Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Sanchez returns to the alma mater to coach wide receivers

NMSU athletics

LAS CRUCES, NM – A familiar face will lead NM State’s wide receiver group.

Tony Sanchez, who played and coached for NM State in the mid-1990s, is returning to his alma mater to serve as the Aggies wide receiver coach, as announced by head coach Jerry Kill.

Sanchez returns to the Land of Enchantment following a 2021 campaign that included him, Kill, and a host of other members of the Aggies’ coaching staff at TCU in Fort Worth, Texas. There, Sanchez was an offensive analyst for the Horned Frogs, helping them score a victory over a nationally rated enemy (# 12 Baylor) during the team’s 2021 campaign.

Before joining TCU, Sanchez was head coach at Mountain West Institution UNLV for five years (2015-19). In Las Vegas, Sanchez scored a total of 20 victories at the top of the UNLV, while also taking part in numerous fundraising drives that led to the construction of the $ 34 million Fertitta soccer complex.

It was Sanchez’s high prep level success rate that turned most heads and enabled him to secure a job as head coach at the FBS level. After leaving the frontier after the 2003 season, Sanchez was appointed head coach at California High School in Ramon, California, and began an eleven-year career as one of the top high school head coaches in the country.

From 2004 to 2008, Sanchez racked up 35 victories as the California High School head coach. Sanchez graduated at or above .500 in all but one campaign and successfully transformed the Fighting Grizzlies from a less than mediocre program to one that was a force in the East Bay Athletic League. Sanchez’s best team at CHS was the 2007 edition, which ended 11-2, won a championship in the East Bay Athletic League and made it to the finals of the CIF North Coast Section.

When Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Nevada became aware of Sanchez’s success in the Golden State, they called and hired Sanchez as their head coach before the start of the 2009 season. What followed over a span of six seasons was nothing short of complete and total domination by Sanchez and his forces.

Bishop Gorman set a record of 85: 5 during Sanchez’s tenure, which ran from 2009 to 2014. Voted the nation’s best prep program by magazines like USA Today and MaxPreps.com, Bishop Gorman has never failed to earn the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA) 4A state title at the top of the program in each of Sanchez’s six seasons. In 2014, Sanchez was named USA Today High School Football Coach of the Year.

Sanchez spent a total of four seasons at Oñate High School (now Organ Mountain High School) in Las Cruces, NM. In 1998 he was a wide receivers coach at that prep facility, moving to defensive backs coach in 2001 and 2002, before being appointed defensive coordinator for the 2003 season. Irvin High School in El Paso, Texas also hired Sanchez in 2000 as a wide receiver coach.

During his two-year tenure in an NM State uniform, Sanchez made 54 receptions for 741 yards and five touchdowns. After completing his college career in the 1995 season, Sanchez served as the undergraduate assistant coach for the Aggies for their 1996 season.

Sanchez graduated from NM State in 1998 and has a bachelor’s degree in family and consumer science. Five years later (2003) he obtained a master’s degree in special education. He has a daughter, Alyssa, and a son, Jason.

For full coverage of NM State Football as the Aggies under Coach Kill and his staff prepare for year one in 2022, visit NMStateSports.com – the official home of Aggie Athletics – and follow the Aggies on Facebook (NM State Football), Twitter (@ NMStateFootball) and Instagram (@NMStateFootball).

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