April 25, 2017
Matthew Hughes of West Plains, MO, has recently been hired as the new Intercollegiate Rodeo Coach and faculty member at Mesalands Community College. His educational background and over 20 years of experience in the sport of rodeo, will be an asset to the Mesalands rodeo program.
“Our Rodeo Team has responded extremely well to the new coach!” said Dr. Thomas W. Newsom, President of Mesalands. “We are very excited to have Matt leading our rodeo team, becoming a new faculty member, and joining our community.”
Hughes has competed in the rodeo arena since he was seven years old and has been around all aspects of the sport. Specifically, Hughes has several years of experience in the business side of rodeo. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Relations from Missouri Valley College in Marshall, MO. He was also the assistant rodeo coach at Missouri Valley College for the last two years. Hughes says he is very excited to start his first head coaching position at Mesalands.
“I’ve always wanted to coach, and to be a college rodeo coach combines my passion to help students, with my love of coaching. This also allows me to be around the sport of rodeo,” Hughes said. “I’m excited to increase the numbers and the success of this program. As a team, we’re going to do that by remembering that this is college rodeo, which means class comes first. We’re also practicing with a purpose. The most important run of your career is the next one.”
Looking back at Hughes’ rodeo career, one may say he does practice what he preaches. Hughes has competed in the timed events of rodeo, as well as the roughstock events. He also knows what goes on behind the scenes of a rodeo competition. Hughes has hosted professional bull riding (PBR) events with Wayward Son Productions and maintained the rodeo facility at Missouri Valley College. He has years of experience in ranch management. His extensive background in marketing and public relations, has also prepared him for this new position. Hughes developed and implemented marketing campaigns for college rodeo programs. He organized marketing promotions with local schools in Missouri and various community groups. He also volunteered at the Youth Rodeo Camp in Cleveland, MO in 2015.
In the arena, Hughes was the 2011 Southern Roughstock Cowboys Association (SRCA) Champion and the Iron Man award winner the same year. He placed in the top 20 bull riders of the 2012-2013 National Junior Bull Riders Association (NJBRA). Hughes currently competes in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) events.
“The team is working hard and we’ll be ready go when we get to Las Cruces. We’re putting ourselves in pressure situations at practice and improving our mental game. We’re recognizing our potential and staying goal-oriented,” Hughes said.
The Mesalands Rodeo Team will compete at their last rodeo of the regular season at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM, April 28-30, 2017.