LAS CRUCES, NM – NM State Director of Athletics Mario Moccia announced Thursday that three Aggie legends will be enshrined as the Class of 2023 induction into the US Bank/NM State Athletics Hall of Fame. Elliott Avent (Baseball), Bob Jackson (Football) and Desiree Scott (Volleyball) will be inducted into the hall of fame following a process completed by the NM State Hall of Fame selection committee.
The trio will be officially inducted on Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, during a ceremony set to take place inside the Danny Villanueva Victory Club at the Fulton Center. The following day, the group will be recognized during halftime of the NM State men’s basketball game against Seattle U in the Pan Am Center which is set to tip off at 7 pm
Anyone interested in attending the 2023 US Bank/NM State Hall of Fame ceremony may reach out to NM State Director of Special Events Nohemi Perez via email at [email protected]. Tickets will be sold individually for $40.
“The 2023 US Bank/NM State Hall of Fame class is made up of three individuals who are more than deserving of induction,” NM State Director of Athletics Mario Moccia said. “Bob Jackson, who was a key component on the greatest football team in Aggie history, receives a long, overdue recognition. Desiree Scott adds to the number of recent all-time great volleyball players who were recently selected to the hall of fame and Coach Elliott Avent who not only happens to be my former coach when I played for the Aggies, but also one of the top collegiate coaches in America. I can’t wait for this event, and I know we will have a huge crowd to honor them at the ceremony.”
Elliott Avent | Baseball | Coaches | 1989-96
After inheriting a program that school administrators were considering dropping, he helped lift the Aggies to 74 wins across his first two seasons at the helm – marking the most wins of any NM State head coach during their initial two years.
In his first year with the program, he helped lead the Aggies to a 34-22 record, including going 5-1 against rival New Mexico and steering the Aggies on a 12-game win streak during the season. This successful stretch of games still ranks as the second-longest win streak in program history.
Year two under Avent for the Aggie baseball program was even more lucrative as NM State recorded its first 40-win season in school history – finishing the season with a 40-19 overall record.
Avent still remains the third-longest tenured head coach in NM State history and led the Aggies to 20 or more wins in each of his eight seasons as the program’s leader. Across eight seasons, Avent compiled an overall record of 224-213 (.512) and departed as the program’s second-winningest coach.
Still to this day, he is one of only three Aggie coaches to tally more than 200 wins during their career at NM State. Avent is also one of just three coaches to complete their tenure with the program with a winning percentage of greater than .500. He also led the Aggies to a pair of wins during a three-game series against No. 1 Cal State Fullerton in his final season with the program.
While in Las Cruces, Avent coached a pair of Aggies who eventually played in the major leagues (Mark Acre and Jason Rakers) and also instructed 17 student-athletes who went on to sign professional contracts.
Since leaving NM State, Avent has put together one of the most successful collegiate baseball coaching careers in the country – leading NC State to 962 wins across 26 seasons to become the Wolfpack’s all-time winningest coach. Avent is also currently one of only seven active collegiate head coaches with more than 1,100 wins to his name.
Avent has taken the Wolfpack to the NCAA Tournament in 19 of the last 26 and was named the ACC and National Coach of the Year in 2003 when he helped lead his squad to an NCAA Super Regional.
He also recently led the Wolfpack to their third appearance in the College World Series and second during his tenure when his team knocked off No. 1 Arkansas in the Super Regional. Under Avent’s tutelage, 122 NC State players have been selected in the MLB draft while the Wolfpack have garnered 38 All-American selections, including eight First Team All-American honorees.
Avent remains the Head Baseball Coach at NC State and lives in Raleigh, NC, with his wife Krista Ringler.
Bob Jackson | Football | 1959-61
As a member of the Aggie football program during arguably its greatest stretch in school history, Jackson left his mark by rushing for over 1,000 yards across two seasons.
After helping lead the Aggies to victory in the 1959 Sun Bowl in his first year doing Crimson & White, Jackson helped lead the Aggies to a perfect 11-0 record while serving as a key cog on the nation’s highest-scoring offense (35.8 points per game) in his second season. Jackson becomes the third member of the 1960 backfield to be inducted into the US Bank/NM State Hall of Fame – joining Pervis Atkins (Class of 1970) and Bob Gaiters (Class of 1976).
