Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Wildcat Wednesday - THANK YOU ROCKY LAROSE
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: October 16, 2013
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When I was hired to be the Director of Athletics here at Arizona, I knew I was coming to a place that had great history and tradition built by some of college athletics’ top administrators, coaches and student-athletes. I was looking forward to getting to know the in-and-outs of the department and the great history and tradition of the University of Arizona.  Fortunately, I had the encyclopedia of Arizona athletics two doors down from my office. I’m not talking about a book. I’m talking about Kathleen ‘Rocky’ LaRose.

Rocky LaRose has spent every minute of the last 37 years as a member of the Arizona athletics family. It’s been well documented in the many terrific, and well deserved, articles recognizing her amazing career that she came here in 1977 to complete her degree in physical education, while playing softball for the Wildcats. Last week marked Rocky’s official retirement, closing another chapter in one of the top administrative careers in the history of college athletics.

There were laughs, there were tears and there were a number of wonderful tributes to Rocky culminating in an event on Saturday night complete with the who’s who of Arizona and college athletics. Ced Dempsey and Jim Livengood were there. President Hart and former Presidents Peter Likins and President Koffler were there. Lute Olson was there. Chris Dawson from the Pac-12 was there. The celebration of Rocky’s career lasted about two hours or so, but honestly, we could have been there for several more hours because that is the amount of time we’d need to appropriately recognize the impact that Rocky LaRose has had on our industry.

Rocky has been here for 20 of Arizona’s 21 National Championships. She helped in transitioning the mens’ and women’s athletics department into one unit. She was the mastermind behind the CATS Life Skills program that became the model for which all other collegiate athletics’ life skills programs were based. She was the first woman administrator to have direct oversight of both football and men’s basketball. She was an advocate for gender equity and opportunities for women. In addition, she is the first woman to serve as Athletics Director for The University of Arizona. But most of all, Rocky touched the lives of thousands of student-athletes.

Rocky LaRose is Arizona athletics. Her tireless work has been the backbone of our department and her knowledge, experience and selflessness have been major reasons for all of our successes. Her retirement leaves a void that all of us within the department will need to try and fill, but fortunately, we’ll still see Rocky at our events and she’ll always be a resource we can draw from when making decisions about the future of Arizona athletics.

All we can say is thank you Rocky. Thank you for your service. Thank you for the way you carried yourself and the way you represented the University of Arizona. As you take your place on the Mt. Rushmore of Arizona athletics, please know that anyone who has touched Arizona athletics is grateful for all you’ve done for this department and this university.

Enjoy your retirement and continue to Bear Down like you have for the last 37 years.

To see a video slideshow of Rocky’s career at Arizona, click on the picture below.


As we’ve teased in other Wildcat Wednesdays, we’re giving fans the chance to experience some behind-the-scenes activities around our football games. We really value those of you who purchase tickets and support the department, so we wanted to find some creative ways to give back by enhancing your game day.

For these items, you’ll need to be a ticket holder and be active on Twitter. Through Twitter, our staff will be asking you to perform some specific tasks in order to be eligible for these experiences, which include announcing the uniform combination for the week, participating in the Wildcat Walk, running out of the tunnel with the team and attending the postgame press conference.

You can learn all you need to know by clicking here. We’re hoping everyone that can participates in this opportunity. We think it’s going to be a lot of fun. Thanks again for your support of the program, and if you still need tickets for this weekend’s game with Utah, click here.


We are proud to honor football letterman Tedy Bruschi for his selection into the College Football Hall of Fame. The athletics department will retire Bruschi’s jersey during halftime of the Utah football game this Saturday. One of Arizona football’s most accomplished letterwinners, garnering first team Pac-10 honors in 1993, ‘94, and ’95, Bruschi was named the Pac-10 Player of the Year in 1995. He finished his career as the Arizona and NCAA all-time sack leader and holds the single-season record with 19 sacks during the 1993 season. Bruschi played in five Super Bowls as a member of the New England Patriots, raising the Lombardi Trophy three times. He currently works as an analyst for ESPN and the NFL Sunday Countdown show. Congratulations Tedy and Bear Down!


A reminder to our Phoenix-area fans, the Cat Cruiser is available for all home football games, including this Saturday’s game vs. Utah. With three pick-up locations, the Cat Cruiser is a great alternative for those in the Valley who would like to avoid driving and parking on gameday. A roundtrip bus ticket only costs $30. For more information or to reserve your spot, call Bon Voyage Travel at (800) 439-7963 or click here.


