One of the longest and most successful runs in Lobo athletic history will come to an end following the 2006-07 NCAA skiing season. University of New Mexico head coach George Brooks is entering his final year as head coach of the Lobos and has announced he will retire at the end of the season.
For the past 37 years, the entire history of UNM's ski team, Brooks has guided Lobo skiers to All-American honors, individual titles and event titles at the NCAA Championships. Remarkably, every year since 1982 New Mexico has finished in the top-10, including the memorable 2004 NCAA Championship that is still the only NCAA title in school history.
The Lobo ski team owns three of the top four finishes in NCAA Championship history at the University of New Mexico. The 2004 NCAA title is the crowning achievement by any Lobo program, but the ski team has also finished in second place twice in its history. New Mexico was runner-up at both the 1992 and 2006 NCAA Championships.
Brooks guided the Lobos to another banner year last season, with his Alpine squad finishing first in the final points race at the NCAA Championships and the Lobos coming in second overall. UNM posted 556 points in the four-day event, trailing Colorado's 654 mark. Brooks coached the men's slalom team to its fourth NCAA team title while eight Lobos took home All-American honors in 2006. Brook's Lobos also performed well in the classroom with nine earning Academic All-NCAA honors. Over the past three years, no other team in the country has scored more points at the NCAA Championships than the Lobos and Brooks has guided UNM to a top-4 finish in each of the past five seasons.
Initially a club sport prior to 1970, the UNM ski team has been molded into a consistently competitive and nationally-ranked program. In the 36 years that Brooks has coached at New Mexico, his teams have placed in the top-10 at the NCAA Championships 23 times, including the school's first ever national title in 2004.
A 57-year old native of Taos, New Mexico, home of some of the best ski areas in the world, Brooks' enthusiasm for the sport of skiing spans back to his days as a varsity athlete participating for New Mexico.
Since coaching at New Mexico, Brooks has coached more than 85 athletes to All-American status on over 100 different occasions. He has also coached more than 100 skiers to Academic All-American honors and all-conference awards. New Mexico has produced nine Alpine team championships (women's Slalom in 1979, 1996, and 2002, women's Giant Slalom in 1977 and men's slalom in 1996, 1997, 2004 and 2006, and men's Giant Slalom in 1998), seven Nordic team champions, six Nordic individual champions and three Alpine individual champions at the NCAA Championships. Most recently, Jennifer Delich won the 2004 women's giant slalom title while the men's Alpine Team took home the slalom team national championship in 2006.
Brooks serves on numerous national ski committees and was chosen as the coach for the United States Ski Team at the World University Games in 1983, 1987-1991, 1993, 1995 1997, and in 2002. Brooks served as chair of the United States Ski Association Collegiate Ski Committee from 1988-97. Brooks also served as the delegate from the United States to the Federation of International Skiing (FIS) from 1986-98. Brooks has recently completed his ninth year on the NCAA Rules committee, three years of which he spent as the committee's chairperson. Brooks is also a member of the New Mexico Ski Hall of Fame.
Brooks earned his bachelor's degree in Political Science/History in 1970 and went on to earn his master's in Sports Physiology at UNM. Brooks is married to Debbie Dixon of Albuquerque. The couple has three children: Andrew (27), Casey (24) and Cristi (22).