Alongside the pair of NFL-bound running backs, Jackson averaged over four yards per carry to rack up 400 rushing yards and six touchdowns. That season, he helped lead NM State to a berth in the 1960 Sun Bowl where the Aggies topped Utah State 20-13 in the 26th edition of one of the nation’s oldest bowls.
Jackson’s numbers only improved in his third season with the program as he tallied eight touchdowns and 691 rushing yards on 133 carries across 10 games in 1961. After averaging 5.2 yards per carry in his final collegiate season, Jackson finished his career averaging an impressive 5.0 yards per carry.
Following his storied career with the Aggies, Jackson was selected by the San Diego Chargers in the 7th round of the 1962 NFL Draft. He would go on to play four seasons as a fullback in the NFL for the Chargers, Houston Oilers and Oakland Raiders. As a member of the Chargers’ 1963 team, Jackson helped the team to an AFL Championship as the Chargers dismantled the Boston Patriots 51-10.
Jackson appeared in 50 games during his professional career, picking up 624 yards on 184 carries while also scoring 14 rushing touchdowns. Additionally, Jackson caught 32 passes for 333 receiving yards and two touchdowns after catching just six passes during his career at NM State.
After working for 33 years at the California School for the Deaf, Jackson is now retired and lives happily with his wife, Zeta, in Moreno Valley, California. He also has two sons, Brandon and Bryan Jackson.
Desiree Scott | volleyball | 2010-13
After arriving on campus as a freshman in 2010, Scott quickly became one of the faces of the Aggie program as she saw action in 99 sets (30 matches) to launch her career as at NM State. Scott ultimately tallied 106 kills and 76 total blocks during her debut season.
As a sophomore, Scott appeared in 98 sets while ranking fifth on the team in both total kills (143) and kills per set (1.46). Scott also finished third on the NM State squad in total blocks with 76 to equal her production from her freshman season. At the end of the 2011 season, Scott received an honorable mention selection on the COBRA Magazine All-National Team, which celebrates the success of volleyball players of African, Samoan and Tongan descent.
With two seasons under her belt, Scott emerged as one of the premier middle blockers in the WAC as she played in all 124 sets en route to leading the Aggies to a berth in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. As a junior, Scott earned First Team All-WAC honors after pacing the Aggies in total blocks (152), solo blocks (27) and block assists (125). With her performance in 2012, she ranks eighth in assisted blocks in a single season and ninth in solo blocks in a single season.
Scott was also a force offensively in 2012 – leading the Aggies and ranking second in the WAC in hitting percentage (.369). She also finished third on the team in total kills (272) and kills per set (2.19) before earning WAC All-Tournament honors as she and the Aggies dropped just one set on the way to lifting the trophy.
Her career culminated with a senior season in which she became the first Aggie to be named WAC Player of the Year upon leading the Aggies to a 14-2 record in league play and a WAC Regular Season title in a season in which she paced the conference in blocks per set (1.32). Additionally, Scott registered the fifth-most total blocks in a single season in program history with 158 while also tallying 48 solo blocks – a mark that also ranks fifth in NM State history.
She also reeled in several honors during her final year with the Aggies as she was twice named WAC Player of the Week before going on to earn First Team All-WAC honors and AVCA All-Region Honorable Mention – an accomplishment only nine Aggies have achieved.
The four-year starter also picked up WAC Tournament MVP laurels during the postseason as she guided the Aggies to their second straight WAC Tournament Championship and second straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
Scott’s prowess at the net during her career stacks up against some of the best to ever come through the program as she ranks fourth in total blocks (462), fourth in assisted blocks (362), fifth in hitting percentage (.338), fifth in solo blocks (100) and 10th in blocks per set (1.05).
The former Aggie currently works in financial services in The Netherlands where she lives with her husband, Pim de Groot, and two children, Kai Brown and Luka de Groot.
For complete coverage of NM State athletics throughout the remainder of the 2022-23 academic year and beyond, visit NMStateSports.com – the official home of Aggie athletics – and follow the Aggies on Facebook (NM State Aggies), Twitter (@NMStateAggies) and Instagram (@NMStateAggies).