During his college days, Stetson Corman proudly wore the Texas Tech Rodeo Team’s black vest with the Double T embellished on his back. The recent alumnus may have graduated, but it did not take him long to land back at his alma mater as the rodeo team’s new head coach.
Gold Buckled Dreams
Corman was born in Lubbock, but was raised in Burlington, Colorado. Growing up on family-owned feed yards and a ranch, Corman spent his time playing sports and rodeoing.
“I was probably roping by the age of five,” Corman said.
Corman’s family is made up of Red Raiders. His mom, dad, and uncles are alumni and his grandmother worked at the university.
He had planned on going to Tech since he was a little kid, Corman said, “That was always in my plan.”
The transition from high school to college was not an easy transition for Corman. He decided to put his love for playing sports aside to focus on rodeo full-time.
“When I came to college, that was kind of the first time I didn’t play sports,” Corman said. “I just started focusing on rodeo stuff, and that was a big deal.”
In August 2012, Corman joined the Texas Tech Rodeo Team.
“It’s a big time deal all across the nation because we are one of the only D-1 schools that has a rodeo team like this,” Corman said.
In 2012, the rodeo team had nearly 30 members. Now, the team has grown to 56 members with 24 women and 22 men.
“We’re one of the best rodeo teams in the country,” he said. “I think the history makes this team successful.”
The rodeo team started in 1923 at Tech. There is a long history of excellence for the team, much longer than other rodeo teams have.
Corman said his four years on the rodeo team pushed him to be a better version of himself.
“Not only did it allow me to grow as a person competing, but it also taught me to grow in everyday life,” Corman said.
Taking the Reigns
After graduation in May 2016, Corman was searching for a job when he stumbled upon the position as head coach of the rodeo team at Tech.
Corman said his friends and family were all “fired up” when he received the call confirming his position as the head coach of the Texas Tech Rodeo Team.
Initially, Corman was unsure of his former teammates and now students’ reactions to his new position.
“I think it was an eye-opener for me at first, because going into it, I didn’t really think about the fact that they’re just kind of almost my age,” Corman said.
Although Corman is close to his students’ age, he believes both he and the team can benefit from it.
Since Corman is a recent alum of the Texas Tech Rodeo Team and Tech, he believes he has a fresh perspective that will benefit the team for years to come.
Murphey Black, Corman’s college roommate and former team member, said Corman had a great work ethic while on the team and he expects that to carry over into his new position.
Stetson is competitive and wants to win more than anyone I have ever been around. I think that makes a good team member and a good coach. You always know when Stetson rides in the box he is trying to win.
Black is confident in Corman’s abilities to achieve his goals for the team.
“He won his first rodeo as a coach so he started out pretty good,” Black said. “With Stetson’s love for Texas Tech and the sport of rodeo, I think this is a great job for him.”
While on the team, Corman had a vision for what the team could be.
“I have always kind of thought that I could shape the program a little bit different and so I think there’s a lot of benefits from that,” Corman said.
Now, Corman has the opportunity to do so. Corman plans to be understanding with students’ schedules and wants to put a new focus on practice.
“I am more able to connect with them because I just went through that,” he said.
Eyes on the Prize
Corman has quite a few goals he wishes to accomplish in his first year as head coach of the team. A few team members are close to qualifying for the College National Finals Rodeo, and Corman wants to get them there.
“For this year, I want to get our men’s team qualified for the CNFR,” he said. “They have a good shot. They’re fourth right now, and they’re 200 points out of second.”
CNFR takes the top two teams in the region. Corman said the Tech rodeo team also has a few women on the women’s team and some team ropers who are likely qualify as well.
This fall, the rodeo team will be launching a new online broadcast feature for its audience to follow along with the Annual Tech Rodeo.
“We are probably going to launch our Texas Tech Rodeo Live in October, so parents who want to watch their kids at home can,” Corman said.
The rodeo team has members from other states as well as in Canada. This feature will give more options to those who cannot cheer on their team member in person. Texas Tech Rodeo alumni will also be able to take advantage of this feature as well as anyone else interested in the events.
Before the next season Corman plans to work on the rodeo team’s facilities. He wants to replace the panels and get a permanent fence installed.
“I have always had a bigger picture for what the rodeo team could be and the facilities we could have,” Corman said.