Athletics Director Greg Byrne's weekly email discussing Wildcat Athletics
March 28, 2012
COACH MIKE CANDREA
Our Hall of Fame softball coach, Mike Candrea, deserves your best thoughts after hospitalization this past weekend. Tests have brought good news and he will be back to work tomorrow. Nothing is more important to us than the people with whom we work (student-athletes, our employees and fans) as well as our friends and family. Coach Candrea has given all of us another reminder to not take any of those for granted.
We have respect for our opponents, and thank ASU for help during the incident that took Coach Candrea away from the game Sunday. And, congratulations to that school for taking a State Farm Territorial Cup Series point. We aim to win the overall Series again this year, however, and now it's down to women's tennis, baseball, men's and women's golf, and men's and women's track and field as the remaining events.
TOP 20 SHOWDOWNS COMING TO OUR BALLPARKS
Baseball and softball are each hosting Stanford this weekend at Hi Corbett Field and Hillenbrand Stadium, respectively. Both of these series will feature matchups of Top-20 programs. Arizona baseball is ranked #8 in the country, Stanford is #2. Arizona softball is ranked #17, Stanford is #12. Ideally we wouldn't want these games scheduled at the same time, but sometimes it doesn't work out that way. Hopefully you can find time to attend some of these games and support the Wildcats on the field.
Baseball will host Stanford Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at noon. The first 1,000 fans at Friday's game will receive a free Arizona pennant. Sunday's game is a "Sunday Funday," select concession items are 50% off. Click hereto purchase tickets online. Softball's games vs. Stanford are Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 7 p.m., and Sunday at noon. Saturday's game is a RED OUT! Blakeway Panorama will be taking a special commemorative photo that will be available for purchase on their website (Arizona Athletics receives a percentage of the revenue). Saturday is also Club Arizona Day." Youth tickets are only $2 with a Club Arizona membership card. Click hereto purchase tickets online.
SWIMMING TAKES FOURTH
Kudos to our men's swimming and diving team for its fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships last weekend. Coach Eric Hansen and the squad had a number of NCAA title performances. Those included victories by Cory Chitwood for his third consecutive national championship in the 200 backstroke; Ben Grado won the platform diving event to become the first Arizona male or female diver to win an NCAA crown; Adam Small, Mitchell Friedemann, Giles Smith and Kevin Cordes won the 200 medley relay; Austen Thompson won the NCAA title in the 400 individual medley; and Cordes won the 100 breaststroke to become UA's most recent freshman NCAA winner since 2003. Congratulations, men! We wanted to win the meet but are only proud of these and all the swimmers who put together an outstanding season.
NORTH - AND SOUTH - END ZONES
We have received queries from some of our fans in the south end-zone seating area of Arizona Stadium, sections right below (and thereby out of view of) the massive video board. With the old scoreboard/video display gone from the north end zone, they're wondering what's in store for their viewing in 2012. We will have game-in-progress information displayed along the façade of the new structure in the north end this season (2012) and are discussing the idea of installing a permanent (smaller) video board in the northwest corner of the stadium for the 2013 season. While the addition of a second video board has not been finalized and is still only a point of discussion, we are looking at options as we consider the experience of all of our fans and their enjoyment of the games. There are opportunities for season ticket holders to relocate, but we're also aware that many people like where they are - and just wonder what's in store for their sections' views of the games.
JOURNAL RECOGNIZES LEAGUE ASCENDANCY
The University of Arizona is a proud member of the Pac-12 Conference, which was just recently selected as one of the five finalists for the 2012 Sports Business Awards League of the Year. This is the first time in the history of the award that a collegiate conference has been a finalist for this prestigious award. Other finalists include: Major League Baseball, the National Football league, National Hockey League and the PGA Tour. That's some serious company. The Pac-12 is quite resolved about moving forward as a national leader.
Thanks to the many people, 2,000 strong, who came out and watched our football practice and scrimmage at Glendale Community College in the Phoenix area last Saturday. It was a solid showing of fan support and a good glimpse of the pace Coach Rich Rodriguez demands. The squad practiced for a while and then ran about 100 plays - a lot of work for less than two hours. Too, on the ride back, one of the four team buses had only the coaching staff in it - the guys were continuing some heavy focus looking at videotape of the workout. You, of course, know what I think - it's never too soon to plan on having your football season tickets.
The next chance to see the football team in action will be Saturday, April 14 at the annual Spring Game. With the ongoing construction at Arizona Stadium the Spring Game will be held at Kino Stadium. Admission and parking are free. Game starts at 1 p.m.
ATTENTION FOOTBALL LETTERMEN
The 2012 Arizona Football Alumni Weekend will be April 13-14. Arizona Athletics invites ALL our Arizona Football lettermen to come out and get reacquainted with the program. Let's show Coach Rodriguez, his staff and the team how much support we have for them. If you have any questions about the alumni weekend please call 520-621-0889.
·Our track and fieldteams will play host to the Jim Click Shootout Thursday through Saturday at Drachman Stadium. The decathlon and heptathlon will take place Thursday and Friday, starting at 11:30 a.m. and 12 p.m., respectively. Saturday will start with field events at 9 a.m. and the running events at 12:30 p.m. Lots of top-25 teams and high-caliber competitors in town this weekend.
·Women's golfwill be in Tempe for the PING/ASU Invitational Friday through Sunday
·Men's tennisplays Stanford (It's kind of a Cardinal weekend) at 1:30 p.m. Friday and California at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Robson Center on campus
·Women's tennis will be in action with matches at Cal on Friday and at Stanford on Saturday
·The gymnasticsteam earned a fifth-place finish at the Pac-12 Championships last week and for its effort was named the third seed at the Seattle regional meet; the Cats will compete with Alabama, LSU, host Washington, Iowa and Central Michigan on April 7.
TAKING RED AND BLUE TO THE WORLD -- AND TO HEART
Click here for a gallery of Wildcats wearing the colors at home and abroad. You might guess that it's difficult to choose the weekly picks from dozens of submissions, so here are two dozen all at once. It's clear that the Wildcat Movement is for real, and people are exceptionally proud of the University of Arizona. It's nice that simple apparel can represent so many things to so many people.
(Remember, please include names with your photo. It can really help if you simply rename the photo with all the info - "John Doe 88 Mary Smith Doe 92 son Jim in Timbuktu.jpg"... etc.).
AND THE WEEKLY PICS ARE...
The first picture is from Sandra Moushey ('99), a teacher at Sunrise Middle School in Scottsdale, of whom I had the pleasure of meeting at the football scrimmage in Glendale. She established "Wildcat Thursdays" for her class this past basketball season. Great idea!
Further below, UA students Andrew Bess, Scott Pederson, Mike Schmelling, Steve Maslowski, R.D. Castillo, Martin Philpot, Ken Morris, and Ricky Lew show off the colors at the Great Wall of China. This group of students just returned from an international trip.
Continue to do what you can to help Arizona Athletics and: