1961 Aviation Bowl Championship Team
Head coach Bill Weeks' Lobo football team began the season with a resounding 41-7 victory over New Mexico State, the defending Sun Bowl champs, and ended the regular season with a 34-6 whipping in what would be UNM's final competition in the Skyline Conference.
The Lobos were selected to play in the inaugural Aviation Bowl in Dayton, Ohio, where they would meet Western Michigan. Played in an ice / snow storm on Dec. 9, at Welcome Stadium, a determined UNM team with an assault of fleet running backs, a phalanx of stalwart linemen and the nation's leading punter, defeated the Broncos 28-12.
UNM's Bobby Santiago was named the outstanding back while Chuck Cummins earned the award as outstanding lineman.
Many players from the '61 team would form the nucleus, and ignite the spark, that would catapult Weeks' teams to Western Athletic Conference titles in 1962, '63 and '64, the WAC's first three years of existence.