You might say that UNM is in Jamie Koch's blood. His grandfather taught here. His mother graduated from the College of Education in 1959. He met his wife near today's Duck Pond. And Jamie graduated from the College of Education in 1959.
Jamie grew up in the State's Capitol, Santa Fe, and has been socially and politically active throughout his career. His list of accomplishments is as long as it is diverse: State Legislator 1968-74, member of the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce, founding member of the New Vistas School for the Handicapped, Chair of the New Mexico Game and Fish Commission, leading fundraiser for March of Dimes and United Way, New Mexico Democratic Party Chair, President of the Alumni Lettermen's Club, member of the Alumni Association Board, and most recently President of the Board of Regents.
Jamie arrived at UNM on an athletic scholarship to play football and wrestle his sophomore year. The Albuquerque Journal declared, " There has never been a youngster with more spirit or more determination." At 210 pounds Jamie was a formidable guard. His size also helped him do well during his three years on the wrestling team.
Still active in sports, Jamie has set new records in his age group in shot put in five states as well as at the Huntsman World Games, the National Senior Olympics and the World Games in Canada and in 2005 he won the competition in the European Games in San Sebastian, Spain. Also in 2005, Jamie tossed his 11-pound shot put far enough to be ranked number two in the world in both indoor and outdoor competitions. The following year, he earned All American Honors from the USA Masters Track and Field. This year he is ranked second nationally by the USA Masters Track and Field.
The awards bestowed on Jamie have been as diverse as his accomplishments. In addition to his numerous athletic awards he has had a day-use area in the Pecos named for him in honor of his work to get the Terrero Mine, which threatened the Pecos River, cleaned up and the William S. Dixon Award from the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government for his work on the Open Meetings Act.
Jamie says he was shy when he was young. In college, he had his eye on a girl in his class. The only way he could figure out to talk to her was to steal her books. Before he could get up the nerve to do that he had to have his friend Sam Pick introduce him to her. She was the prettiest girl he had ever seen and after 48 years of marriage, two children and one grandchild, Nene is still the only girl that can make Jamie blush.
As chair of the Board of Regents, Jamie has championed issues he cares about including athletics (getting legislative funding to finish the north end of the stadium, to construct an indoor practice football field, to build an outdoor track, to expand The Pit and construct the Rudy Davalos practice basketball facility and to build a resource center for student athletes) and the new Children's Hospital.
To his many awards and accolades, Jamie adds his induction into the Alumni Lettermen's Hall of Honor to a list of awards that is sure to grow as he continues to serve the state.