Last summer, in his third season as the Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo rodeo coach, Ben Londo once again led his team to the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) held at the Casper Events Center from June 12 through June 18. Londo, 33, was named the 2016 National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s Coach of the Year, an award that is voted for by all rodeo coaches from the West Coast region. It was presented by Ric Griffith, rodeo coach of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Londo, who rodeoed competitively for Cal PolySan Luis Obispo while earning his bachelor’s degree in construction management, started directing the rodeo program there in the fall of 2013 and has had student athletes qualify for the finals every year since.
Like most other college rodeo participants, Londo grew up around livestock. Originally from
Milton Freewater, Ore., he began riding at age 10 on his parent’s cattle ranch. Londo, who won the all-around title at the 2005 and 2006 CNFR, spent his rodeo career following in a long line of family tradition. In fact, his father, Ned, rode in college and professionally, eventually even reaching the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
“Rodeo’s been in my family for generations,” said Londo. “Growing up in the country, it’s so related to the work we do every day. It’s more than a sport.
It’s more than a sport.