THANK YOU DR. DAVID LAPAN
We are extremely excited to announce that Dr. David Lapan, his wife Krista, and their children Lisa, Dana, Kasey, Katie, Tyler, Zach and Kobie, in conjunction with the Lapan Charitable Trust and the Lapan Memorial Sunshine Fund, have committed a $1 million gift to our Hillenbrand Softball renovation project. We would also like to thank the group of supporters that, in conjunction with this lead gift, have made this project a reality. Currently, we’ve raised over $1.5 million in gifts dedicated to softball, which will help to initiate Phase I of upgrades to our softball facilities.
Phase I will focus on much needed upgrades and space for team programming at the William G. Hillenbrand Clubhouse. The priority is the clubhouse with a locker area, study center, lounge and auditorium. In order to increase the total square footage of that space, necessary infrastructure must be added to address this phase and future improvements. If the necessary funding continues, Phase II’s goals include the enhancement of the batting cages and bullpen areas, while addressing fan seating, shade and other amenities to bolster the fan experience at Hillenbrand Stadium.
Originally from the Bay Area, David came to Tucson in 1974 to perform his residency and ended up staying in town. A cardiologist, he helped start Pima Heart Associates, which is the largest cardiology group in Southern Arizona. He’s been a season ticket holder for men’s basketball and football, but felt inspired to do something more for the U of A.
While living in Tucson, David grew his affinity for the Arizona softball program. He’s admired what the sport does for young women, helping to make them physically and mentally tough, teaching teamwork and how to overcome adversity. He’s also quite fond of what our head softball coach Mike Candrea has not only done for Arizona softball, but also Tucson in general. He cited Candrea’s ability to develop a nationally-relevant program that draws attention to Tucson, while running a program that gives the young ladies of Tucson something to aspire to and of which to be proud.
We want to thank David, his family and the Lapan Charitable Trust and Lapan Memorial Sunshine Fund, which are both family run trusts that focus on providing money for education, while supporting other charitable organizations dedicated to education, for their generosity. If you would like to join Dr. Lapan in donating to the softball campaign, please contact a Wildcat Club development officer at (520) 621-CLUB.
NCAA SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS ARE COMING BACK TO TUCSON
Coach Candrea has his team back in the NCAA Softball Championships and the Wildcats are hosting a regional this weekend at Hillenbrand Stadium. Softball had an outstanding regular season, spending most of it ranked in the top 10. We’re excited to welcome LSU, Louisville and Boston University to Tucson for the regional and I know our softball fans will help make this weekend a memorable experience for those student-athletes and coaches. Our first game is Friday night vs. Boston University at 8 p.m., which follows the first game at 5 p.m. between LSU and Louisville. All-session tickets are $27 for reserved seats and $21 for general admission. Single-session tickets are $10 for reserved seats and $8 for general admission. Tickets are on sale now. Call (520) 621-CATS (2287) or click here to buy online. Make sure to visit ArizonaWildcats.com’s tournament central page for all NCAA Regional information.
REVIEW OF PAC-12 MEETINGS
Last week, the Pac-12 hosted meetings for the head football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball coaches in Phoenix. Also in attendance was the Senior Women’s Administrators and they even made room for us ADs. There were a lot of normal issues on the table but there were also a number of items that are significant for the future of intercollegiate athletics. We discussed student-athlete welfare issues, unionization, unlimited meals and others. While I think we are moving in the right direction with many of these items, I also know that we still have a lot of work to do to understand what all of these items mean for student-athletes and the impact it will have on our departments.
One thing I am concerned about is the unintended consequences of some of these issues. Again, I think we are headed in the right direction, however as my friend Jim Phillips (Director of Athletics at Northwestern) stated in the Chicago Tribune this week: “If you want to dismiss accessibility to higher education, then go through with unionization,” he said. “At the end of the day, 22 schools out of 1,100 turn a profit. If we want to ignore broad-based programming and equality (Title IX), then you’ll get a completely different collegiate model.”
One other item of interest. Larry Scott walked us through the last four years of the Pac-10/12 and we spent a good part of one afternoon talking about the future. It was great engagement.
TICKET TO SUCCESS TOUR ROLLS ON
The Ticket to Success Tour (#T2ST) has continued to pick up steam. We’ve really enjoyed getting out in the community and visiting with a number of local businesses. Just this week, we had four stops with Crest Insurance, Northwest Medical Center, Engineering and Environmental Consultants, Inc., and Raytheon Missile Systems. Our next stop is scheduled for May 30 with M3 Engineering. The schedule has gotten quite full, but we may have a few dates available. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (520) 621-3547 if you’re interested in participating in the Ticket to Success Tour.
