Carlos Tenorio, also known as “Sombrero Man,” is not just the face of New Mexico United super fans. He’s also the voice of Volcano Vista athletics.
Tenorio, a senior at Volcano Vista, does the public address announcing for girls basketball, boys basketball, volleyball and baseball. His interest in sports broadcasting came from listening to the legendary Vin Scully call Dodgers on local radio. After learning of other big-name, big voices in sports broadcasting, Tenorio realized that if he couldn’t play his favorite sport for a living, there was another path to working in Major League Baseball.
“That really, really got me interested because you know, maybe I don’t have the talent to make the bigs as a player, but there’s other options to get there,” Tenorio said.
If you’ve been to a New Mexico United home match, you’ve most likely seen Tenorio cheering like mad in the supporter’s section or even leading cheers from the field. He’s easily recognized by the red sombrero he wears to matches.
The sombrero was an heirloom left to him by his great-grandfather, Frank, who picked it up at an indoor flea market.
Tenorio first wore it to a game in 2016 when the Lobos beat UTSA in the New Mexico Bowl.
“When UNM made the New Mexico bowl against UTSA, I was like, ‘You know what, I’m gonna wear it,’” Tenorio said. “I wore it, UNM ended up winning the New Mexico bowl. So I’m like, ‘You know what? It’s good luck.’ I started wearing it to all the UNM football games.”
Tenorio also wore the sombrero to Albuquerque Isotopes games, especially when the team adopted its alter ego “Los Mariachis de Nuevo México.” It was at Isotopes Park where Tenorio caught the eye of United owner Peter Trevisani.
“Peter told me, ‘You know, we need fans like you’ and I’m wearing a sombrero with face paint on,” Tenorio said. “So I ended up wearing it to the New Mexico United opening match against Fresno FC, and it just kind of took off from there.”
Aside from being a United superfan — he has missed only two home matches in the team’s existence — he also does PA announcing for the United Academy. Tenorio is also the bat boy for the Isotopes during baseball season and works on Brian Colon’s campaign for attorney general.
“There’s a lot that I do; it’s a lot of stuff, and I enjoy it,” Tenorio said. “It keeps me out of trouble. It keeps me busy.”
While Tenorio has many interests and responsibilities, his goal is to work in his favorite sport, baseball.
Tenorio plans to attend UNM and study journalism and broadcasting this fall before finishing his college education at either Eastern New Mexico or Texas Tech.
After that, Tenorio has a couple of dream jobs in mind.
“I hope to end up working for the Oakland Athletics either covering them with journalism, doing play-by-play or even doing the PA announcing,” Tenorio said. “Even staying home and working with New Mexico United, staying here and just pursuing a career in sports locally would also be a dream come true.”
This story was originally published Feb. 23, 2022.