nohara capped off her career being the first Aggie player to sign a National Pro Fastpitch League contract.

"As far as being inducted into the athletic hall of fame, it is an absolute blessing and I can't wait to be back up there in a few weeks!" said Nohara. "My athletic achievements definitely could not have happened without my family, coaches, teammates and our Aggie fans. I am thrilled and honored to be inducted into the US Bank/NM State Athletics Hall of Fame!"

Stutzman, formerly Pierce, is one of three Aggie volleyball players to have her number retired in the Pan American Center. Over 30 years have passed since she graced the court for NM State, but her prowess still stands in the record books. Stutzman is fourth all-time in kills for the Aggies with 1,311 kills while her 149 service aces ranks her second. Her 455 kills as a sophomore (1984) still ranks eighth all-time on the single-season list while the 48 service aces her junior year is fifth-best in a single-season for NM State. The 455 kills her sophomore year earned her Second-Team All-High Country Athletic Conference. The outside hitter was also a star in the classroom, earning HCAC All-Academics all four years as part of the then-Roadrunner volleyball team.

"It is a great honor to be inducted into the US Bank/NM State Athletics Hall of Fame," commented Stutzman. "My experiences at New Mexico State University still shape my life. I will be forever grateful for the scholarship that paid for my degree. I went on to use that degree to become a high school math teacher and a volleyball coach. I had great success in my career and attribute that to the great foundation I received at NMSU."