Athletics Director Greg Byrne's weekly email discussing Wildcat Athletics
Athletics Director Greg Byrne
April 20, 2011
This is a reposting of the Wildcat Wednesday weekly email sent by Athletic Director Greg Byrne to all the wildcat fans around the country. If you would like to sign up to receive the email directly please sign up here. HERE COMES THE ARIZONA ROAD TRIP
Sean Miller, Mike Stoops, Niya Butts and yours truly will be heading out (thanks to Wildcat Club member Brad Lundquist for touring us in his RV for a portion of the tour) on Monday and will be traveling around our great state. We will be spreading theWildcat Movementand thanking our fans for all of their support and encouraging others to get involved.
Our staff often hears me say how enthusiasm and emotion is contagious. We know by getting around and meeting with the local communities and the local media we can help spread that enthusiasm and emotion to different areas. I know that you have seen our billboards around the state (see below for our latest additions), our fans are wearing the colors on Friday, you have seen the passion of the “Wildcat Walk” on game days, you have helped spread the Wildcat Movement, you have seen how we are communicating with you through Wildcat Wednesday, TwitterandFacebook, and now we need you and others to come join us on our Arizona Road Trip. The reason we do all of this is to engage and connect with as many of our wonderful Wildcat fans as possible. Please keep in mind this is a regional tour with limited open dates on our calendars so if we don’t get to your area this year we will work on it for the future. Look forward to seeing everyone next week.
ONE OF THE GOOD DAYS
After the recent Spring Game, 9-year-old Michael Gomez was able to meet with one of his heroes, UA quarterback Nick Foles (below). Nick had a good day on the field along with the rest of the Wildcat offense. Michael, who has let his hair grow so that it resembles Nick’s, later told his grandfather, "This is the best day of my life, Papa." Foles is just one of hundreds of Arizona student-athletes who have more than a casual interest in school children and other members of our community. The UA is all about teaching, research and public service, and we like to think our charges add some personal dimension to their own experiences and those of others.
NICE ROUNDS PAY OFF
The women's golf team finished second at the Pac-10 Championships early this week in Tempe. That's a great performance by the No. 7 Wildcats, and gives us another point in the State Farm Territorial Cup Series. Our team has finished in the top three at 14 conference championships since 1987. The team was just five strokes out of first place in the three-round tournament, with junior Isabelle Boineau the team medalist with a fourth-place finish. Next up, NCAA Regionals the first week in May. Go Cats!
RUNNING, JUMPING AND THROWING, IN STYLE
Our women's (No. 9) and men's (No. 26) track and field teams are putting together some of the strongest seasons we've enjoyed in these sports in years. Last week at the noted Mt.SAC Relays in California, more than two dozen of our athletes had personal bests. These kinds of performances are coming as the outdoor season heats up heading toward the Pac-10 meet mentioned above, and the NCAA Championships in early June. This week, we'll send just a few student-athletes to meets in Provo, Utah, and La Jolla, Calif., before regrouping for a triangular meet with ASU and NAU at the end of the month. Keep up the good work, Cats!
THE PACIFIC-10 CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS
We'll be host for the final Pac-10 Track Championships May 6-7 and May 13-14 at Drachman Stadium. Not only is it the final conference meet, it's also the final Pacific-10 Conference championship event of any kind. After that, it's all Pac-12, and everything that comes with the growth of our league (much more on that, later). Tickets to the track event are available online or by calling 621-CATS or 800-452-2287. You can see some outstanding student-athletes and future Olympians and world contenders at a meet like this.
We also will be host for a 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Golf Regional at Omni Tucson National Golf Resort on May 19-21 with 13 teams and some individuals from around the country for three rounds of championship golf. Admission is free daily, with play beginning at 8 a.m.
Additionally, our department has submitted bids to host 2011 NCAA Softball Regional and Super Regional rounds at Hillenbrand Stadium. The NCAA Softball Committee will select sites on May 15, naming the national seeds, brackets and host institutions. We submitted a very competitive bid to keep the Cats at home. In the next few weeks, we will work to develop bids to host NCAA Baseball Regionals and Super Regionals as the Cats progress through Pac-10 Conference games.
Many of you may be reading reports and guesswork about the Pac-12 Conference and its negotiations for a television rights package beginning in 2012-13. There have been some very large numbers thrown around; figures that make it seem we all might be flush with cash pretty soon. That's not exactly how it will work, notably because the current contract has a final year to run and the reports have been purely speculative at this point. The good news is that league commissioner Larry Scott and deputy commissioner Kevin Weiberg are working on what could prove to be a pivotal agreement for the future of our league. The necessary fiscal support such a package can provide all 12 schools will be critical, indeed, and we anticipate that our league's strong brand will draw a very beneficial contract for what many observers feel has been an undervalued product.
WILDCAT COUNTRY EXPANDING
Thanks to CBS Outdoor for helping expand our reach in the Phoenix area with five new outdoor boards. The new boards can be found at I-17 S/O Grant E/S; 7th Ave. S/O Elwood E/S; I-17 E/O 6th Ave. N/S; 40th St. N/O Broadway E/S; and 51st Ave. 1500 ft. N/O Lower Buckeye Rd. The Wildcat Movement continues…
FACEBOOK FAN OF THE GAME
This season, we are honoring our loyal Facebook Fans. Each game this season, one of our many Facebook Fans will be the Facebook Fan of the Game. Make sure to “Like” us on Facebook to be in the running. Check back the week of the game and “Like” the Facebook Fan of the Game post. A winner will be selected and honored before each home game. This week’s Facebook Fan of the game was John Sainz. Congratulations John! Become of fan at www.facebook.com/ArizonaAthletics.
Congratulations to Chance Lindley of the women's basketball staff on being named head coach of the University of Nebraska at Omaha women's team. Chance was an assistant to Niya Butts for three years and now will head his own program in the Summit League... Final exams begin May 6, two days after the last day of spring classes. It's an important time of year for our student-athletes and their scholastic success... The Arizona-Arizona State softball games tomorrow, Friday and Saturday at Rita Hillenbrand Stadium are sold out, another step toward helping us establish a new NCAA season attendance record. We're averaging above 2,600 for the year, above our previous high of 2,516 in 2010, the nation's best for the season. The record is 2,557 by Fresno State in 1997. The games will decide a point in the State Farm Territorial Cup Series between the two schools (even though they could meet later in head-to-head NCAA competition)... Baseball is on the road at Oregon Thursday through Saturday after a 1-2 mark at UCLA last week... Our men's tennis team will play host to Boise State on Sunday at 9 a.m. at Robson Center, and then move to Ojai, Calif. next week along with the women's tennis team for the Pac-10 Championships April 28... The uniformed student-athlete in the photo above provided a few of the highlights of the Spring Game last weekend, dominated by a passing attack that featured more than a dozen of our outstanding receivers. Nick's our nominee for the American Football Coaches Association "Good Works Team" that highlights off-the-field service by players around the nation. Our C.A.T.S. program helps many of our student-athletes find ways to give back -- and they do. Thanks to all for helping spread the word...
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