Las Cruces, N.M. -- The New Mexico State Athletics Department announced Friday that the undefeated 1960 Aggie football team will be inducted as the newest members of the First Community Bank/ NMSU Athletics Hall of Fame. The ceremony will take place at halftime of the men’s basketball game on Feb., 14 against Fresno State.
This will be the fifth team to be inducted into the hall of fame, as the 1960 team joins the 1951-52, 1938-39 & 1969-70 men’s basketball teams, as well as the 1985-86 women’s golf team. Seven members of the 1960 football team are also members of the hall of fame as individuals.
The 1960 Aggie football team is the only squad in school history to go undefeated with a mark of 11-0, capping off the season with a 20-13 win over Utah State in the 1960 Sun Bowl. This was the Aggies last bowl appearance.
Besides holding the longest winning streak in the nation at the time (15 games) the 1960 Aggies led the nation in total offense (419.6 ypg) and scoring (37.4 ppg). They were third in the nation in rushing (263.9) and sixth in passing (155.7). Head coach Warren Woodson was named Coach of the Year by the American Coaches Association, while Pervis Atkins and Bob Gaiters were named all-America picks. Six Aggies were also named all-Border Conference selections, including Charley Johnson, E.A. Simms, Jimmy Campbell, Bob Kelly, Atkins and Gaiters.
1960 Season Recap -
NMSU’s 1960 season opener against the University of Mexico was definitely an indicator of the success that was to come. The Aggies pummeled the Pumas, 41-0, which included a pair of 25-yard and 10-yard running touchdowns by Gaiters, along with two touchdown receptions from Kelley. Atkins was credited with one of the last two scores of the game after he broke for an 86-yard touchdown run and Gonzalez capped off the night with a one-yard drive into the end zone. The Aggies jumped on the board right away, putting up 14 points in the first quarter and ended the first half with a 14-0 lead. NMSU recorded another touchdown in the third quarter, but it was the Aggies fourth-quarter performance that broke the game wide open. NMSU scored 20 points in the final quarter to give the Aggies a 41-0 season opening victory.
In the second game of the season, the Aggies stunned Tulsa University with a convincing 38-18 victory. Gaiters led the Aggies’ offensive charge with a four-touchdown effort from runs of 13, three, two and one yard. Johnson recorded an aerial touchdown and Kelley booted a 32-yard field goal to account for all other scores. NMSU opened the game with a quick touchdown and then frazzled the Hurricanes with a 22-point second quarter effort. However, Tulsa was determined to get into the end zone and did so once before the end of the first half, but the Aggies were still in control, 29-7. The Hurricanes out scored the Aggies in the third quarter 6-3 and both teams would add another touchdown in the fourth quarter. But it was Aggies’ first half domination that earned NMSU it’s second victory of the season, 38-18.
Trinity University was NMSU’s third victim of the season as the Aggies downed the Tigers, 45-0. It was not just NMSU’s offensive that scored against the Tigers, but the defensive also ran up the score as Kelly, Langford and Strickland caught the Trinity quarterback in NMSU’s end zone for a total of six points. Offensively, Gaiters ran for two touchdowns, while Johnson hit Atkins in the end zone, Kelly returned an intercepted pass for 22-yards and then booted a solid 43-yard field goal. NMSU’s Skeeter Pettes ran for an 11-yard touchdown and Ricky Alba threw a scoring pass to Ron Logback to end the evening’s madness. The Aggies dominated the game from start to finish, scoring in all four quarters. NMSU ran in its first touchdown of the game in the opening quarter and capped the half off with a 15-point second quarter effort, going into halftime, 21-0. An additional 10-point third quarter showing, along with a 14-point fourth quarter gave NMSU the victory, 45-0.
The Aggies picked up their fourth consecutive win of the season with a slaughter over I-25 rival New Mexico, 34-0. Johnson threw for a pair of touchdown passes, while Sims was on the receiving end of one and Atkins caught the other 25-yarder. However, that was not the only time Atikins found himself in the end zone and would go on to score a 67-yard punt return and a two-yard dive. NMSU’s Gaiters also got into the scoring column after running for a 71-yard touchdown. Both teams remained scoreless after the first quarter, but the determined Aggies found some offensive rhythm in the second quarter, putting 14 points on the board. NMSU scored again in the third quarter extending its lead, 22-0. The Aggies’ scored 13-points in the fourth quarter to cushion their 34-0 victory.
