Athletics Director Greg Byrne's weekly email discussing Wildcat Athletics
THEY FOUGHT LIKE WILDCATS
The famous slogan taken from an early 20th century newspaper account holds true. Our teams fought (and fight) like Wildcats. Our football team took overtime to beat a good Toledo team, our soccersquad won on the road at Creighton to even its 2012 record, the volleyball team came back from an 0-2 start to take host Pepperdine into a fifth set before falling narrowly in the deciding match, and some of our young runners got early work in a cross country meet at Flagstaff. It was a good weekend, all things considered, notably the effort and “fight” in our efforts. Thanks to coaches Rich Rodriguez, Lisa Oyen, Dave Rubio and Fred Harvey and James Li, respectively.
NOTES & ISSUES FROM LAST WEEK
After each home football game we recap the weekend and work through the issues that came to light. Here are a few of them that we wanted to address with you through Wildcat Wednesday.
·We received a lot of great feedback on the construction of the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility. It is indeed an exciting project and with many fans seeing the progress of this facility for the first time in person, they were thrilled. We did have some questions about the empty look of the north-end lower bowl seating area and some fans asked why we didn’t cover this area so it didn’t look empty on television. The primary reason is to properly and safely anchor a tarp or other type of cover for this large area we would need to drill holes into the concrete foundation. After consulting with the architects and contractors we were advised that this would not be a good decision, and could impact our construction timeline. While there are surely some options that might work, what’s most important is that our construction timeline is not compromised and we stay on schedule to open the facility in August 2013. To properly educate the television talent, each week we are giving them a tour of the structure so they can talk about it on the air. Also, the on-going construction site shows us moving forward and improving our infrastructure for both our student-athletes and our fans for which I am glad that is something we are all able to showcase.
·We had a number of e-mails about the noise levels from the speakers in Arizona Stadium. Some said it’s too loud and some said it was just right. The sound has to be adjusted as the stadium fills up and we will do a better job of that this weekend. We have sound technicians who roam the stadium to make changes on the fly. If you have an issue with the audio and have access to a smart phone, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org we’ll send one of these sound technicians to your area to check it out.
·The Sun Tran shuttle service to games from Hi Corbett Field is something we want to expand back to the northwest part of town in the near future. For this season, Hi Corbett Field was our best and only solution.
·The Wildcat Walk had a great turnout, but we were about 10 minutes early. I apologize for those who missed it. There have been some advertisements with a 5:15 p.m. start time. The walk will start at 5:30 p.m. this week. Please bring your friends and family with you. You really make a difference by being there. Gates 1 and 16 will open shortly after the Wildcat Walk if you want to go straight into the stadium.
· It was great to see an almost full stadium at kickoff! The fans that were there at the end of the game made a huge impact on our team in overtime. We know it was a long night, but you make a tremendous difference for us by being there the entire time. Also, thanks to all of those who entered the stadium earlier than normal because of the on-going construction.
·We’re very excited about the game coming up on Saturday vs. Oklahoma State. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. The Cowboys are ranked 16th in the nation and will be a great test for our team. Again, our fans make a difference and we need Arizona Stadium to be over 50,000 strong all game long. Get your tickets now by clicking hereor buy a Blue Mini-Plan and get the Oklahoma State game, plus the games against South Carolina State, Colorado, and the school up north for a discounted price. #BearDown
BASKETBALL SEASON (AND THE RENEWAL DEADLINE) ARE APPROACHING
I know a lot of attention is on the fall sports right now, but basketball season is quickly approaching. I had the pleasure to join men’s basketball in the Bahamas last month and get an early look at the team. You can already tell the extra practices in the summer are going to go a longs ways towards helping the chemistry of the team. I really like this group of young men Coach Miller has assembled and I think you will too.
For our men’s basketball season ticket holders, please be aware the renewal deadline is coming up, Monday, September 10th to be exact. Make sure you get your seats renewed before the deadline. There is a lot of excitement in town about this upcoming season. We have a list of fans wanting to upgrade their seat locations, so don’t risk losing yours by missing the deadline.
One last note about men’s basketball…tickets went on sale this week for the annual McDonald’s Red-Blue Game. The inter-squad scrimmage will be held Sunday, October 21st at 2 p.m. This event has turned into THE pivotal recruiting weekend for Coach Miller and the program. It’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase the passion, enthusiasm, and commitment we have here at Arizona for basketball. Last year our fans sold the place out and provided an amazing atmosphere. On several occasions Coach Miller has mentioned how important that atmosphere was in receiving commitments from his top recruiting targets. We need you to do it again! Get your tickets now and take advantage of an advance sale price. Click here to purchase tickets or call 520-621-CATS (2287). I don’t want to say the future of Arizona basketball rides on this one event, but it does have a major impact. If you’re in the area, please plan to be here on October 21st.
