Lighthouses of Mexico: Eastern Baja California

The Baja California region of Mexico is a peninsula more than 1300 km (800 miles) long, stretching south from the U.S. border at Tijuana to the resorts of Cabo San Lucas. "Baja," as it is usually called, separates the Pacific on the west from the Sea of Cortés (Gulf of California) on the east. The west coast is popular with surfers and the east coast attracts sea kayakers and ecotourists. Many visitors arrive in Baja California by air or cruise ship, but there are also paved highways running the length of the peninsula.

Mexico is a federal union of 31 states (estados) plus the capital district, and the states are subdivided into municipalities (municipios). The state of Baja California occupies the northern half of the peninsula and the state of Baja California Sur occupies the southern half, the border between the two states being at latitude 28° north. This page includes lighthouses of the east coast of the peninsula in both states.

Many of the lighthouses of Baja California are in remote areas and are seldom visited. Additional information and photos would certainly be welcome. Because of the rugged topography of the peninsula, most of the lighthouses are short towers located at the tops of bluffs or ridges overlooking the sea.

Mexican lighthouses are managed by the Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes, the cabinet agency that also manages the country's airports and seaports. Many of the larger light stations are staffed by resident civilian keepers.

In Spanish the word for a lighthouse is faro, baliza is a beacon, isla is an island, cabo is a cape, punta is a promontory or point of land, péñon is a rock, arrecife is a reef, bahía is a bay, ría is an estuary or inlet, estrecho is a strait, río is a river, and puerto is a port or harbor.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. CF numbers are from the Mexican Cuaderno de Faros (Handbook of Lighthouses). Admiralty numbers are from volume G of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. All U.S. NGA numbers are from Publication 111.

General Sources
Online List of Lights - Mexico Pacific
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Lighthouses in Mexico
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
World of Lighthouses - Mexico
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Cuaderno de Faros
The Mexican light list can be downloaded in two volumes, Atlantic and Pacific.
Navionics Charts
Navigation charts for Baja California.

Faro de San Felipe
San Felipe Light, San Felipe, April 2008
ex-Flickr Creative Commons photo by Roger Smith

Baja California State Lighthouses

Mexicali Municipality: San Felipe Borough Lighthouses
* San Felipe
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white flash every 6 s. 22 m (72 ft) cylindrical white concrete tower with four buttresses, adjoining a 1-story keeper's house. Lantern roof painted red. Roger Smith's photo appears at the top of this page, Winfield Sterling has a closeup photo, Esteban Gomez has a photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. This is the one of the most accessible major lighthouses of Baja California. Located on a headland at the end of federal highway 5 in the town of San Felipe. Site open, tower status unknown. ARLHS MEX-072; CF-02-545; Admiralty G3542; NGA 14756.
* San Felipe Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); white flash every 3 s. 15 m (49 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery; the upper portion carries a white slatted daymark. Google has the street view seen at right and the shadow of the tower is seen in Google's satellite view. Located on the waterfront of the fishing harbor of San Felipe, at the south edge of town. Site open, tower closed. CF-02-550; Admiralty G3542.2; NGA 14757.
* San Felipe Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 29 m (95 ft); white light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 19 m (62 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery; the upper portion carries a white slatted daymark. Google has a street view and an indistinct satellite view. Located two blocks southwest of the front light. Site open, tower closed. CF-02-280.1; Admiralty G3542.21; NGA 14758.
* San Felipe North Wharf
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); red light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 9 m (30 ft) concrete post rising from a 1-story square equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. This light is seen at the right in the street view at right and Google has a closer street view and a distant satellite view. Located at the north end of the main wharf at San Felipe. CF-02-285; Admiralty G3542.5; NGA 14750.
* San Felipe South Wharf
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); green light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 9 m (30 ft) concrete post rising from a 1-story square equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. Google has a street view and a distant satellite view. Located at the south end of the main wharf at San Felipe. CF-02-425; Admiralty G3542.6; NGA 14751.

