James Isaac “Preacher” Pilot
Born: January 22, 1941 Kleberg County, Texas
Died: January 2, 1991 Fort Wayne, Indiana
High School: Kingsville High School (Texas)
College: University of Kansas
New Mexico State University
• Among the first black football players the school ever had
• Captain of the football team
• Lettered in football, basketball and track
• Belonged in the choir
• Attended the University of Kansas on a basketball scholarship
• Played football for NMSU from 1961 to 1963
• Led the NCAA major colleges in rushing yardage in both 1961 with 1278 yards and 1962 with 1247 yards.
• First player since University of Michigan’s Tom Harmon to lead the country in rushing yardage in consecutive years.
• Led the NCAA in scoring with 138 points (13.8 points per game)
• Tied for the most rushing touchdowns in a career in program history with 37 (tied with Larry Rose III).
• Mentioned in “Sports Illustrated” Magazine several times and in “Time” and “Life” magazines
• 1963 Fifth round draft pick for the San Francisco 49’ers
• 1995 Inducted into the New Mexico State Athletics Hall of Fame