Danny Villanueva was born November 5, 1937 in Tucumcari, NM; he passed away on June 18, 2015. Danny attended Calexico High School and New Mexico State University. He was a place kicker and punter who played for the Los Angeles Rams and the Dallas Cowboys over 8 years. He played for the Rams from 1960 to 1964, setting the team’s record for single season punting average (45.5 yards per punt in 1962) and career gross punting average (44.3 yards per punt). Both stood for 45 years. Villanueva was traded to the Cowboys for the 1965 season, and played in two NFL Championship Games including the famed 1967 “Ice Bowl” in Green Bay – his final NFL game. Villanueva set a Cowboys franchise record by kicking 100 consecutive extra point conversions. (1965-1967).Cowboys, setting a team record that ran 41 years before being broken. For his NFL career, Villanueva averaged 42.8 yards a punt, held a 97.9 percent accuracy rate on PATs (236 of 241) He led the NFL in punts and punting yards in 1962 and 1963 with the Rams.

Villanueva, a transfer from Reedley (Calif) Junior College, played for the Aggies as a punter, placekicker and quarterback in 1958 and 1959. He helped lead the
Aggies to an 8-3 season as a senior, including a 28-8 win over North Texas in the 1959 Sun Bowl.

While playing in the NFL, Villanueva also started a career in broadcasting as the sports director for KMEXTV in Los Angeles. After his NFL retirement in 1968, he became the station’s fulltime news director and later the station’s general manager. It was from that position that Villanueva became a pioneer of the Spanish
International Network that was later sold and renamed Univision.

Villanueva, an English major and sportswriter while at NM State, was a strong friend to his alma mater as well, giving the university millions of dollars over his lifetime. As a philanthropist, he established the Danny Villanueva Scholarship Endowment to recognize NM State students who excel in leadership and community involvement in 1991. In 2002, Villanueva presented a major gift toward the university’s stadium annex project. It serves academic as well as athletic purposes, and Villanueva’s gift funded the Danny Villanueva Victory Club dining facility.

He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the university in 1999.He was inducted into the US Bank/NM State Hall of Fame in 1970. Villanueva served as the Commissioner of Boxing for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee. Villanueva was a co-founder of the L.A. Galaxy Major League Soccer. Villanueva was inducted as an inaugural member of the National Hispanic Hall of Fame in 1988, as an inaugural member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Science’s Management Hall of Fame in 2003 and inducted into the Hispanic Sports Foundation for Educations’ National Hispanic Hall of Fame in 2007.