NEW FACEBOOK FAN PAGE
I’ve reached my limit of friends on my personal Facebook account and it’s time for a change. We’ve decided to create my own personal Facebook fan page. So if you’re one of my friends on Facebook, please “like” this new page by clicking here. I will be shifting my Facebook activity to this new page instead of my personal Facebook account. Of course those that have been following me on social media know I still prefer Twitter over Facebook (no offense to Mark Zuckerberg).
A-CLUB LETTERWINNERS UPDATE
Arizona volleyball letterwinner Whitney Dosty (’06-’10) is taking her career to new heights. Whitney committed to playing internationally for a team just outside of Seoul, South Korea. Dosty’s season begins this October and she has been working diligently through training camp since June. Whitney is excited to be continuing her volleyball career and the opportunity to experience a new culture. We are proud of Whitney’s accomplishments and we know she will represent the Wildcats well in South Korea…Bear Down
WILDCATS EXPERIENCE 2012
Phoenix Wildcat fans - join Melinda Burke, President and Executive Director of the UA Alumni Association and come roast the Ducks at the Wildcat Experience 2012. This tailgate style football watch party event will feature in-game activities, entertainment, food, drinks, silent auction, and raffle. The event will be held at the Hard Rock Café in downtown Phoenix and the only game being shown will be Arizona at Oregon. Tickets are just $25 and include a drink coupon and lite bites. Additional food and drink may be purchased with a portion of all food and beverage sales going back into the Phoenix Alumni Chapter Scholarship Fund. Purchase your tickets today athttps://my.arizonaalumni.com/uacommunity/WE2012. #PhoenixisWildcatCountry
VOTE FOR WILMA IN THIS YEAR’S MASCOT CHALLENGE
Here at Arizona we’re fortunate to have not only one, but two outstanding mascots. Last year Wilbur participated in the national Mascot Challenge and finished in the final four. Now it’s Wilma’s turn! She’s looking to become the first female mascot to ever win the Mascot Challenge. We’re thankful for the support everyone showed Wilbur last season. Please provide that same support to Wilma and help her make history. There are three ways to vote:
Special congratulations to our first Student-Athlete of the Month recipients of the 2012-13 season – Frank Chen and Kieren Thompson from men’s tennis and Julia Glanz and Jazmin Ponce from women’s soccer.The athletics department's academic services staff selects student-athletes periodically throughout the year for success in educational pursuits, citing their effort, improvement and performance in scholastic matters, as well as evidence of character and role-model ability.
OTHER NOTES… You might have noticed our football letterwinner, Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots, on the cover ofSports Illustrated recently, the same issue wherein a writer picked ex-Cat linebacker Brooks Reed of the Houston Texans as a potential NFL Player of the Year. The Wildcats are surely bearing down in the big league… Another ex-NFL standout, football lettwinner Glenn Parker, will be on hand this week in Arizona Stadium as a member of the announce team for Pac-12 Networks, too…
And, kudos to golf letterwinner Jim Furyk, selected for the United States’ Ryder Cup team. Jim, 42, is a veteran of seven Ryder Cups and one of the gentlemen of the game.
COMPETITION ON TAP…
*Our volleyball team will play host to the Arizona Invitational this weekend with UA playing two of the four matches on Friday (10:30 a.m. vs. Iona and 7 p.m. vs. TCU) and the final of two of Sunday (noon vs. Lipscomb). Click here to purchase volleyball tickets online at ArizonaWildcats.com. Bear Down!
*The soccer squad will play a pair of matches in Tempe, facing Pepperdine at 4:30 p.m. Friday and Houston at 11 a.m. Sunday in the Sun Devil Desert Classic. Go Cats!
*Our cross country teams are preparing for the lone home meet of the year, the Dave Murray Classic, next week at Dell Urich Golf Course. This is a fun event to see. It’s scheduled at 5 p.m. on Fri., Sept. 14, with ample parking along Randolph Way. Bear Down!
CELEBRATIONS AND MISSIONS
Below, our NCAA Champion baseball team was honored before a recent Arizona Diamondbacks game in Phoenix, and at bottom, Salvador Polanco sent a photo showing how Lt. William Cosgrove (left) and Sgt. Ruben Medina show pride in their helo missions in Afghanistan. Wear the colors with pride, always! Bear Down.
Continue to do what you can to help Arizona Athletics and: