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Aggies reunite at 2023 World Series

Two graduates of NMSU’s athletic training program found themselves reuniting in front of millions of baseball fans as the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Texas Rangers faced each other to become World Series champs.

Ken Crenshaw ’90 is the director of sports medicine and performance for the Diamondbacks, while Matt Lucero ’93 is the head athletic trainer for the series-winning Rangers.

“Being able to be on a team competing for a world championship is definitely a special thing and a highlight of my career,” Lucero says. “Being able to do that with Ken in the opposite dugout made it all that more special to me.”

Lucero says that instead of acting as rivals, he was more than happy to see Crenshaw across the field. The two have been friends for nearly 35 years.

“That added to the excitement and fun, and it is always a good time when we are able to brag to our colleagues about how the Aggies produced some of the best athletic trainers in the industry,” he says.

“We had a magical run in the playoffs and what made it even more special was getting to play the Texas Rangers in the World Series,” Crenshaw says. “There was no other team that I would have preferred to play because one of my Aggie friends was in the other dugout. Matt Lucero has been a special person and athletic trainer for many years so I’m glad to see him get rewarded. The second-place prize was pretty awesome as well.”

Crenshaw, who is originally from Carrizozo, New Mexico, decided to attend NMSU after meeting former NMSU head trainer George Westbrook upon the recommendation of his father, Bobby Dan Crenshaw, who played football for the Aggies and went on to play for the Philadelphia Eagles. While attending NMSU, Crenshaw suffered a ligament injury and was inspired by former NMSU head athletic trainer Ricky Mendini to pursue a career in athletic training.

Lucero is a native of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and originally studied astronomy at NMSU before being persuaded to look into sports medicine by Ron Porterfield ’88, whose younger brother was Lucero’s roommate.

Crenshaw and Lucero are among 10 NMSU graduates who are athletic trainers in Major League Baseball and minor league programs.


Crenshaw (left) and Lucero

Crenshaw (left) and Lucero