Vaqueros Highlights

General Information

NCAA Division: Division I
Conference: Western Athletic Conference (2013-present)
Past Conferences: American South, Sun Belt, Great West
City: Edinburg, Texas
Stadium: UTRGV Fieldhouse
NCAA Tournaments: None


National Championships: None
Conference Tournament Titles: None
Conference Regular Season Titles: None

Valley Vaqueros Team History

The Texas Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros are a Division I program located in Edinburg, Texas. Texas Rio Grande Valley competes in the Western Athletic Conference and is coached by Matt Figger. The program’s current identity is a product of the merger between the University of Texas at Brownsville and the University of Texas-Pan American in 2015. UTRGV inherited UTPA’s athletic records, including its membership in the WAC, but changed its nickname from the Broncs to the Vaqueros.

UTRGV holds the dubious distinction of never having played in the Division I NCAA Tournament. In 2017-18, the Vaqueros earned their first postseason berth in 37 years by reaching the College Basketball Invitational under Lew Hill. Although they lost in the first round to New Orleans, the Vaqueros finished with their best record (15-18) since 2012-13. They made even more progress the following season, reaching the second round of the Tournament along the way to a 20-17 finish.

The program has also made one appearance in the National Invitational Tournament, losing in the first round to Tulsa in 1981. Additionally, the school won the 1963 NAIA national championship, finished as the national runner-up in 1964, and advanced to the regional finals of the Division II NCAA Tournament in 1968.

Tragedy Strikes

UTRGV was rocked by tragedy when Hill, one of the winningest coaches in program history, died suddenly in 2021 at the age of 55. Jai Steadman took over on an interim basis. Figger, the former Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year at Austin Peay, was hired by UTRGV before the 2021-22 season. The Vaqueros went 3-15 in WAC play and 8-23 overall in Figger’s first season.

The Vaqueros faced long odds entering 2022-23, as they were picked to finish last in the WAC preseason coaches and media polls.

Valley Vaqueros All-Time Records

Points Scored

  • Otto Moore: 1,880
  • Luke Jackson: 1,858
  • Brian Merriweather: 1,738


  • Otto Moore: 1,679
  • Luke Jackson: 1,427
  • Jim McGurk: 948


  • Jesus Guerra: 771
  • John Wilbanks: 634
  • Paul Friddle: 601

Texas Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros FAQs

What is UTRGV’s most recent postseason win?

The Vaqueros beat Grambling State 74-73 in the first round of the 2019 Tournament before losing to Texas Southern. They finished 20-17, matching their most wins in 17 years.

Who holds UTRGV’s single-season scoring record?

Marshall Rogers scored 919 points in 1975-76, breaking the previous record of 836 set by Luke Jackson in 1963-64.

How many former UTRGV players have been drafted by the NBA?

The Vaqueros have had more than a dozen players selected in the NBA Draft. The most recent example is Michael Anderson, who was taken 148th overall by the San Antonio Spurs in 1986. The last alum to play in an NBA game, however, is Kenneth “Apple” Green, who was drafted 34th overall by the Denver Nuggets in 1981.

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