By Brook StockbergerLas Cruces Bulletin
Tyler Dunkel found a cardboard box on the first floor of the Roberts Building on the New Mexico State University campus, and then loped back up the stairs to his secondfloor office on Thursday, July 30.
The day marked one week exactly until Dunkel was scheduled to step down as assistant athletics director in charge of media relations with the school, and he needed to start packing.
Still, Dunkel, 37, took a moment to reflect.
“I’ve lived in Las Cruces more years of my life than any other city,” he said. “Las Cruces and the Aggies have a special place in my heart.”
On Monday, Aug. 11, the longtime Aggie sports information director will start a new job in Albuquerque with the New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA), where he will again hold the title of sports information director.
Things will be different, though. Instead of passing out statistics in a press box or on press row and asking media members which players they wish to interview – and a host of other jobs – he’ll be highlighting high schoolers from around the Land of Enchantment.
“I’ll be traveling the state, stopping by high schools, writing feature stories on good students doing good things,” Dunkel said. “And I’ll not only handle sports, but also activities and things like rodeo, choir and athletic training and bowling.”
He said the NMAA oversees 13 sports and 22 activities.
Since Dunkel started in NMSU’s sports information office in 2001, the school has seen four head football coaches roam the Aggie sidelines, three basketball coaches pace in front of the bench and a handful of college presidents lead the way.
During his 14-year stint, Dunkel was one of the constants in the crimson-and-white universe.
A native of the Denver area, Dunkel came to Las Cruces after graduating from the University of Wyoming and then spending a year at Colorado State University and the University of Kansas.
He thought he’d be in southern New Mexico for about three years or so.
“A couple of things happened,” Dunkel said. “I just kind of continued to move up the chain, continued to be promoted and finally made assistant AD, which was one of my goals when I got into this business.”
More important, though, he fell in love and started a family.
“I met my wife and she’s a Las Cruces native,” he said. “Las Cruces is a good place to raise a family.”
About a year and a half ago, though, Dunkel and his wife, Gloria, began to think about a different direction.
“We really started thinking about and praying about a change,” he said.
A friend told him about the opening with the NMAA and, on the last day he could, Dunkel applied.
“We really feel that this is a true blessing for our family,” he said.
Still, leaving is not easy.
“It’s really bittersweet for me,” Dunkel said.
“This is a place I’ve been for 14 years; I’ve built a lot of relationships here and made a lot of real good friends at church and in thecommunity and at work.
“I wasn’t unhappy here by any means. (NMSU) has provided me with a lot of opportunities.”
Even though he’ll soon live in the heart of University of New Mexico territory, Dunkel said he’ll always be an Aggie at heart.
“I’ll be wearing my crimson and white in Albuquerque and cheering each and every one of these sports teams on, especially when they are up there,” he said.
Dunkel said a search will take place to find a new sports information director.
Brook Stockberger may be reached at 680-1977 or email@example.com.
Tyler Dunkel, New Mexico State University assistant athletics director/media relations, works at his desk Wednesday, July 30. Dunkel is taking a job with the New Mexico Activities Association after 14 years with NMSU.
Las Cruces Bulletin photo by Brook Stockberger