Donor Story

Arts & Sciences Alum’s Awesome Adventure

Meteorologist Craig Herrera Forecasts from Sunny San Diego while Giving Back to UNM

By Todd Staats

Posted October 14, 2015

If cut, Craig Herrera (’95 BA) might just bleed Cherry and Silver. This loyal Lobo fan—and Emmy Award-winning San Diego weather and news man—might just appreciate the playful nod to the TV trope, “If it bleeds, it leads.” Spring of 2015 marked Craig’s 20th anniversary of his UNM graduation, and he’s been giving back to his alma mater almost as long.

At home in San Diego, UNM alumnus Craig Herrera enjoys some impromptu affection from Cooper, left, while Sash appears not adequately impressed by Craig’s two Emmys nearby—or perhaps it’s just the gold’s glare she’s avoiding.

At home in San Diego, UNM alumnus Craig Herrera enjoys some impromptu affection from Cooper, left, while Sash appears not adequately impressed by Craig’s two Emmys nearby—or perhaps it’s just the gold’s glare she’s avoiding.

Craig grew up watching the Lobos play. An uncle often took him to games in Albuquerque, and by his sophomore year at Pojoaque High School, Craig knew he wanted to become a Lobo too. “UNM is just awesome,” said Craig. “It was more than I expected for a college experience.”
He was involved in two UNM Alumni Association programs as a student: first as a Trailblazer, serving as a liaison to the association during various functions, and later as an Ambassador, helping the Athletics Department orient incoming recruits. He also served as vice president of his fraternity—and enjoyed his years as a Lobo cheerleader for all UNM sports.

After his junior year, Craig received a U.S. Olympic Broadcast Team Division internship, and by the following summer after graduating with his BA in journalism and mass communication, he accepted a job with the division, moving to Colorado Springs. A steady succession of bigger broadcast jobs followed.

His meteoric rise in the medium next took him from Colorado to Atlanta, to Denver, to Fresno, Calif., and eventually to San Francisco, where he won his first Emmy as part of his station’s morning team in 2011. Soon afterward, Craig moved to San Diego to report and forecast for ABC affiliate KGTV-10. It’s there in 2013 where he won his solo Emmy for weather forecasting.

In addition to his career, Craig is an avid exercise fanatic, a certified indoor cycling (spinning) instructor, and an ardent dog lover; he adopted his 17-year-old Lhasa Apso, Sasha, while living in Denver, and also has a 6-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mix, Cooper.
After 20 years away, Craig said, “I miss so much about New Mexico—the people, the culture, the diversity and, of course, the food.” He’s been involved with UNM Alumni Chapters in both San Francisco and San Diego. “Events like our annual chile roast in the fall help keep me connected to UNM,” he said. “My freezer always has New Mexico green chile in it,” he laughed.

At Arts and Sciences, Craig supports the Dean’s Fund, the Communication and Journalism Chair’s Fund and the UNM Libraries, among other areas. “Giving back is an easy decision,” he said. “UNM gave so much to me. I want to make sure that other students also have the chance to receive awesome opportunities like I did.”

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