If you drive about two hours west of bustling Dallas-Ft. Worth, you’ll stumble upon Ranger, Texas, a quiet town named for the celebrated Texas Rangers who resided in the area during the 1870s.
Lucchese recently went behind-the-scenes with the Ranger College rodeo team as they trained for the 2017 spring season. Students from around the country and even Canada have flocked to Ranger in hopes of developing their education and competitive rodeo careers. The biggest draw to this particular rodeo program? Llew Rust, Head Coach of the Ranger College rodeo team.
Llewellyn “Llew” Rust was born and raised on a ranch in Del Rio, Texas where he started his rodeo career at a young age. Throughout high school, college and his adult life, Llew excelled in his events. He advanced to the College National Finals Rodeo all four years of college, as well as the United States Calf Roping Association finals every year during his professional career. To this day, Rust continues to compete in calf and team roping events and has no plans on slowing down anytime soon.
The 2017 spring season marked the Stephensville resident’s ninth year as Head Coach. Upon starting at Ranger, the rodeo team had a slim total of nine athletes on the roster. With Rust’s excellence in recruiting and passion for the sport, he has expanded the team to 58 student athletes ranging from local Texans to Canadians.
This incredible growth can certainly be attributed to Rust’s dedication to the team and sport as a whole; a passion that certainly did not go unnoticed this past December when the Board of Regents presented Llew with the 2016 Employee of the Year award.
We thank Llew and the staff at Ranger College for their hospitality and wish the team continued success in 2017 and beyond.
Llew pictured with his daughter, Cheyenne, who trains barrel horses and helps her dad during team practices.
Llew celebrates his ninth year as Head Coach of the Ranger College rodeo team.
A student athlete trains for calf roping events in the "Roaring Ranger" rodeo arena just a short drive from campus.
Photos by: Travis Gillett