Gary Ness' allegiance to UNM runs the gamut - from fullback in the early 60s to associate professor in the College of Education, from pitcher/first baseman to a pair of degrees from UNM, from Ph.D. at Stanford to director of athletics at his alma mater.
Like fellow inductee Jim Bradley, Ness was recruited by Marv Levy in 1959, but he played for Bill Weeks from 1961-63. During that time, UNM won the Aviation Bowl and a pair of Western Athletic Conference championships.
Ness chose football coaching as his first profession, serving as a graduate assistant at Stanford. Later, he was an assistant at North Texas where his most noteworthy pupil was a guy named Joe Greene, a future NFL Hall of Fame inductee with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Ness joined the faculty at North Texas before returning to UNM and the College of Education in 1977. Eleven years later, Ness was the school's interim director of athletics only to take on the position full-time a year later.
While serving as Director of Athletics, Ness erased a financial deficit and increased the department's budget from $6.3 million to $10 million. Among his many accomplishments were increased staffing in several areas and sports, bringing the Lobo Club under departmental administration and lobbying for tuition remission for scholarships, a huge savings to the department.
Ness returned to the College of Education as associate professor in 1992. He was inducted into the UNM Hall of Honor on his birthday, Nov. 7.