When Taos Muncy won his first world championship in 2007, he was just 20 years old, and the end result was a shock to the system – to the saddle bronc riding nation and to the young New Mexico cowboy, too.
He had just completed a dream season, winning the saddle bronc riding championship at the College National Finals
Rodeo that June. In fact, his college and world titles put the then-Oklahoma Panhandle State University student in rare company, joining just all-around cowboy Ty Murray and bull rider Matt Austin as the three cowboys in the history of the sport to have won both prestigious titles in a single year.
Just a couple weeks ago, Muncy, in just his fourth qualification to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, strolled into the media room at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas with his family after clinching is second Montana Silversmiths gold buckle.
Toting 4-month-old Marley and walking side by side with his wife, Marissa; his parents, Blaine and Johnnie; his sister, Jordan Muncy-Taton; and his traveling partner and brother-in-law, Cody Taton, Taos Muncy was a much different man than the child who first captured the world five years earlier.
The politeness and respect remains a big part of Muncy’s personality, but the fear and “deer-in-the-headlights” conversations that once were part of every media interview have been replaced by confidence and, quite honestly, a fatherly touch.
Taos and his sister attended Panhandle State, and both were crowned college champions – Jordan’s came in the all-around and breakaway roping in 2010. Their coach, Craig Latham, has had nothing but great things to say about the family, which knows the value of hard work.
“They’re just good people,” Latham said.
Taos Muncy won $94,471 at the 2011 NFR and finished the season with $249,914. He’s been one of the greatest bronc riders in the business even before he became a pro; he’s become a great man along the way.