San Felipe Range Front Light, San Felipe, September 2009
Google Maps street view
* Punta Estrella
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 27 m (89 ft); three white flashes every 12 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical white concrete tower mounted on a square concrete pad. Andrew Riley has a closeup photo and Google has a satellite view. Located about 2 km (1.25 mi) northwest of Punta Estrella and 20 km (13 mi) southeast of San Felipe. Accessible from San Felipe by 4WD. Site open, tower closed. CF-02-260; Admiralty G3543; NGA 14748.5.

Ensenada Municipality: Puertecitos Borough Lighthouses
* Bahía Santa Maria
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical white concrete tower mounted on a square concrete pad. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view. It seems odd that there are no photos of this accessible lighthouse. Located at Campo el Vergel, about 40 km (25 mi) south of San Felipe. Accessible by road. Site open, tower closed. CF-02-255; Admiralty G3543.5; NGA 14748.
* Punta San Fermin
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); four white flashes every 16 s. 13.4 m (44 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery. No photo available but Google has a distant satellite view. Located on a headland south of Punta San Fermin. Accessible by 4WD. Site open, tower closed. CF-02-1130; Admiralty G3544; NGA 14744.
Isla Miramar (Isla El Muerto) (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); two white fkashes every 10 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower painted with red and white horizontal bands. Bing has a satellite view. Mike Higgins has a photo of a dilapidated tower and Google's satellite view shows two towers at the location. If the latter view is more recent then the original lighthouse was replaced and may survive. Located at the southeastern tip of the island, off a barren section of the coast about 180 km (115 mi) south of San Felipe. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower open. CF-02-245; Admiralty G3544.5; NGA 14743.
Punta Willard
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 12 m (39 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery. Juan Francisco Franco Alucano has a photo and Google has a satellite view. Despite its name the lighthouse is not at Punta Willard but on the shore of an embayment north of that point. Site open, tower closed. CF-02-1125; Admiralty G3545; NGA 14740.

Punta Willard Light, Puertecitos, July 2016
Google Maps photo by Juan Francisco Franco Alucano
 

Mexicali Municipality: Isla Ángel de la Guarda Lighthouses
Isla Ángel de la Guarda Punta Norte
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); white flash every 6 s. 14 m (46 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Isla Ángel de la Guarda is a large island separated from the mainland by the Canal (channel) de Ballenas. The island is uninhabited and is protected as a national park. The lighthouse is located at the east end of Isla Granito, a small island just off the northern tip of Isla Ángel de la Guarda. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. CF-02-225; Admiralty G3546; NGA 14736.
Isla Ángel de la Guarda Punta Sur
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 27 m (89 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 14 m (46 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery. No photo available but Bing has a distant satellite view. Located near the southern tip of Isla Ángel de la Guarda, marking the southern entrance to the Canal de Ballenas. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. CF-02-220; Admiralty G3547; NGA 14728.

Ensenada Municipality: Bahía de los Ángeles and Calmallí Borough Lighthouses
* Punta Arenas (Bahía de los Ángeles)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); four white flashes every 16 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Bill Gracey's photo is at right, Rob Holcomb has a photo, Wikimedia has a photo, C. Washington has a street view and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of a sand spit partially sheltering the waterfront of Bahía de los Ángeles, a small resort town at the end of federal highway 12. Site open, tower apparently open. CF-02-215; Admiralty G3547.6; NGA 14726.
Bahía de San Francisquito
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 6 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Jerry Bazant has a closeup photo and a view from the sea, Zimran Lucero has a very distant aerial photo and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse marks a small, sheltered harbor at San Francisquito on the east coast of Calmillí borough. Located on the west side of the harbor entrance. Site open; a visitor found the tower open. CF-02-195; Admiralty G3550; NGA 14718.
Punta Arenas Light
Sunset at Punta Arenas Light, Bahía de los Ángeles, July 2012
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Bill Gracey

