The Daily Aggie :: 07/12/10

News is a little scarce as we make our way through the dog days of summer but here are a couple links to check out:

Matt Hinton aka Dr. Saturday previews the 2010 WAC football season and projects the Aggies to an 8th place finish.

Dave at The WAC Softball Blog reports on one of the Aggies' 2012 recruits, Karysta Donisthorpe. Donisthorpe earned National Fastpitch Coaches Association High School All-West Region honors this season in addition to Gatorade New Mexico Softball Player of the Year honors.

Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News talks about Stephanie Ziegler's increased role this coming season for the Aggie volleyball team.

Jason Groves also talks about former Aggie hoopster Justin Hawkins and his desire to give back to the Las Cruces community.

Finally, Aggie head men's basketball coach Marvin Menzies has announced some coaching staff changes. With the departure of Chris Pompey, Gerald Lewis has been promoted to an assistant position and former Aggie and fan favorite Trei Steward is returning to the Aggie bench.

Menzies Announces Staff Changes; Lewis Promoted, Steward Returning To Aggie Staff

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - With staff departures, New Mexico State men’s basketball head coach Marvin Menzies has shuffled the deck. He promoted Gerald Lewis to assistant coach and brought back former Aggie Trei Steward as the strength and conditioning coach.

Lewis enters his fourth year with the Aggies and was the coordinator of player development for the previous three seasons.

"The continuity of transitioning from losing (assistant) coach (Chris) Pompey to hiring Gerald Lewis was a no-brainer after going through the interviewing process," Menzies said. "Gerald's professional playing experience along with his familiarity with NM State makes a perfect fit going forward."

Steward returns to NM State after a year away from the program. He was a center for the Aggies from 2006-08 and was a graduate assistant in 2008-09.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 07/09/10

Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News reported yesterday on his blog that the Aggie men's basketball team has entered a contract to play a home-and-home series with the University of Arizona Wildcats beginning this season. According to his article in today's Sun-News, the first game of the series will be played in Tucson this season meaning the Aggies will get the U of A in the Pan Am in the 2011-2012 season (the Aggies will also get a home game with Pacific in return for last season's Bracketbusters trip to Stockton, Calif.)

The Aggies' non-conference schedule this season is shaping up to be an exciting one with St. Mary's, UTEP and UNM and a to-be-determined Bracketbusters opponent all coming to the Pan Am as well as games against UMass and either Bradley or Southern Call in the Naismith Hall of Fame Tip-Off and now the announcement of the game against Arizona.

Obviously we don't know the home-and-home agreement came about but it's nice to see a BCS level program, particularly one with the history and tradition of the U of A, agree to a home-and-home series with a mid-major (North Carolina did the same for Nevada the past two seasons) . Those types of series are very few and far between and it certainly can't have hurt that the Wildcats' head coach, Sean Miller, spent five seasons as the head coach and three more seasons as an assistant at a mid-major program (albeit a very high-level mid-major in Xavier) and can empathize with the uphill battle that mid-major coaches have when trying to put together a schedule.

On to today's links...  Continue Reading This Post >>

Madigan Named Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-American Scholar

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The 2010 WAC Player of the Year Tim Madigan helped lead the New Mexico State men’s golf team to a third straight WAC title this past season. His countless hours of practice on the course paid off for Madigan in 2010 but his tireless commitment in the classroom has now been recognized as well. Madigan was named a Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-American Scholar by the Golf Coaches Association of America, Thursday, July 8.
In 2009-10, Madigan earned first team All-WAC and WAC Player of the Year honors as he won the 2010 WAC Championships individual title with a three round score of 14-under par, 202 (64-68-70). He carded a final round score of 2-under par, 70. The next closest player in the field was Mark Hubbard of San Jose State and Scott Smith of Nevada at 6-under par. In mid-June, Madigan was named an Academic All-WAC selection as well. Madigan tallied a 71.60 stroke per round average on the season.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 07/07/10

We just have a few links for you to check out to catch up on your summer reading.

Aggie men's basketball coach Marvin Menzies is in Germany to check out the FIBA Under 17 World Championships in hopes of finding future Aggies.

4th and 18 previewed the 2010 WAC football season and picked the Aggies to finish dead last.

The Mountain West Connection previews the Aggie football team, which is San Diego State's first game.

Teddy Feinberg of the Las Cruces Sun-News talks about the verbal commitment from running back Brandon Betancourt.

Don Tyler Jr., a linebacker at Fairfax H.S. in southern California tweeted that he received a scholarship offer from the Aggies for the 2011 season. Obviously we won't know if this is accurate or not until the 2011 class is announced.

New Mexico State has announced the home promotions for the upcoming 2010 football season. The Tough Enough To Wear Pink game will be October 9th against in-state rival New Mexico and Homecoming is October 30th versus San Jose State.

Irv Moss of The Denver Post confirms that Denver University is one of the schools the WAC has considered adding, despite not playing football.

The New Mexico State athletic website has updates on Aggie baseball players Ryan Aguayo and Zac Fisher.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Three NM State Women’s Golfers Named To NGCA All-American Scholar Team

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

CORAL SPRINGS, FL - Three New Mexico State women's golfers were named to the All-American Scholar team selected by the National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA), Monday, July 5.

It is the third consecutive All-American Scholar selection for Maggie Murphy, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in Community Health this past May. Murphy, who played 17 rounds for the Aggies in the 2009-10 season, carded an average score of 80.33. With a 3.71 grade point average, Murphy was able to find balance between academics and athletics.

