NM State and US Bank to Honor Four Aggie Legendary Coaches
New Mexico State Athletics Director Dr. McKinley Boston, along with the NM State Hall of Fame Committee and title sponsor US Bank, announced the 2013 US Bank/NM State Hall of Fame honorees today. This year the Aggies will honor four current hall of fame members and legendary NM State coaches in Lou Henson, Warren Woodson, Presley Askew and Gerald ‘Jerry’ Hines.
Presley Askew -
Askew served in the NM State athletics department for 12 years from 1953-1965, as head coach of both the basketball and baseball teams. On the basketball court, he led NM State to a Border Conference Championship in 1959-60 and a share of two other titles (58-59 & 60-61) and two appearances in the NCAA Tournament (58-59 & 59-60).
A member of the Helms Baseball Hall of Fame, Askew was also a recipient of the National Association of Basketball Coaches Merit award and NCABC Honor Award. Askew coached two of NM State's most famous student-athletes who went on to record-setting coaching careers; Lou Henson and Gary Ward.
Askew coached the Aggie men's basketball team from 1953-1965 with an overall record of 135-146. His most wins in one season came during the 1959-60 season as the team went 20-7, losing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Oregon.
Presley Askew Field was dedicated during homecoming ceremonies on Nov. 14, 1981, in honor of the former Aggie baseball and basketball coach.
Askew graduated from Southeastern Oklahoma in 1930. He was born in Red Oak, Okla., in 1909 and died in 1994. Askew is still revered as one of the greatest coaches in Aggie history.
Warren Woodson –
Woodson is the most accomplished coach in the history of New Mexico State football. In his 10 years as head coach (1958-67), Woodson collected a record of 63-36-3, including a perfect 11-0 season in 1960, as well as a Border Conference Championship. He also led the Aggies to back-to-back Sun Bowl appearances in 1959 and 1960, defeating North Texas State 28-8 in 1959 and Utah State 20-13 in 1960.
Woodson was a very notable American football coach. He was inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1989. His career record at four-year colleges stands 203-95-14 (.673) in 31 seasons, but he won an additional 52 games in junior college and 18 in high school.
Woodson received a degree from Baylor University in 1924, majoring in Bible and history, and earned a degree from Springfield College in 1926, majoring in physical education. He coached four sports at Texarkana College 1927-34 and, in three of the same years also coached three sports at a nearby high school. He then moved on to Conway Teachers College (now University of Central Arkansas) from 1935-1940. In his second year, his team had a perfect 8-0 season. Woodson accepted the head coaching job at Hardin-Simmons University in 1941, where his 1942 team went 8-0-1.
During World War II, Woodson served for three years as a lieutenant commander in the United States Navy. The Hardin-Simmons football program was canceled from 1943-1945. After Woodson returned, his 1946 team went unbeaten with an 11-0 record. His 1948 team was in three bowls - the Grape Bowl, in Dec. 4, a 35-35 tie with College of the Pacific; the Shrine Bowl, Dec. 18, a 40-12 victory over Ouachita Baptist and the Camellia Bowl, Dec. 30, a 49-12 victory over Wichita.
Woodson coached at the University of Arizona, 1952-56, and New Mexico State, 1958-67. His 1960 team went 11-0. He was head coach at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, 1972-73, and later was consultant at New Mexico Highlands.
Gerald ‘Jerry’ Hines –
Hines enrolled at New Mexico A&M in 1922 and majored in horticulture. His real interest continued to be athletics. Hines captained the basketball team and was quarterback in football under the fine Aggie coach Robert ‘Cap’ Brown. He was a four-year letterman in both sports. From 1922-26, Aggie basketball went 48-31, football 20-6-1.
Graduating in 1926, Hines was slated to go to South America with an international agricultural company. Instead, he received and accepted an offer to become head basketball and football coach at Las Cruces High. He coached the Bulldogs until summer 1929 when he agreed to return to his alma mater at head basketball and football coach, adding the duties of athletic director the following year.