Baja California Sur State Lighthouses

Mulegé Municipality East Coast Lighthouses
Cabo Vírgenes (1)
Date unknown. Inactive since 2008. 10 m (33 ft) cylindrical concrete tower painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse was replaced by a 10 m (33 ft) square skeletal tower located about 800 m (1/2 mi) northwest (focal plane 16 m (52 ft); four white flashes every 16 s). The Cuaderno has a small photo and Google has a satellite view. Located on a rugged promontory about 15 km (9 mi) north of Santa Rosalía. Site status unknown. ARLHS MEX-024; New light: CF-03-780, Admiralty G3552, NGA 14717.
* Punta Santa Agueda
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); four flashes every 16 s, white or red depending on direction. 12 m (39 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery. Tonatiuh Flores has a 2019 photo, Adan Perez has a view of the light in action, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on an islet just off a headland a short distance east of Santa Rosalía. Site open, tower closed. CF-03-765; Admiralty G3556; NGA 14716.
Piedra Blanca (Isla San Marcos)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 15 m (49 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery. Mike Higgins has a photo and Google has an indistinct satellite view. The Isla San Marcos is a large island about 25 km (15 mi) southeast of Santa Rosalía. Located on an islet sheltering a small anchorage at the northwestern corner of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MEX-013; CF-03-740.3; Admiralty G3559; NGA 14706.
Punta la Lobera
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft) white flash every 6 s. 15 m (49 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery. The Cuaderno has a small photo and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on an islet off the northern tip of Isla San Marcos. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. CF-03-750; Admiralty G3559.4; NGA 14707.
* Punta Chivato
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); four white flashes every 16 s. 15 m (49 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery. Jesus Antonio Romero Espinoza has a photo and Google has a good satellite view. Located on a promontory about 2 km (1.25 mi) north of the Punta Cacarizo Light. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MEX-162; CF-03-735; Admiralty G3560; NGA 14705.
* Punta Cacarizo (Punta Inés)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); white flash every 6 s. 15 m (49 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery. Brett Wyatt has a photo and Google has a good satellite view. Located on a gravel bar at the entrance to Chivato. Site open, tower closed. CF-03-730; Admiralty G3561; NGA 14701.
Isla Santa Inés North
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 15 m (49 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery. The Cuaderno has a small photo and Google has a good satellite view. Located on an islet north of Isla Santa Inés and about 4 km (2.5 mi) east of Punta Cacarizo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MEX-168; CF-03-725; Admiralty G3561.4; NGA 14702.
Isla Santa Inés South
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 15 m (49 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery. The Cuaderno has a small photo and Google has a satellite view. Located at the southern tip of Isla Santa Inés, about 8 km (5 mi) southeast of Punta Cacarizo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MEX-169; CF-03-720; Admiralty G3561.8; NGA 14703.
** Mulegé (Muleje, Punta El Sombrerito)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 42 m (138 ft); four white flashes every 16 s. 12 m (39 ft) square white cylindrical concrete tower, with gallery but no lantern, rising from a 1-story keeper's house. Alejandro Crivellari's photo is at right, Maria Guadalupe Aguilar Evangelista has a 2018 closeup photo, Trabas has a photo by Hendrik Martin Porath, Jonathan Haro has a 2016 photo, a distant view is also available, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located at Punta El Sombrerito atop a large rock marking the entrance to the harbor. Accessible by a short hike across the beach followed by a steep climb. Site open, tower evidently open. ARLHS MEX-118; CF-03-710; Admiralty G3562; NGA 14696.
Faro de Mulegé
Mulegé Light, Mulegé, December 2007
Flickr photo copyright Alejandro Crivellari
permission requested
Punta Agujas
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 15 m (49 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery. The Cuaderno has a small photo and Google has a satellite view. Located at the eastern entrance to the Bahía de Concepción, about 5 km (3 mi) east of Mulegé. Site open, tower closed. CF-03-705; Admiralty G3562.2; NGA 14697.
Isla San Idelfonso
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); four white flashes every 16 s. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located at the south end of a small island about halfway between Mulege and Loreto. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. CF-03-695; Admiralty G3562.5; NGA 14694.

