New Mexico State University was founded in 1888, but back then it was known as Las Cruces College – which, incidentally, was several years before the territory was granted statehood in 1912. In 1889, the legislature authorized the construction of an agricultural college in the same area, and it was known as the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. This institution merged with Las Cruces College, and after decades of growth, the school was renamed the New Mexico State University.
The Aggies are headed to the 2018 NCAA Tournament where they hope to snag their first NCAA championship trophy. Let’s take a look through NMSU’s history and check out how their logo has changed over time.
The Aggies’ basketball program got its start in the early part of the 20th century. Overall, the team hasn’t won a national championship (yet) and appeared in one Final Four in 1970 under head coach Lou Henson. Henson led the team for nine seasons, and six of those saw them head into tournament play. They reached the Sweet Sixteen in 1992 under coach Neil McCarthy, who led the team to the tournament five times over his 12-year tenure.
The Aggies are currently marshaled by head coach Chris Jans in his first season coaching the team. This 2018 team has performed really well, with a 28-5 overall record and a 12-2 record in the WAC.
— NM State MBB (@NMStateMBB) March 11, 2018
New Mexico State’s athletic teams are named the Aggies due to the school’s agricultural beginnings and pride in the area’s actions to help forge a nation’s journey out west. However, there is a different story tied to the school’s mascot, Pistol Pete. As the story goes, Frank “Pistol Pete” Eaton was hell-bent on revenge on the people who murdered his father in New Mexico. The university adopted this persona, and Pistol Pete does his job whipping fans into frenzy at game time. It’s no surprise this beloved mascot appears in a few Aggies logos. Let’s check them out.
The Aggies logo from this period is very solid and basic. A stacked black “N” and “M” are outlined in white and appear above the word “State.” The whole logo is over a crimson background.
In 2006, there is an effort to redesign the university’s mascot: A new Pistol Pete is unveiled to the student body. This Pete is sans pistols and instead twirls a lasso. This change is reflected in the school logo. It depicts a fierce cowboy with a hat, mustache, and bandana. He’s got that lasso in action above his head. Below, “Aggies” and “New Mexico State” appear.
Just one year later, the university gives Pistol Pete his pistols back, which is unsurprising due to the controversy of removing them in the first place. Likewise, his gunslinging ways return to the logo as well. This rendition of the logo, which remains NMSU’s logo, depicts Pete brandishing a gun in each hand. He still sports the cowboy hat, mustache, and bandana, and he now wears a red vest, upon where “NM State” is written.
Are you pumped to see your Aggies in the dance this spring? Make sure you’re wearing the right garb by heading to Fanatics.