In the fifth game of the season, it was McMurry College that controlled the game early on, but the calm and collected Aggies responded in the second half, claiming game five, 47-17. NMSU’s Gaiter’s scored three times for the Aggies, while Atkins caught two balls in the end zone, along with Jackson. The Indians led 10-0 after the first quarter, marking the first time of the season that NMSU trailed. MC tacked on another touchdown to extend its lead, 14-7 midway through the second quarter. However, the Aggies responded and went on a 13-3 run that drove the Aggies ahead 20-17 at the end of the first half. The refocused Aggies claimed their fifth win of the season after a second-half blow out. Right out of the gates, NMSU put up 20 points to extend what was once a nail bitter to a 40-17 lead. The Crimson and White capped off the game with another touchdown in the fourth to give NMSU the 47-17 victory.
The sixth game of the season was a hard fought battle against Wichita State and even though the score does not reflect it, the Shockers made NMSU earn every point they scored in the 40-8 win. NMSU’s Jackson scored twice in the first period on a 28 and nine-yard run. Then Gaiters sparked a much needed offensive run, scoring an impressive three touchdowns in the third quarter on five, one and 16-yard runs. NMSU concluded the game with a 22-yard heave from Johnson that found Atkins in the end zone. The Shockers took an early 8-0 lead in the first quarter, but that would be their only bit of executed offense in the game. NMSU rallied 14 first quarter points and then added another seven points in the second quarter to end the opening half, 21-8. The Aggies extended their lead to 33-8 by the end of third and registered a final score in the fourth to take game six, 40-8.
After an eight-year winning drought against Arizona State, NMSU claimed a 27-24 thriller over the Sun Devils. The first half ended with the score knotted, 14-14, as the tension built up for what ended up as an unbelievable second half. A 20-yard ASU field goal drove the Sun Devils ahead 17-14 to open the third quarter and then ASU applied what seemed to be the winning touchdown in the early part of the fourth quarter, 24-14. However, the Aggies were not going to fold that easily and after Atkins returned a 98-yard kick off, NMSU was only down by four with plenty of time to score again. After exchanging fumbles, NMSU began its winning drive from the two-yard line in its own territory. A 71-yard Atkins run and two diving catches by Kelly gave NMSU its first victory over Arizona State since 1952, 27-24.
NMSU remained undefeated with a 35-15 win over West Texas State. Gaiters led the way with a pair of touchdowns, the first on a two-yard dive and the second from a 20-yard sprint. Johnson also rallied some offensive with a seven-yard toss to Kelly and a 32-yard hurl to Atkins and then scored one himself off of a four-yard run. At one point in the third quarter, WTS pulled within five points, 21-15, but once again NMSU was clutch when they needed to be, scoring two touchdowns in the final quarter to earn the 35-15 win over the WTS.
The 40-3 win over Hardin-Simmons University kept NMSU’s flawless season rolling. Gaiters scored three times on runs of nine, five and six-yards. Then Johnson hit Kelly with a five-yard score, Atkins returned a punt for a 70-yard touchdown and Morris Hodgson returned an intercepted pass for 32-yards. The Aggies ended the first half with a 17-point lead, 20-3. Then in the fourth quarter the Aggies doubled their points, downing the Cowboys, 40-3.
NMSU’s final competition of the regular season ended with a 27-15 win over Texas Western. Not only did the win extend NMSU’s 13-game winning streak, but it also racked up its first undefeated regular season since 1923. The win also marked NMSU’s second straight Sun Bowl appearance. Gaiters and Jackson teamed up to overcome an early Miner lead and Sim caught what proved to be the winnings pass from a 14-yard toss by Johnson. Gaiter than added an insurance score and the Aggies hung on for the 27-15 victory.
In their second straight Sun Bowl appearance, NMSU went head-to-head with Utah State and came out victorious in the 20-13, hard fought battle. Utah State struck first in the opening quarter, but NMSU answered at the beginning of the second quarter, equaling the score, 7-7. Utah State once again took the lead in the later portion of the second quarter, 13-7. NMSU’s Gaiters proved how he led the nation in scoring early in the second half when he ran an obstacle path en route to a 32-yard touchdown, giving the Aggies their first lead of the game, 14-13. Another Johnson pass, this time to Sims, put the game away for NMSU, 20-13.
1960 Team Roster –
Pervis Atkins *
Bob Gaiters *
Charley Johnson *
Pete Smolanovich *
Don Yannessa *
Warren Woodson *
* indicates current hall of fame members