SAN ANGELO – Angelo State University officially announced the establishment of the ASU Rodeo Team Friday, which is now recruiting new student members to begin practicing this fall to compete on the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) circuit.
"University leadership made the decision to establish the ASU Rodeo Team after nearly a year of discussions and community planning," said Dr. Don Topliff, provost and vice president for academic affairs. "This is rodeo country, and the San Angelo PRCA Rodeo is one of the top rodeos in the nation, so a collegiate program serving the region and beyond is a natural fit."
The ASU Rodeo Team will compete in the NIRA Southwest Region. Men will compete in saddle bronc riding, bareback bronc riding, bull riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling and team roping. Women will compete in barrel racing, breakaway roping and goat tying. The Southwest Region is currently made up of 17 rodeo teams at colleges and universities in Texas and New Mexico, including about 750 student competitors.
"The ASU Rodeo Team will make Angelo State a destination that attracts a whole new group of students," said ASU President Ronnie Hawkins Jr. "This will enhance our student body while also adding value to our local and area communities. Rams and Rambelles fans will have another outstanding team to support and cheer for, and ASU Rodeo Team members will further advance Angelo State's reputation and impact throughout the region."
A search for the ASU rodeo coach is underway and expected to be completed soon. Scholarships through Angelo State's extensive scholarship endowments will be available, and scholarships dedicated to rodeo students will be developed over the coming years.
Following right on the heels of the ASU Rodeo Team announcement is "ASU Day at the Rodeo" on Saturday, April 1, at the San Angelo Fairgrounds. ASU students, faculty and staff will enjoy free admission to the Midway by showing their campus ID, and the rodeo performances will have a definite ASU flavor and presence.