Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Wildcat Wednesday - Lezo Urreiztieta Memorial at McKale
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: January 15, 2014
Related Links

As we continue to honor the life of Lezo Urreiztieta, the track and field student-athlete who recently passed away from complications following brain surgery, the Arizona athletics department has coordinated a public memorial to be held at the McKale Center on Wednesday, Jan. 22 from 6-7 p.m. The timing of the event was determined to allow friends, teammates and fellow student-athletes to return from break and participate in the tribute. 

The program will include comments from head track and field coach Fred Harvey, myself and members of the track and field team. Parking will be available free of charge in surface lots and at meters, while a nominal fee will be required for parking in the Cherry garage. Doors will open for the memorial at 5:30 p.m.

As a reminder, Izaro and Melissa Urreiztieta have established the Lezo Urreiztieta Endowed Scholarship in remembrance of their son, which will provide scholarship support to a track and field student-athlete each year. To contribute, please click here and scroll down to "Endowments." 


As many of you are aware, we recently announced a number of major gifts in conjunction with the McKale Center renovation project. The overall project is set for an $80 million renovation with Phase I costing $30 million. We started with the announcement of a leadership gift from Cole and Jeannie Davis in the amount of $6 million, which brought our total at the time to $12.6 million.

Using the momentum from the initial announcement, the project has received a number of other significant contributions, including a $2.5 million anonymous donation. The Donald Diamond family pledged $1 million, while George Rountree committed $800,000. We were also able to secure two $500,000 gifts from separate anonymous donors.

In addition to the gifts that have been secured, an anonymous donor has presented us with an $8 million matching gift challenge. Basically, if we can raise another $8 million, this very generous family will match it. If all $8 million is raised and the match is secured, our total fundraising will reach $28.6 million. I can tell you that the challenge gift has already created a lot of excitement. We should be announcing a number of significant gifts in the coming weeks that will be matched with the $8 million challenge.

The improvement of our facilities is extremely important as we work to stay competitive with others around the country. Improved facilities have a direct correlation to recruiting, the fan experience and revenue generation and impact not just the programs that compete in the McKale Center, but all 20 of our sports programs.

We are currently working on six and seven-figure gifts for the McKale renovation, and while I know most are unable to support at that level, please support the Wildcat Club at whatever level you can afford. If you are interested in making a major gift to the McKale renovation project, please contact my office or the Wildcat Club at (520) 621-2582.


After this past weekend’s historic sweep in Los Angeles, which contributed to the best start in school history (17-0), head coach Sean Miller and the men’s basketball program are ready for rivalry night in the McKale Center. Your Wildcats will take on our neighbors to the north on Thursday at 7:00 p.m., and as has become customary when we host our rivals in Tucson, we’re asking all fans to WEAR RED. The fans have been outstanding both at home and on the road this season, and we want the atmosphere in McKale to be electric, so break out your favorite red piece of Arizona gear and help us #RedOut the McKale Center on Thursday night. The official Red Out t-shirt is available at all UA Bookstore locations and the A-Store at McKale.


Last Sunday, WNBA star Davellyn Whyte was inducted into the Arizona Ring of Honor. She became one of just four women’s basketball players to achieve this prestigious honor. Whyte joined Adia Barnes (1995-98), Shawntinice Polk (2001-05) and Dee Dee Wheeler (2002-05) as women’s basketball representatives in the Ring of Honor.

In her four years at Arizona, Whyte scored 2, 059 points, the second-highest point total in school history. She finished her career second all-time in steals, fourth in free throws, eighth in assists and ninth in rebounding. In April of 2013, Whyte became the highest WNBA draft pick in Arizona history when she was selected 16th by the San Antonio Silver Stars. She made the team, played in 29 games and started four.


I want to send a thank you to all of our fans who have supported our men’s basketball team on the road. The U of A chants could be heard loud and clear at Madison Square Garden, the Crisler Center, Pauley Pavilion and the Galen Center. We’re looking forward to the next opportunity Wildcat Nation has to fill an opposing team’s arena in two weeks when the Cats head to the Bay Area to take on Stanford and Cal. For fans coming to those games, please note the BayCats chapter of the UA Alumni Association is hosting a special event on Friday, Jan. 31. It’s called “Salute to Lute.” Just as the name implies, legendary coach Lute Olson will be honored that evening. It’s a great opportunity for fans to meet Coach Olson and thank him for everything he’s done for our University. More information, including how to buy tickets, can be found by clicking 


Spring signing day (Wednesday, Feb. 5) is just around the corner, which means another crop of young men will sign their national letters of intent and join our football program. As in year’s past, fans will be able to follow along as the letters start rolling in thanks to our OKG Day show that will air on The OKG Day show, which will begin at 7 a.m. MST, will consist of signee announcements, video highlights, interviews with the staff and current players and features on the Arizona football program. Fans can interact with us throughout the day by using the hashtag #AZOKGDay when posting on various social media outlets. We hope you’ll tune-in to learn more about the next crop of Wildcats. 

