After playing one season of golf at the University of Oklahoma, Aaron Terrazas wanted a mulligan.
“I just decided I needed to get more playing time because I wasn’t accomplishing what I wanted to accomplish by my first year-and-a-half,” said Terrazas, who just completed his junior season at The University of Texas at El Paso.
As Terrazas mulled his options following his decision to leave Norman, Oklahoma, he remembered the recruitment offers from UTEP while attending high school at Heritage Academy. Eventually, Terrazas chose to come to El Paso and has been very happy with that decision. He is studying communication, but has not settled on a concentration.
“I’ve loved El Paso since the first day I was here on my recruiting visit,” he said. “It felt like home coming from a culture that’s pretty similar to El Paso’s. The people around here are great. I didn’t have to go through an adaption process and that was huge for me because then I could just get to work in school and on the team.”
Growing up in Veracruz and Mexico City, soccer was a big part of Terrazas’ life because his father was a professional soccer player. Terrazas played soccer and golf until he was 14 and his family said he needed to concentrate on one sport.
“I picked golf because I just fell in love with the process of getting better individually and not having to depend on a team,” Terrazas said. “I think it’s just the fact (that) you can keep working at getting better and better, and that was something I really enjoyed about golf.”
He said he always will be grateful for earning a Division I scholarship to play at UTEP.
“The degree means a lot to me and as soon as I get that degree I’m going to be … I won’t have the words to describe how thankful I will be to UTEP,” Terrazas said. “Ultimately, all of the athletes want to accomplish that goal and the scholarship gave me a path to follow in my future.”
Off the course, Terrazas enjoys talking to anybody older than he is to pick their brains about life.
“I’ve been to plenty of tournaments where the host family just opens their houses to me and have a barbecue. I’ve talked to people 50 years old to 75 years old and they open themselves to me,” he said. “I love asking them how they were when they were younger and in college. They also recommend books to me that I read all the time when I get the chance.”
He also enjoys following most competitive soccer leagues, working out and being a homebody with his family when he visits them in Mexico City.
Before attending college in the United States, Terrazas’ accomplishments included:
- No. 1 junior golfer in Mexico for three years in high school
- Placed in the top 10 at the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup three times
- Finished in the top 10 at the U.S. Junior Amateur in 2013.
- Four-year member of the Mexican National Team.
Terrazas plans to continue playing the sport he loves after college.
“I want to be a professional golfer and I’m willing to fight and give up everything for it,” Terrazas said. “Everything means friends, family, time at home and being in your comfort zone. Some of those things people aren’t willing to give up. I am.”
Raise the Pick: This is part of a series about UTEP student-athletes who share their unique stories and how athletic scholarships have made a difference in their lives. Each of these students reflects on the value of their UTEP experiences and the opportunities they create for the future.
Visit minerathleticclub.com to learn more about the Raise the Pick campaign.
Author: Leonard Martinez – UTEP Communications