Category: Sports Sports
Published: 17 May 2021 17 May 2021

SILVER CITY, NM - Western New Mexico University has hired Philip Vigil as the next leader for the Mustangs football team, as announced Monday by University President Dr. Joseph Shepard and Executive Director of Athletics Scott Noble. 

"After weeks of searching and many highly qualified candidates, we are extremely excited to announce the hiring of Philip Vigil as our next Head Football Coach. Coach Vigil comes to us after more than 12 years coaching at the Division II level with 6 of those ending in NCAA post season play. He also brings experience as a recruiting coordinator at both the Division I and Division II levels. What immediately stands out about Coach Vigil are his character values, not just as a coach, but as a human being. His moral character and personality is a great fit for our program and our current student athletes," said Executive Director, Scott Noble.  

Coach Vigil's football journey started as an All-Conference QB at Colorado Mesa University, sparking his interest in coaching. The 2021 Fall season will mark his 13th year coaching at the collegiate level.

He has six years of DII playoff experience and has reached the semi-finals game in 2010. Vigil will take over the Mustang program that has had 5 wins in the last four seasons.  

"I am extremely thankful to President Dr. Joseph Shepard and Athletic Director Scott Noble for their belief in me to lead Western New Mexico University Football. It was clear from the moment I got on campus that these two men share my passion for helping the student-athletes grow as men on and off the field," said Vigil. 

Vigil was previously the Running Backs Coach and the Recruiting Coordinator at Division I Stephen F. Austin from 2019-2021. Due to his previous successes and accomplishments at the Division II level, Texas legend, and SFA Head Coach, Colby Carthel gave Vigil an opportunity to coach at the Division I level. 

Impacting SFA immediately, Vigil played a pivotal role in recruiting back-to-back top 5 recruiting classes and back-to-back #1 recruiting classes in the Southland Conference, while toting the FCS #1 recruit in the nation both years, stealing them both from SEC schools. His accomplishments carried over into coaching, leading the running backs including freshman Ja'quarion Turner to First Team All-Conference. In 2020, SFA captured its first winning season in over a decade going 6-4. The only 4 losses SFA encountered were to FBS programs.

Before Coach Carthel hired Vigil at SFA, Vigil was at Fort Hays State for four seasons (2014-2019) serving as the team's Pass Game and Recruiting Coordinator. During his time at FHSU, the Tigers were 36-12, going to the post-season all four years, and winning back-to-back MIAA Championships in 2017 and 2018. In 2015 and 2018, under his leadership, two different quarterbacks would break the school record for total yards and touchdowns. The two quarterbacks would go on to win All-Conference and All-American honors. 

Prior to Fort Hays State, Vigil coached for three years (2012-2014) as the Associate Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach at his alma mater, Colorado Mesa University. Under Coach Vigil's edification of coaching the quarterbacks, his leadership was instrumental in the Mavericks' success of winning three RMAC championships. 

Vigil coached at Northwest Missouri State for two consecutive seasons starting in 2010, leading the running backs, two of which earned All-Conference and All-American honors. During his tenure at NWMSU, the team achieved great success going 22-5 combined record, and was a part of the staff when they won 46 consecutive games in the MIAA conference. In 2010, the team finished No. 3 in the AFCA Division II Top 25 Poll and advanced to the NCAA Division II National Semifinals. A season later, he helped lead NWMSU's offense to the DII scoring title, averaging 48.6 points a game. 

Starting his coaching career in 2009, Vigil was an assistant at the Colorado School of Mines. He coached the Oredigger secondary as many defensive backs were named to RMAC honors. 

A former quarterback at Colorado Mesa University from 2005-2008, Vigil was a two-year starter. In 2007, he led his team to a 10-2 record and an NCAA Division II Playoff appearance, ending the year ranked No. 19 in the final AFCA Top 25 Poll. 

Vigil finished his career at CMU as a two-time All-RMAC selection, ranking second all-time for the Mavericks in career passing yards (4,583), and second and third for a single season in passing yards with 2,032 and 1,960. In the classroom, Vigil was a great student being named an RMAC All-Academic honoree four times, before graduating with a Sports Management degree. 

"I am excited to build this program into one that this university, the community of Silver City, and the state of New Mexico can be proud of," said Coach Vigil. 

A native of Denver, Colorado, Vigil and his wife Melanie have three children, son Peyton, and daughters Ava and Olivia. 

Western New Mexico University is a member of the NCAA Division II, and the Lone Star Conference (LSC). For additional information regarding Mustang Athletics, visit

"Philip Vigil is one of the finest human beings on this planet and is a true transformational leader. He and his beautiful family will have a profound impact not only on the Mustang football program, but across the entire University and throughout the community of Silver City. He will build WNMU Football into a Lone Star Conference power that will be the pride of New Mexico!" 
-Colby Carthel, Head Football Coach, Stephen F. Austin University 

"Great hire by Western New Mexico! Philip Vigil is an excellent Offensive Coach and has played a major role in turning several programs around.  His positive attitude and tireless work ethic are contagious. The Fighting Mustangs just got a whole lot better!" 
-Bill O'Boyle, Assistant HC/Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line Kent State University 

"Coach Vigil is not only a great person but a great coach. You are not only getting a great coach, but you are also getting an amazing family. His wife Melanie and three children will be great supporters and bring a positive light to the community. Your next head coach is a coach that truly cares about the player as an individual. He will not only teach them the game of football, but he will also prepare them for life. He knows the importance of education and the role it plays in the future of these young men of WNMU. He will teach them how to be productive members of society and how to be great husbands and fathers. I'm very excited for Coach Vigil to have this opportunity. He will make WNMU very proud, and he will work continuously to develop a winning culture, in all aspects of life, to the WNMU football program."   
-Chris Brown, Head Football Coach, Fort Hays State University