Writer: D'Lyn Ford
LAS CRUCES - New Mexico State University's first-ever rodeo coach, Jim Dewey Brown, began work in August.
Brown, whose position was funded by a special appropriation from the state legislature, hopes to bring a winning combination of athletic and academic success to the university's rodeo team and 4-H rodeo programs.
"We want to let rodeo athletes know that in New Mexico, we're the school to go to, he said. "Starting this year, we have the talent to be the team to beat in the Grand Canyon region."
The Southwest region director of saddle bronc riding from 1999 to 2000, Brown competed twice at the College National Finals Rodeo. He competes as a saddle bronc rider in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
Honored as an Academic All-Star by the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association in 2000, Brown also emphasizes success in the classroom. "We want students to set goals, stay focused and finish their academic careers," he said. "We want them to use their educations, because most can't rodeo forever."
Brown earned a bachelor's degree in animal science and a master's degree in agriculture, both from Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, which bills itself as the "Cowboy Capital of the World."
A graduate of Carrizozo High School, Brown grew up working on the Mendiburu Ranch in Bingham, where his father is the manager.
Fittingly, he met his future wife, Shawnna Sherrie Brown, at the New Mexico high school rodeo finals. "She was the state rodeo queen," he said. "I took one look at her and thought I had no chance. But the next year she came and introduced herself to me." The Browns have a 6-month-old daughter, Elise.
Brown's interest in teaching also dates back to high school, when he enjoyed helping special education students learn how to snow ski. Though he originally planned to teach math, he became interested in coaching rodeo athletes after serving as a student worker and assistant coach at Tarleton with respected coach Bob Doty.
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