ASU rodeo team receives gift

by SOURCE Angelo State University
photo provided photo provided

San Angelo—Angelo State University has received a $500,000 gift from a West Texas family with a deep ranching heritage to establish the Bob Johnson Rodeo Endowment that will support operations for the ASU Rodeo Team.

The endowment is named for the late Robert D. "Bob" Johnson Jr., a prominent rancher in nearby Eldorado who passed away in 2019 at the age of 82. Born in San Angelo and raised on the 7D Ranch, Johnson graduated from Irion County High School. He initially chose what was then San Angelo College for his higher education, but later transferred to Sul Ross State University so he could join a rodeo team and compete on the college circuit.

An outstanding roper, he continued team roping competitively well into his 70s while also gaining a long-standing reputation as a successful rancher and family man. He will be inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in Fort Worth in April.

"Our family applauds Angelo State for launching this program,” a spokesperson for the donor family said. “Rodeo is a vital component of our community and a deep part of our history. Honoring the legacy of Bob Johnson through the establishment of this endowment is the start of a solid foundation. We encourage others to contribute to not only honor Bob Johnson but also to impact students at Angelo State and our community, which has always had a vibrant love for rodeo."

The Bob Johnson Rodeo Endowment will significantly aid in the recruitment and retention of student-athletes for the ASU Rodeo Team by providing funding for a wide variety of team operations, including, but not limited to:

Scholarships for rodeo student-athletes

Uniforms and equipment

Animal feed and supplies

Practice livestock

Veterinary care

Recruiting visits and events

Transportation to rodeo events for student-athletes and their horses.

"We knew the ASU Rodeo Team would be a popular addition on campus and throughout West Texas, and the individual and community support for the program continues to grow and gain momentum," Ronnie Hawkins Jr., president ASU, said. "This incredible family gift is a prime example, and it will not only benefit our rodeo student-athletes but also help us drive educational, cultural and economic opportunities for the entire region."

The formation of the ASU Rodeo Team was announced in March 2023. Casey Sisk, a former collegiate and PRCA champion, was hired as the team's head coach, and the team completed its first season of competition last fall in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) Southwest Region. ASU also secured the long-term lease of an arena and surrounding grounds at the San Angelo Fairgrounds that are already undergoing renovations as the ASU Rodeo Complex practice facility.

The Bob Johnson Rodeo Endowment will allow the ASU Rodeo Team to build on that strong foundation and move forward as a long-standing and successful program.

To contribute to the Bob Johnson Rodeo Endowment or the $1 million match for ASU Rodeo Complex improvements, contact the ASU Office of Development at 325-942-2116 or development@angelo.edu. Contributions can also be made online at angelo.edu/give.

The ASU Rodeo Team returns to competition in the NIRA later this month.



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