Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

QCS Staff 

Mesalands rodeo team gets new coach

Matthew Hughes of West Plains, Missouri, was announced April 25.


May 3, 2017

Mesalands Community College’s intercollegiate rodeo team finishes the 2017 regular season under the direction of a new head coach with a regional title in bull riding.

On April 25, Mesalands announced that Matthew Hughes of West Plains, Missouri, will serve as the new rodeo coach and faculty member. Hughes has an educational background and over 20 years of experience in the sport of rodeo.

“Our rodeo team has responded extremely well to the new coach,” said Thomas Newsom, president of Mesalands. “We are very excited to have Matt leading our rodeo team, becoming a new faculty member and joining our community.”

According to a release, Hughes earned a bachelor of arts degree in public relations from Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Missouri. He was also the assistant rodeo coach at Missouri Valley College for the last two years.

“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.”

On Friday, Kenneth “Blue” Wilcox from Greenbrier, Arizona, won the Grand Canyon Regional Title in bull riding and qualified for the 2017 CNFR June 11-17 in Casper, Wyoming.

“I was proud of the way Blue took care of business,” Hughes said. “He won the region, and we’re looking forward to having him back next year.”

It’s been a long year that required dedication and focus at the rodeos, as well as in the classroom, said Staci Stanbrough, interim rodeo coach. Stanbrough, animal science faculty, said she is proud of everyone that finished the year without giving up, despite the circumstances.

Stanbrough took over as interim coach after head coach Tim Abbott departed in December at the end of the fall season to pursue a different career path.

“I’m really proud of Blue for making the CNFR and winning the region,” Stanbrough said. “I’m also happy that Matt is here to lead us into next year.”

Fellow teammate Jesse Estill, of Lovelock, Nevada, finished third as a header in the team roping event during the rodeo on Friday. On Saturday, he qualified for Sunday’s short go.

“We have a very talented group of student athletes coming in next year,” Hughes said. “It will be very exciting to get some new talent here. I look forward to a fresh start with the team,” Hughes said.

Hughes has competed in the rodeo arena since he was 7 years old and has been around all aspects of the sport. He has several years of experience in the business side of rodeo.

Hughes also knows what goes on behind the scenes of a rodeo competition. Hughes has hosted professional bull riding 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, Missouri, in 2015.

Hughes has competed in the timed events of rodeo, as well as the roughstock events. He was the 2011 Southern Roughstock Cowboys Association champion and the Iron Man award winner the same year. He placed in the top 20 bull riders of the 2012-13 National Junior Bull Riders Association.

Currently, Hughes competes in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association events.


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