Aragon is NIRA Coach of the Year |

Aragon is NIRA Coach of the Year

CJ Aragon, coach of the Mesalands Community College of Tucumcari, NM, was named as the 2009 Coach of the Year for the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA). Aragon also serves as faculty director for the Grand Canyon Region. He has been the three-time coach of the year for the region.

Aragon began his coaching career at Mesaland Community College during the fall of 2007. Since then, his students have improved in both the academic and rodeo arena. In three years, they have set the team GPA record three times and have corralled seven Academic All-Americans.

This year the team had seven qualifiers at the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR). It is the greatest number of students from the school who have qualified.

“I’ve got a pretty unique group of kids,” Aragon said. “I’m going to keep going, keep trying to get better and keep trying to graduate all of our kids.”

Aragon said the award, which was announced at the College National Finals Rodeo, “pretty humbling.”

Aragon grew up in Kamiah, Idaho. While in high school, Aragon and his brother won the 1993 Idaho state team roping championship. After high school, he started at Lewis Clark State College on a rodeo scholarship and then transferred to New Mexico State University where he received a degree in journalism. While at New Mexico State University, he was the 1998 NIRA reserve champion in steer wrestling.

After graduation, he competed in the Turquoise Circuit of the PRCA where he had 11 qualifications to the circuit finals and one trip to the Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo.

Aragon has worked for several publications as a writer including Super Looper and The All-Around.

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