LONG TIME CFO JOHN PERRIN RETIRING
John Perrin has been one of Arizona Athletics unsung heroes for the last couple of decades. After 34 years as one of the integral pieces of our business office, John is retiring this summer. Although he has retired before and despite our best efforts to convince him to stay, he said this time it is official.
One of our five goals and principles is to practice sound fiscal management and John has helped us achieve that during his tenure. Through his expertise and ability to work with people in the department, Arizona Athletics has operated in the black for 28 consecutive years, which is something that many departments around collegiate athletics struggle with.
We can’t thank John enough for his dedicated years of service and we’re so grateful for all the time and energy he’s given to the success of the athletics department. We wish him, his wife Jeannie and their two sons, John Jr. and Michael, nothing but the best as they enter the next chapter of their lives.
FOOTBALL PAYMENT PLANS STILL AVAILABLE
As I mentioned in last week’s Wildcat Wednesday, football season ticket sales are up compared to this time last year. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback on some of our new ticket initiatives, such as our $99 season ticket entry level price. Now is a great time to jump on board for the 2014 football season. Fans still have time to sign up for a season ticket payment plan if they do so by the end of this week. There are two options: with Wildcat Club benefits and without Wildcat Club benefits. In order to receive all Wildcat Club benefits for the 2014-15 year, new members must be paid in full by June 30. If you want to make sure you receive your benefits, you can sign-up for a two-month payment plan by the end of this week. If you’re not interested in the benefits, or want to purchase season tickets in a non-donation area, you can sign up for a four-month payment plan by the end of this week. Payment plans are not available online, so if you’re interested, please call (520) 621-CATS (2287) or stop by the McKale Ticket Office during normal business hours (Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
CATS IN THE COMMUNITY
Last week, a few of our men’s basketball players went to the UMC Diamond Children’s Center with Shine On Tucson. While there, the players handed out basketballs to the children. Members of the UMC staff said the patients were excited to see the guys and spend some time with a few of Tucson’s local heroes. Thank you to Brandon Ashley, Matt Korcheck and T.J. McConnell for taking time away from their studies to visit with some of their biggest fans.
ASK THE ATHLETICS DIRECTOR
We’re collecting questions and topics to address in Wildcat Wednesday and we’d like to encourage everyone to continue sending items. We don’t expect to be able to answer every question or address every topic, but we’ll do our best to pick items that seem most important to the readers and write about them in the space above. If you have something you think might make a good question or topic, please email it to email@example.com.
Today, the NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) was released and we are pleased to report all 20 sport programs are above the 930 minimum four-year average. The APR is a team-based, real-time number that accounts for the eligibility and retention of each student-athlete, each term. Each year, when the data has been released, Arizona Athletics has bettered its numbers. Last week, the women’s gymnastics program was publically recognized by the NCAA for performing in the top 10% of all gymnastics programs. This year’s academic success is a direct result of the great academic support services in our CATS Academics program and a departmental-wide class attendance policy that was implemented in 2010. While we are never satisfied with our numbers, we are pleased at the direction they continue to trend.
Football had five players receive the call from the NFL last week. Ka’Deem Carey (Bears), Shaquille Richardson (Steelers) and Marquis Flowers (Bengals) were drafted, while Terrence Miller (Jets) signed a free-agent contract and Tevin Hood (Patriots) was invited to mini-camp ... Men’s Basketball released its non-conference schedule last week, which includes a trip to the Maui Invitational, home games with Gonzaga and Michigan and road games at UTEP and UNLV. To see the entire non-conference schedule, you can click here ... Lacey Smyth from Women’s Tennis will compete in the NCAA Singles Championships in Athens, Ga. starting on May 21 ... Women’s Tennis was also recognized with four of the seven ITA Southwest Region awards, including Vicky Maes being named region coach of the year ... Alex McMahon and Erik Oja from Men’s Golf will compete as individuals at the NCAA San Antonio Regional starting on May 15.
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 ArizonaLiveStats.com.
WEAR THE COLORS – SHARE THE PHOTOS
Thank you for wearing the colors and sharing your Arizona pride! If your photo submission did not make this week’s edition of the Wildcat Wednesday, please check our “Wildcat Wednesday” album at facebook.com/ArizonaAthletics.
NOTE: Please submit photos for Wildcat Wednesday with an original email to firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject line ‘Wildcat Wednesday photo.’ Also, please ensure all submissions are clear and properly lit. We also ask that you identify everyone in the photo so we can highlight them accordingly.
|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,
Vice President for Athletics
The University of Arizona