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Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - 7:27pm
Coaches at any level can make a lasting impression on the lives of their athletes. Aggie coaching legend Presley Askew did just that for one of his former players, Robert C. Rogers and because of that, Rogers has set up a $100,000 endowment in Askew’s name to honor his former mentor and coach.
The Presley Askew Endowed Scholarship will be awarded to student-athletes in men’s and women’s basketball and football, who have demonstrated excellence in their academic achievements.
“Coach Askew was a big influence in my life,” Rogers said. “I was a young man, who at the time needed some direction in my life and Coach Askew provided that to me. He was a hard task master to play for, which in turn helped me become a well rounded individual. Coach Askew taught me a lot about being an honest, responsible and straight forward person and for that I’m extremely grateful. The endowment was something I had been thinking about doing to honor coach Askew for awhile now and it’s an honor to do so.”
Askew served in the NM State athletics department for 12 years from 1953-1965, as head coach of both the basketball and baseball teams. On the basketball court, he led NM State to a Border Conference Championship in 1959-60 and a share of two other titles (58-59 & 60-61) and two appearances in the NCAA Tournament (58-59 & 59-60).
A member of the Helms Baseball Hall of Fame, Askew was also a recipient of the National Association of Basketball Coaches Merit award and NCABC Honor Award. Askew coached two of NM State’s most famous student-athletes who went on to record-setting coaching careers - Lou Henson and Gary Ward.
Askew coached the Aggie men’s basketball team from 1953-1965 with an overall record of 135-146. His most wins in one season came during the 1959-60 season as the team went 20-7, losing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Oregon.
Presley Askew Field was dedicated during homecoming ceremonies on Nov. 14, 1981, in honor of the former Aggie baseball and basketball coach.
Askew graduated from Southeastern Oklahoma in 1930. He was born in Red Oak, Okla., in 1909 and died in 1994. Askew is still revered as one of the greatest coaches in Aggie history.
“Our family very much appreciates the generous contribution Bob Rogers has made as it both honors my Dad and recognizes an institution that has meant a great deal to Dad, our family, and the many student athletes who knew and played for my father,” Presley Askew, Jr. said. “Dad was a caring person, and he would be very pleased to know that a former player is doing so much in his name to help others.”
Rogers graduated from the State University of New York in 1960 with a degree in electrical technology. He was also a member of the basketball team during his time in college. Rogers played for two years in Las Cruces under Askew from 1962-63. After college, Rogers went on to have a successful career in the elevator industry for 41 years. Now retired, Rogers lives in Florida with his wife, Margaret.
“I am pleased to hear of Robert C Rogers’ significant gift in support of our student-athletes’ educational goals at NM State and to honor his coach, Presley Askew,” Athletics Director Dr. McKinley Boston said. “We are very proud of the legacy of Presley Askew and this gift will only enhanced his legacy and more importantly make a difference in the lives of football and men’s and women’s basketball student-athletes at New Mexico State.”