Loreto Municipality Lighthouses
* Loreto (2)
Date unknown (recent; station established 1912). Active; focal plane about 25 m (82 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. Approx. 22 m (72 ft) round cylindrical white concrete tower with gallery. Alejandro Cabrera's July 2009 photo is at right, Adan Perez has a 2018 photo, Trabas has a photo by Hendrik Martin Porath, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. NGA formerly listed a 12 m (39 ft) skeletal tower at Loreto, and that tower was in place at least as late as 2005. Founded in 1697, Loreto is the oldest town of Baja California; it served as the capital of both Upper and Lower California until 1777. Located at the base of the north breakwater of the marina at Loreto. Site open, tower closed. CF-03-685; Admiralty G3563; NGA 14688.
Punta Lobos (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); four white flashes every 16 s. 12 m (39 ft) round white concrete tower. No photo of the present tower available, and the tower has not been found in Bing's satellite view. Mike Higgins has a 2008 photo of the original skeletal tower. Located on the sharp northeastern tip of Isla Carmen, a large island off Puerto Escondido. Probably accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. CF-03-675; Admiralty G3563.58; NGA 14685.
Bahía Salinas
Date unknown. Inactive, probably since the 1980s. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical concrete block tower, formerly painted with red and white horizontal bands, now in ruins. Mike Higgins has a photo and Bing has a satellite view. This light guided vessels to a salt works that closed in 1984. Located on the east side of the entrance to a bay on the east side of Isla Carmen. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed.
Isla del Carmen (Punta Arena)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 10 m (33 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. Google has a good street view but the tower is hard so see in Google's satellite view. Located on the southwestern tip of Isla del Carmen. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. CF-03-680.1; Admiralty G3563.52; NGA 14680.
Punta Coyote (Puerto Escondido)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 6 s. 14 m (46 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. The Cuaderno has a small photo and Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on the east side of the entrance to the bay of Puerto Escondido. Site open, tower closed. CF-03-660; Admiralty G3563.5; NGA 14684.
Faro de Loreto
Loreto Light, Loreto, July 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Alejandro Cabrera
[Puerto Escondido East]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); red flash every 5 s. 7.5 m (25 ft) concrete post surrounded by a spiral stairway. The Cuaderno has a small photo and Google has an indistinct satellite view and a distant street view. Located on an arm of the mainland opposite the west breakwater at the entrance to Puerto Escondido. Site open, tower closed. CF-03-670.4.
* [Puerto Escondido]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); white flash every 6 s. 7 m (23 ft) square white skeletal tower. Google has a street view and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the foot of the pier in Puerto Escondido. Site open, tower closed. CF-03-665; Admiralty G3563.51.
Isla Monserrat
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); four white flashes every 16 s. 10 m (33 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. The Cuaderno has a small photo and the tower is seen in Google's satellite view. Monserrat is an island about 8 km (5 mi) in diameter and 25 km (15 mi) southeast of Isla Carmen. Located on the southern tip of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. CF-03-635; Admiralty G3563.85; NGA 14668.