To finish off the day, the Arizona athletics department will host a party in the Sands Club (5th floor of the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility). Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. with the program getting underway at 6:15 p.m. Tickets for the party are $20 for the general public or when purchased on the day of the event and $10 for 2013 or 2014 season ticket holders and/or Wildcat Club members. The tickets can be purchased online here. With capacity set at just 650 attendees, I suggest getting your tickets for the event early as I’m sure they will go fast.

Remember to save the date, Wednesday, Feb. 5, and join us as we celebrate the 2014 Arizona football signees.


The Arizona athletics department and the A-Club Letterwinners Association are excited to invite all alumni student-athletes to participate in the 2014 Super Wildcat Weekend festivities. Please save the date for April 10-13, 2014. Invitations will be mailed soon. Please remember to RSVP. Here is a list of activities for the Super Wildcat Weekend:
·         Movie Night at Arizona Stadium (Open to general public)
·         Alumni Letterwinners Golf Tournament at La Paloma
·         Alumni Letterwinners Welcome Back Reception at Arizona baseball game vs UCLA
·         Alumni Days: Baseball, Track and Field and Men’s Tennis
·         Alumni Letterwinners Celebrity Flag Football Game at Arizona Stadium
·         Alumni Letterwinners Tailgate at Arizona Stadium
·         Annual Arizona Football Spring Football Game at Arizona Stadium
·         Track and Field/Cross Country Reunion

Thank you to those student-athletes that have continued to volunteer their time over the winter vacation. Many of you stayed active during your time off and we appreciate all of your efforts. As more student-athletes return to campus, all of our teams will be taking part in our annual Cats Give Back Week, a week dedicated for the student-athletes to give back to our Tucson community. As a part of Cats Give Back Week, on January 11th, members of the Men’s and Women’s Tennis teams went to the Pima County Juvenile Detention Center. These student-athletes talked to the kids about hard work and how to overcome adversity. Thank you to all of those that attended this important community service event.


Classes are back in full swing today as we begin another semester at the University of Arizona. Signing Day for several sports is a few weeks away and recruits will soon be signing their national letters of intent. We would like to remind everyone that it is not permissible to use social media to try to persuade recruits to come to Arizona. Please leave the recruiting to the coaches. We appreciate the help from all of the supporters of Arizona athletics and would like to remind everyone that compliance is everyone's responsibility. 


Softball’s Chelsea Suitos was tabbed a semifinalist for the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup, which honors two athletes that have made the greatest difference in the lives of others …Gymnastics started their 2014 season with a victory at Illinois-Chicago on Saturday. Junior Kristin Klarenbach posted the highest score of the night with a 9.9 on the floor exercise … Track & Fieldstarts its indoor season on Saturday at the Lumberjack Challenge. The men’s team enters the season ranked 17th in the USTFCCCA poll … Football’s Ka’Deem Carey announced that he will enter the 2014 NFL Draft. Carey finished his career as Arizona’s all-time leading rusher and was a two-time consensus All-American, two-time first-team All-Pac 12 performer and the 2013 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year … Sand Volleyball starts its inaugural season this week. Make sure to follow their social media accounts on Twitter @ArizonaSandVB and on Instagram atarizonasandvolleyball.


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

7:00 p.m.: Men’s Basketball vs. Arizona St. (TV: FOX Sports 1) (Radio: TuneIn) (BEAR DOWN GAME) (WEAR RED FOR A RED OUT)

9:00 a.m.: Men’s Tennis vs. Texas A&M Corpus Christi (at Albuquerque, N.M.)
12:30 p.m.: Men’s Tennis vs. UC Irvine (at Albuquerque, N.M.)
7:00 p.m.: Women’s Basketball vs. Stanford (TV: Pac-12 Networks) (Live Audio Stream

All Day: Track & Field at Lumberjack Invitational (at Flagstaff, Ariz.)
9:00 a.m.: Men’s Tennis vs. UC Irvine (at Albuquerque, N.M.)
7:30 p.m.: Men’s Tennis at New Mexico

3:00 p.m.: Gymnastics vs. Stanford and Sacramento St. (at Palo Alto, Calif.)
4:00 p.m.: Men’s Tennis vs. Texas A&M Corpus Christi (at Albuquerque, N.M.)
7:00 p.m.: Men’s Tennis at New Mexico

3:00 p.m.: Women’s Basketball vs. California (TV: Pac-12 Networks) (Live Audio Stream)

No Events Scheduled

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

#OurHouse Rocks Slider
#OurHouse Mini-Plans