Hines’ teams started slowly in the newly formed Border Conference. Football was 20-20-4 over the period 1929-33 with basketball at 47-58 from 1930-34. With local support, better facilities, and recruiting gradually improving, Aggie athletics soon showed a resurgence. Between 1934 and 1938, football was 31-10-6, and from 1935 to 1940, the basketball team went 102 and 36. The football team was invited to the first Sun Bowl in 1936 where they tied the powerful Hardin-Simmons Cowboys 14-14.
But it was basketball that really took off. Between 1935 and 1940, the Aggies were 102-36, with appearances in the National AAU Tournament in Denver in 1936 and 1937, the NAIB Tournament in Kansas City in 1938; and in 1939, the prestigious NIT Tournament in Madison Square Garden. Over that span, the Aggies won three Border Conference Championships and tied for a fourth. They defeated UNM 19 times in a row.
Although he returned to campus briefly as basketball coach in 1946, World War II effectively brought an early end to Hines’ coaching career. As battery commander of the 120th Combat Engineers, a New Mexico National Guard unit assigned to the 45th Infantry Division, Hines and a number of Las Cruces men were among the first called to military duty in September 1940. They served in Africa, Sicily, and Italy where Hines was stricken with a heart condition. He returned to the States in 1945 for limited duty as athletics officer at Ft. Bliss.
Hines ended his coaching career at NMSU with records of 54-36-10 in football, and 157-108 in basketball. He passed away in Albuquerque in 1963 at age 59, the victim of a heart attack. Coach Hines entered the NMSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1970 and will be inducted into the Aggie Basketball Ring of Honor along with ex-players Jimmy Collins and John Williamson on January 31, 2009.
Lou Henson –
Former New Mexico State men’s basketball and Hall of Fame head coach Lou Henson led the Aggies for 17 years when he retired in 2005. He is NMSU’s all-time winningest coach with 289 wins and he is seventh all-time in career Division I wins with 779.
Henson was named a 2007 New Mexico Distinguished Public Service Award recipient. The honor “recognizes unusual contributions to the public service and to the improvement of government at all levels by both government employees and private citizens.”
In 2008, he was also one of the inaugural inductees in the NMSU men’s basketball Ring of Honor. The National Basketball Coaches Association also honored Henson with the Hillyard Golden Anniversary Award at the 2008 NCAA Final Four in San Antonio, Texas.
Henson was a leader for the Aggies on and off the court. Henson along with his wife, Mary, demonstrated their commitment to academics and competitive excellence at NMSU in February 2002, when the Henson family made a generous contribution in the amount of $100,000 to help establish the Lou and Mary Henson Endowment Scholarship Fund, in memory of their late son, Lou, Jr. The fund was designed to support deserving student-athletes at NMSU for their academic and athletic achievements.
Henson, a 41-year veteran of the game is the all-time winningest coach at two Division I schools (NMSU and Illinois). He is currently third all-time in games coached with 1,191 and was the 15th fastest coach in history to reach 700 wins. Henson ranks 12th all-time in most Division I 20-win seasons with 20 and recorded nine consecutive 20-win seasons.
The Okay, Okla., native is one of only 11 coaches to take two different schools to the Final Four. During his Aggie career, Henson’s teams made 19 NCAA appearances, four NIT appearances, won two conference championships and produced five all-Americans. He is a member of the New Mexico State, Illinois and Hardin-Simmons Hall of Fames. In 2002, New Mexico State honored Henson by naming the Pan American Center’s parquet floor ‘Lou Henson Court.’
The official induction ceremony will be held at halftime of the NM State versus UT-Arlington men's basketball game on March 9, at the Pan American Center.
The US Bank/NM State Athletics Hall of Fame seeks to recognize New Mexico State University student-athletes, coaches, special benefactors and teams who have distinguished themselves in the field of athletics, either by virtue of their performance on athletic teams representing the university, or by meritorious efforts on behalf of athletics. The hall of fame is maintained thanks to the generous support of US Bank.