New Mexico State football kicks off the season this week against Texas. New head coach Doug Martin posted a message telling Aggie fans this team will "play hard on every play".
Since taking over as head coach of your New Mexico State Aggie football team in January 2013, one of my main focuses for this team has been to get out into the community we represent. Our football team has already given more than 600 hours of community service back to Las Cruces in the form of youth camps and clinics, Boys & Girls Club participation, local church events, local elementary and middle school events and La Casa Girls Night Out, just to name a few.
Many of these student-athletes are from right here in Las Cruces, including local kids like Matt Ramondo, Xavier Hall, Brandon Betancourt, Zachery Daugherty and Zachery Baker. Currently our 2013 roster has 15 players from the State of New Mexico and b.y the end of fall camp that number will be close to double. Getting local players from Las Cruces and the state is important to me and to this program. We want to keep these quality athletes in-state to help us build a successful program and to give back to the community that supports us, both on the field and off.
This fall, we invite you to become part of our community in the stands at Aggie Memorial Stadium. Come out and support the local kids you watched during their high school career, while also supporting the players from across the country. Maybe you’ve even met some of these fine student-athletes off the field; now’s your chance to see what they can do on the field.
We have a very exciting seven-game home schedule for you in 2013, highlighted by two BCS teams coming to Las Cruces - Minnesota from the Big Ten and Boston College from the ACC. Amazingly, this is the first time either a Big Ten team or an ACC team has come to Las Cruces. It’s also the first time two BCS teams have come to Las Cruces in the same season. Add these games against teams from two of the nation’s top conferences to contests against San Diego State, Abilene Christian, Idaho, Rice and I-10 rival UTEP, and you get the best home schedule in program history. I am extremely excited about this home schedule, and I’m confident that we can compete with every team on our home slate.
Season tickets are on sale now and starting at just $49 a season ticket you can experience all seven games. That’s only $7 a game, which is comparable to the cost of a local high school game at $5 a ticket. Some of the same players you’ll be seeing on our field in 2013 will be playing in the NFL in 2014, where the cheapest single-game tickets cost more than twice our price for an entire season of action.
I can promise you there is nothing like the experience of college football. From the hard hits and breakaway runs on the field to the roar of the fans and even the frenzied mascot action, there’s a reason Saturdays are special in every college town across America - including Las Cruces.
Of course, it’s even more fun when your team wins, and it’s true that since 1960 New Mexico State has experienced only nine winning seasons. By becoming a part of the Aggie community at our games, you can help turn that record around and establish a consistent winning program.
This program reminds me a lot of East Carolina, where I was a member of the coaching staff from 1992-2006. The Pirates had been to just six bowl games in their school’s history, prior to 1992. The big turnaround for the program came from an increase in fan support and season ticket holders. Since 1992, East Carolina has participated in 11 bowl games.
Davon House, former NM State football player and currently a cornerback for the Green Bay Packers, agrees that fan support makes all the difference to players on and off the field: “When I played at New Mexico State, having a big crowd in the stands was huge. I fed off the crowd and the louder the better. I think you see the impact it can make for a team not only in college but even at the professional level. The players can feel the crowd’s excitement and energy. That’s something I think Aggie fans can do for this team to help turn this program in the right direction.”
As your new head coach, I promise that we will play hard on every play. Our offense will play fast, our defense will create turnovers, and our special teams will keep our opponents on their toes. I have been blessed with a great coaching staff and an administration that has provided the resources we need to win. The pathway to a bowl game has already begun, and I hope that you will join us and invite your family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances to be part of the Aggie football family, just as Aggie football is a part of the Las Cruces community. Aggie Up.