"Maggie (Murphy) is the kind of student-athlete any coach would want on their team," head coach Paul Brilliant said. "She put forth every effort to do as well, if not better, in the classroom as on the course. Maggie is the type of student-athlete that went the extra mile."  Continue Reading This Post >> Interview With Don Ball interviewed retiring Aggie men's and women's tennis coach Don Ball and talked about his coaching career, changes he's seen at NM State during his tenure, some of his favorite memories and advice for kids wishing to have a career in coaching. Congratulations on your retirement.
Don Ball: Thank you. I will definitely miss working with the teams but there's part of the job that's kind of a pain in the neck. The paperwork. That I won't miss a bit. How was collegiate tennis changed over the course of your coaching career?
DB: The game has changed some but it's probably changed less than NMSU. The rackets have definitely made an impact. You can hit the ball much harder with less effort and I think the men's game, the talent level near the top is pretty much the same as when I started. The talent level at the middle and the bottom is much better currently. That makes it really really difficult to recruit. When I first started out, as a mid-major we used to go after the international players on a regular basis because the best U.S. juniors had no interest in New Mexico State, or any mid-major but especially New Mexico. They didn't know where it was so they weren't too excited about coming here. So we ended up recruiting internationally to a pretty serious extent when we could. We either did in-state or internationally. For the first four or five years I was here, that was what we did. And as time went on, now the best schools in the country are going international and we still have trouble attracting U.S. kids. We have a pretty good network of recruiting and have kept our teams at a very high level.

NMSU has changed a lot and the program has changed a lot. When I got here I think each team had two scholarships. That's a lot under the NCAA limit which for the women is eight full and for the men is four and a half. So you can see that we played with one arm behind our back for at least eight or 10 years at the beginning of my career here. We've been very fortunate with McKinley Boston's arrival, we've ended up getting more and more money so that we're reasonably well funded. I'd say for a mid-major, we can't complain. We've been taken care of very well. Our facility is one of the best in the country and that was something we kind of fell into. I was in the right place in the right time and I talked to the right people and amazing things happened there.

That's the key thing. The facility has changed. When I got here we had 20 courts, 10 of them were a skateboard park basically and the other 10, it was a public facility. We were competing with everybody in Las Cruces for court time. They had the most play in town, there's no question about it. In two or three years I was able to get it a little more exclusive in the fact that we had a membership. We actually had a building built and we were able to monitor the courts on a full-time basis. We got more access for the students and faculty and of course for the teams and limited some of the outside play and those who did play had to pay. That was probably the biggest thing that happened. And as we went along there, students decided they needed more parking about five or six years ago. They wanted our tennis facility. That's another one of those deals that you can't pass up. When the students want to come in and buy your facility and build you a new one. And they did and we were real lucky on that deal. We were able to build 12 fantastic courts with lights and a building. It's easily one of the finest facilities in the country.  Continue Reading This Post >> Interview With WAC Commissioner Karl Benson What are you, the University Presidents and ADs looking for in a university when looking at expansion, what are the core criteria, for example enrollment size, public or private institution, academic status (as we've seen with the Pac 10 and Big 10), and athletically are there certain sports do they need to field beyond the minimum requirement for Division I status?
Karl Benson: Conference affiliation is always going to be based on a combination of academic and athletic fit and I don't know if you can put more priority on one over the other. I think you also have to factor in geography and as we go through this next phase of identifying potential members of the WAC, we'll take into consideration all of those, the academics, the athletics, the geography, the demographics, the media value. All of those will be factored in. Are there any minimum requirements in any or all of those areas?
KB: The only current sports sponsorship requirements are men's and women's basketball, football and women's volleyball.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Vargas, Fernandez Take Over Aggie Tennis

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State Athletics Director Dr. McKinley Boston didn’t have far to search for the new tennis coaches. Longtime tennis assistant coaches Carlos Vargas and Ivan Fernandez are tasked with leading the Aggies following Don Ball’s retirement.

Vargas becomes the new men’s head coach after he spent the previous 19 seasons as an assistant while Fernandez is in charge as the women’s head coach following his eighth season with the Aggies.

“Being the head coach has always been my goal,” Vargas said. “I’m thankful to coach Ball for giving me the opportunity to work with him and turning my life passion of playing tennis into a coaching career. I’m looking forward to being in charge of the men’s team.”  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 06/29/10 :: WAC Not Expanding For Now

The WAC released a statement just a little while ago stating that the league will not be expanding until at least July 1, 2012 and will play the 2011-2012 athletic season as an eight team league (football, men's and women's basketball, volleyball, etc...)

Here is the statement from the WAC:

"The WAC and its eight member schools remain well positioned for the future," said Benson. "Over the past few weeks, the WAC's Board of Directors and athletics directors have explored several membership options. We believe it is in the best interest of the WAC to operate as an eight-team league for the 2011-12 season. We will now take several months to 'drill down' on the various membership options before making any decisions that would impact the 2012-13 season."

"Throughout its history and since its inception in 1962, the WAC has operated very successfully as an 8-team, 9-team and 10-team league. Each of those models have their advantages and all will be looked at very closely. Also, a 12-team league that would allow the WAC to split into divisions and conduct a football championship game will be evaluated."

"The future for the WAC is very bright, and we will continue to provide our student-athletes with the opportunities to compete on both the regional and national stages in all of our sports."

Matt James of the Fresno Bee pointed out that Fresno State plays at Hawai'i in 2011, as do the Aggies. This is notable since with no expansion coming, that leaves an empty slot in the schedule and a non-conference game to fill it with. It also means that the Aggies (and Bulldogs and any other WAC team scheduled to play at Hawai'i in 2011) could potentially add two non-conference games since teams traveling to Hawai'i are granted a 13th game.