September 12, 2017

MARTIN, Tenn. –
The 2017-18 University of Tennessee at Martin rodeo team kicks off its season this week when it travels to Pearl River Community College. The rodeo will take place in Hattiesburg, Miss. and goes from Thursday, Sept. 14 through Saturday, Sept. 16.

The season-opening rodeo hosted by Pearl River is one of nine events on UT Martin’s schedule in 2017-18, including the 50th annual UT Martin Spring College Rodeo on April 12-14, 2018. This year’s College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo. is set for June 10-16, 2018.

Head coach John Luthi is in his 21st season at UT Martin, as he will manage a roster that includes 32 returners and 20 newcomers. Luthi has guided the UT Martin men’s team to 14 Ozark Region championships and seven top-10 national finishes since 2005.

Last season, the UT Martin men’s squad tallied 3,615 points and placed in the top-three in exactly half of its 10 rodeos, including wins at Arkansas Monticello (March 30-April 2) and in the home rodeo hosted on April 6-8. A total of 13 cowboys return for UT Martin this season, including 2017 CNFR participants Ross Mitchell (second in the nation in team roping), Houston Herbert and Ryan McDaniel.

The UT Martin women’s team placed third or better in seven rodeos, including a victory at Murray State on Oct. 15-16. The women’s squad returns 19 cowgirls from last year’s team that compiled 1,800 points and finished third in the Ozark Region. Kenzley Wilson will look to make her second consecutive CNFR appearance as she leads a group of eight talented seniors on this year’s roster.