This Friday, the volleyball team will host UCLA at the McKale Center at 6 p.m. It’s the annual “Dig Pink – Breast Cancer Awareness Night.” Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the match to show their support in the fight against breast cancer. Then, on Sunday, the Wildcats will host the No. 1 team in the nation, the USC Trojans. It’s “Club Arizona Day, presented by Hughes Federal Credit Union.” Kids who are members of Club Arizona can purchase tickets for only $1. The team could really use your support at Friday’s “Dig Pink” match against UCLA and Sunday’s match against No. 1 USC. I hope to see you there. Click here to purchase tickets.


A big thank you to Coach Butts and two of her student-athletes for their last minute community service appearance at UMC Diamond Children’s last Friday. Operations director Lisa Salgado, women’s basketball head coach Niya Butts, junior guard Candice Warthen and senior forward Kama Griffitts went to visit 13-year-old Katia, who had open heart surgery on Oct. 8. She was the 300th recipient of the Gift of Life. Already up and walking around, Katia has a love for women’s basketball and hopes to be able to play again soon. Thank you to women’s basketball for helping to make her day so much brighter. We wish a speedy recovery to Katia!


There are many challenges facing athletics departments and their student-athletes. Inappropriate actions by local businesses can affect the eligibility of student-athletes and damage the University of Arizona’s national reputation. According to NCAA rules, student-athletes are prohibited from receiving extra benefits and preferential treatment. Any special discounts or arrangements given to student-athletes, their friends or family that are not otherwise available to the general student population or the general public are deemed by the NCAA as impermissible. Examples of impermissible benefits and/or treatment include, but are not limited to, free or reduced cost for admission into events or establishments, and free or reduced cost for goods or services that are not otherwise available to regular students generally.

Many businesses have been great supporters, and we wish to continue that relationship, but we need your continuous help to ensure that our student-athletes remain eligible for competition by adhering to NCAA rules in the interactions you may have with our student-athletes.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the compliance office at 520-621-4796 or visit the compliance website here.


The live web stream of the Red-Blue game drew more than 7,000 viewers for the second year in a row. Combined with the crowd in attendance, more than 22,000 people watched the festivities … At 13-5 overall and 3-3 in the Pac-12, the volleyball program currently ranks 30th nationally in the RPI … Chelsea Goodacre batted .867 with eight home runs and 24 RBI in 15 plate appearances, while helping softball go 5-0 in the Arizona Fall Invitational.


Here is a look at this week’s Arizona Athletics events (Home events in BOLD). To purchase tickets for home events,click here. To access live stats from your desktop or mobile device, visit

All Day: Women’s Tennis at ITA Regional Tournament (at San Diego, Calif.)

All Day: Women’s Tennis at ITA Regional Tournament (at San Diego, Calif.)
3:00 p.m.: Soccer at USC (TV: Pac-12 Networks)
6:00 p.m.: Volleyball vs. UCLA (TV: Pac-12 Networks) (BEAR DOWN GAME)

All Day: Women’s Tennis at ITA Regional Tournament (at San Diego, Calif.)
All Day: Men’s Tennis at ITA West Regional (at Malibu, Calif.)
8:00 a.m.: Cross Country at Wisconsin Invitational (at Madison, Wis.)
11:00 a.m.: Swimming & Diving at Utah
7:00 p.m.: Football vs. Utah (TV: Pac-12 Networks) (Radio: TuneIn)


All Day: Women’s Tennis at ITA Regional Tournament (at San Diego, Calif.)
All Day: Men’s Tennis at ITA West Regional (at Malibu, Calif.)
2:30 p.m.: Volleyball vs. USC (TV: Pac-12 Networks

All Day: Men’s Tennis at ITA West Regional (at Malibu, Calif.)
7:30 a.m.: Men’s Golf at Herb Wimberley Intercollegiate (at Las Cruces, N.M.)

All Day: Men’s Tennis at ITA West Regional (at Malibu, Calif.)
7:30 a.m.: Men’s Golf at Herb Wimberley Intercollegiate (at Las Cruces, N.M.)

No Events Scheduled


NOTE: When submitting photos for Wildcat Wednesday, please ensure they are clear and properly lit. Also, please make sure to identify everyone in the photo so we can highlight them accordingly. Thanks for your help.

Continue to do what you can to help Arizona Athletics and:

    1.   Join the Wildcat Movement
    2.   Buy Season Tickets
    3.   Wear the Colors (Especially on Friday)
    4.   Get Others to do the Same

Bear Down with Pride,

Greg Byrne
Vice President for Athletics
The University of Arizona

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