LAS CRUCES, New Mexico Former NM State football coach Jim Hess passed away Saturday, Oct. 2, it was announced by his family.
For seven seasons, Hess held the title of head coach for the Aggies and in 1992 led the program to its first winning season since 1978 by posting a 6-5 mark.
Through his seven-year run in charge of the Aggies, the graduate of Southeastern Oklahoma State University racked up 22 victories which are the sixth-most by any Aggie head coach in program history.
Hess’ efforts in the Aggies’ 1992 campaign yielded Big West Conference Coach of the Year honors for NM State’s leader. In the 1993 season, Hess led the Aggies to a 5-6 record which included a 4-2 mark in Big West Conference action.
NM State’s Big West Conference record was the program’s first winning record in conference action since the 1978 season when the squad put up a 5-1 showing in Missouri Valley Conference tilts.
Prior to signing on with the Aggies ahead of their 1990 season, Hess had constructed a highly-successful coaching career in the state of Texas.
For an eight-year span in the 1970s and 1980s, Hess led Angelo State to the highest of highs in the NAIA ranks. Under Hess’ direction, Angelo State won the 1978 NAIA Division I National Championship and made a total of three appearances in the NAIA Division I playoffs.
From there, Hess headed to Nacogdoches, Texas, where he helped SFA successfully transition from an NAIA program to an NCAA Division I FCS club. Through his seven seasons leading SFA, the Lumberjacks captured a Gulf Star Conference (NCAA Division II) title in 1985 before making the program’s first appearance in the FCS (then called the NCAA I-AA) playoffs in 1989.