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Boots, chaps, and cowboy hats; New rodeo coach ranks Tech on list of top jobs

Boots, chaps, and cowboy hats; New rodeo coach ranks Tech on list of top jobs

When Philip Berry’s dream job came open at Texas Tech as the school’s rodeo coach, he jumped at the chance. The New Mexico native took his new position in July after an 11-year stretch as rodeo coach at New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs.

“Texas Tech has always been my goal,” said the Sul Ross State University graduate.

Before beginning his coaching career, Berry spent 20 years participating in rodeo, from junior to collegiate rodeos and for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. He qualified for the College National Finals from 1974 to 1976.

“I grew up on the family ranch in Eunice, so I’ve been in the horse business forever,” Berry said. “I was riding from the start and started rodeo when I was eight.”

Here in Raiderland, Berry’s goals focus on increasing scholarship opportunities for students, enhancing alumni relations, building new facilities and expanding existing practice areas. Texas Tech’s rodeo team is affiliated with the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association, which comprises more than 220 junior colleges and universities across the United States.

Berry said he has rodeo team will draw from a diverse cross section of students from nursing and engineering majors to usual animal science leaders. “We have students from California, Virginia, quite a few from Colorado, and even one from British Columbia,” he said. “They’re from everywhere.”

Berry’s family includes Aetna Bess, his wife of 34 years, who goes with him to every rodeo. His younger daughter, Houston-based Amanda, graduated from Texas Tech’s Health Sciences Center in speech pathology and his older daughter, LaRae, is facility director with Levelland’s Mallet Event Center.

Reporting by Leslie Cranford

CONTACT: Philip Berry, rodeo coach, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2805 or

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