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NMSU Announces New Hall of Famers

NMSU Announces New Hall of Famers
Sports
Friday, January 28, 2011 - 12:23pm

The New Mexico State Athletics Department together with First Community Bank announced Friday, January 28, that former softball standout Danny Dunn, Aggie football star J.W. Witt and longtime team physician Dr. William T. Baker, D.O., P.A. will be inducted into the First Community Bank/NM State Athletics Hall of Fame.

The ceremony is set to take place at halftime of the men's basketball game, March 5 against Nevada in Las Cruces. The NM State Hall of Fame, which is located in the Pan American Center, honors outstanding student-athletes, coaches, teams and benefactors from Aggie past.

For over three decades, Dr. William T. Baker, D.O., P.A. has been a staple on the sidelines at NM State Athletics events as the Aggies’ team physician, while also being a huge part of the medical community in Las Cruces. Since 1990, Dr. Baker has provided outstanding medical care to countless student-athletes coaches and athletic staff members of NMSU. He has given many hours of his time healing the sick and injured. His calm and comforting way has aided many in pain. His tireless dedication has directly contributed to the success of many Aggie athletes and their teams.

After graduating from Mayfield High School in 1969, Dr. Baker attended the University of New Mexico, earning a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1973. Following his time in Albuquerque, Baker came back to Las Cruces and received a master’s degree in microbiology from New Mexico State in 1975.

He then ventured to Kansas City College of Osteopathic Medicine, graduating in 1979. He served as an intern at the Normandy Osteopathic Hospitals in 1979 and 1980 and was board certified by the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians in 1993. In 1980, Baker returned to Las Cruces and opened a private practice, which he still has today.

In addition to his private practice, Baker has held several positions in the medical field in the Las Cruces and Doña Ana County during that past 30-plus years. From 1980-90, he was a member of the New Mexico Medical Review Board, while also holding a position as President of the New Mexico Osteopathic Medical Association from 1986-87. Baker was also Chief of Staff at Memorial Medical Center in 1990. Currently, Baker works in the Dona Ana County Coroner, Office of the Medical Investigator and as Medical Director at Mesilla Valley Hospice.

Baker has also been appointed to the medical staffs at both hospitals in Las Cruces, holding a position at Memorial Medical since 1980 and at Mountain View Regional since 2002.

In addition, Baker is also a member of several medical organizations including the American Osteopathic Association, the New Mexico Osteopathic Association, the American College of Family Physicians, the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

Baker is a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and Single Action Shooting Association, as he enjoys flying planes and competing in single action shooting competitions in his free time. Baker resides in Las Cruces with his wife, Susan. They three children, Matt, Katie and Zach.

New Mexico State standout pitcher Danny Dunn was a member of the Aggie softball from 1994-97.

Dunn began her career as an Aggie in 1994, starting 33 games, while throwing 30 complete games that season. She had an ERA of 2.36 with 61 strikeouts, as well as four shutouts. During that year, Dunn tried out for the U.S. Olympic softball team where she made it to the last tryout. As a freshman, Dunn was named the team’s MVP.

Following the 1994 season Dunn had knee surgery and spent much of the 1995 season recovering.

In 1996, Dunn came back strong and became the first pitcher in school history to record a 20-win season. She also threw 30 complete games and pitched 10 shutouts. Dunn was selected to the first team All-Big West Conference and to the all-tournament team.

In Dunn’s senior year, she recorded an ERA of 0.65, placing her first in the Big West Conference and fifth in the nation. She tossed 30 complete games, while recording her second straight season with 20 wins and 11 shutouts. Dunn also posted 10 victories over top-25 teams.

During the 1997 season, Dunn was an All-America candidate and was selected first team all-Big West Conference, while earning Big West Co-Pitcher of the Year honors. She was also selected to the all-tournament team and was second team NCAA All-Region. Dunn was named MVP of the Troy Cox Tournament that season as well.

Dunn won 19 of her final 25 games. She pitched 59 2/3 innings with no runs during that stretch and limited her opponents’ offenses to a .177 batting average. She also struck out 179 batters in 226 innings of play. Dunn had a career record of 462 strikeouts.

Dunn was known as NM State’s ‘pitching ace.’ She graduated holding seven school pitching records, and still holds five of the records today. Dunn holds the record for most career appearances with 140, most career starts with 114 and most career wins with 58. Dunn also holds the record for most career innings pitched with 820 and most career complete games pitched with 103. Dunn is second in school history for single-season wins, single-season shutouts, career shutouts and career strikeouts.

After graduating from NM State, Dunn went on to play softball professionally in Europe, pitching in Massa, Italy in 1997. Dunn also helped as an assistant pitching coach for the Aggies in 1998.

In 2003, Dunn coached the Conifer High School Lobos to a 4A Colorado State Championship and was named Coach of the Year.

Dunn is currently a sixth grade teacher at Fairmont Elementary school in Denver, and has two children: Shayne and Trey.

J.W. Witt played for New Mexico State from 1958-62 while he was earning his bachelor’s degree in health and physical education.

Witt played all four years as a starting guard for the Aggies. In 1960, Witt helped the team to New Mexico State’s only undefeated season with an 11-0 record, as the Aggies became the Sun Bowl Champions after beating Utah State 20-13.

During his time as an Aggie, Witt helped his team to a career record of 28-13-1. He was an All-Border Conference selection and won first team, second team and honorable mention honors during his time at NM State.

Witt is an Amarillo, Texas, native where he attended Amarillo High School. During his time at Amarillo High School, Witt was a captain for the football team. He was an offensive and defensive starter for all four years. He played in the district all-star game and was chosen as one of ‘Red Grange Picks 100 Best Players National’ players. Witt received all-district all four years and all-state for two years. He was on the All-Sandie Team of 1950-1959, an All-West Texas team member and Panhandle All-State.

After graduating from New Mexico State, Witt went on to earn his master’s degree in administrative supervision/mid-management at Stephen F. Austin State University.

Witt is a retired high school principal and retired administrator from Midland College. During his time as an administrator at Midland College, the campus was recognized for their academics several times. He was named Outstanding Principal of Texas, Region Seven Principal of the Year and Region 18 Administrator of the Year.

He coached high school football, basketball, track and wrestling over a 20-year period. During his time as a coach, he acquired four district championships.

Witt currently resides in Mineola, Texas with his wife, Yvonell. He has two children: Todd and Chris Witt. He coaches Peewee football and basketball.


 

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