La Paz Municipality East Coast Lighthouses
La Paz is the capital of the state of Baja California Sur and a major city with a population of about 250,000.
Isla de San José Southwest Point (Punta Salinas) (1)
Date unknown. Inactive. 14 m (46 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, originally painted with red and white horizontal bands. Lantern removed, and the tower is falling into ruin. Next to the lighthouse is the active light (focal plane 12 m (39 ft); four white flashes every 16 s) on a 7.5 m (25 ft) square skeletal tower. Mike Higgins has a photo and a closeup, another photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a sandy point on the west side of the Isla de San José, about 7 km (4.5 mi) east of San Evaristo on the mainland. The lighthouse guided vessels to a salt works, now abandoned. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower probably open but dangerous. New light: CF-03-595; Admiralty G3565.08; NGA 14641.
Isla Partida (Los Islotes) (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 12 m (39 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. The Cuaderno has a small photo and the shadow of the tower is seen in Bing's satellite view. An older, smaller skeletal tower stands next to the current light. This light marks the northern entrance to the bay of La Paz. Located on Isla Lobos, a small island off the northern tip of the much larger Isla Partida. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. CF-03-580; Admiralty G3566; NGA 14600.
* La Paz Second Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); white flash every 2 s. 7 m (23 ft) square white concrete tower. Google has a street view and a satellite view. The front light is on a 5 m (16 ft) tower. Located on the Colina Capristano in La Paz. Site status unknown, probably open; tower closed. CF-03-440.1; Admiralty G3573.1; NGA 14616.
* Punta Prieta (La Paz)
Date unknown (station established 1906). Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); three white flashes every 12 s. 20 m (66 ft) square cylindrical masonry tower rising from a 2 or 3-story building. Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands. Nobuo Tsuboi's 2015 view from the sea is at right, a 2012 photo also shows the red and white bands, Javier Rodríguez has a 2009 closeup photo showing the tower all white, and Google has a 2019 street view and a satellite view. Punta Prieta lies about 8 km (5 mi) north of La Paz and this is the light guiding vessels approaching the harbor. The lighthouse is surrounded by a Pemex petroleum facility. Located beside highway 11 on the point of the cape. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MEX-127; CF-03-435; Admiralty G3570; NGA 14588.

Punta Prieta Light, La Paz, October 2015
ex-Google Plus photo by 坪井伸夫 (Nobuo Tsuboi)
[Islote de la Reina (Arrecife de la Foca) (2)]
2008 (?). Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 6 s. 7 m (24 ft) triangular skeletal mast, painted white. This is one of the best known dive sites of Baja California, and visitors often mention the lighthouse. The Cuaderno has a small photo and Bing has a satellite view. The original light, described as a round metal tower, was destroyed by Hurricane Henriette in September 2007. Located on a rocky islet just off the northern tip of Isla Cerralvo. ARLHS MEX-113; CF-03-365.1; Admiralty G3575.6; NGA 14584.
Piedras Gordas (Isla Jacques-Cousteau, Isla Cerralvo)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 11 m (36 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. The Cuaderno has a small photo and Google has a satellite view. In 2009 the Mexican government changed the name of Isla Cerralvo to Isla Jacques-Cousteau in honor of the famous French oceanographer and naturalist (1910-1997), who visited the island many times in his research. The island is about 29 km (18 mi) long; located 65 km (40 mi) east of La Paz, it is separated from the mainland by a channel about 10 km (6 mi) wide. The light is located on the southwestern tip of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. CF-03-360; Admiralty G3576; NGA 14576.
Bahía la Ventana (1 and 2) (Punta Gorda)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); white flash every 6 s. 12 m (39 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. An older tower of roughly the same size stands mext to the active light. An aerial photo is available and Google has a satellite view. Located on the beach at the north end of the Bahía la Ventana, about 4 km (2.5 mi) north of El Sargento. Site open, tower closed. CF-03-350; Admiralty G3577; NGA 14580.
* Punta Arena de la Ventana (Las Arenas) (1)
Date unknown. Inactive since 2009. 10 m (33 ft) cylindrical white concrete tower with gallery, mounted on a square concrete base. Ramlop Ramirez has a 2017 photo (also seen at right). Located close to the new lighthouse (next entry). Site open, tower closed.
* Punta Arena de la Ventana (Las Arenas) (2)
2009 (station establishment date unknown). Active; focal plane about 28 m (92 ft); three white flashes every 12 s. Approx. 25 m (82 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Ramlop Ramirez has a 2017 photo (also seen at right), another 2017 photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located 70 km (44 mi) southeast of La Paz overlooking the Cerralvo Channel. The lighthouse appears to be about 1.5 km (1 mi) from the nearest main road and is probably accessible by 4WD. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MEX-122; CF-03-345; Admiralty G3578; NGA 14572.

Punta Arena de la Ventana Light, La Paz, July 2017
Google Maps photo by J.J. Ramlop Ramirez

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: East: Northwest Coast | South: Southwestern Baja California

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Posted June 2002. Checked and revised October 17, 2020. Lighthouses: 39. Site copyright 2020 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.