Athletics Director Greg Byrne's weekly email discussing Wildcat Athletics
Oct. 31, 2012
BIG STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
How about those Wildcats? There is still a buzz around town after football’s victory over USC! Coach Rodriguez likes to talk about being relevant, especially before games against ranked opponents. Thanks to the win over the Trojans, the Wildcats are not only back in the AP Top 25, but they’re now ranked 22nd in the BCS standings. Big things are in store for this program as the team takes to heart the “stay hungry, stay humble” message. We can talk about that later. Right now the focus is on beating UCLA this Saturday. In the meantime, enjoy the “Sounds of Arizona Stadium” video from the win over USC. #stayhumblestayhungry
GRADUATION SUCCESS RATE
Figures released by the NCAA last week showed we have made some progress in improving our graduation rates, across the board. However, there is plenty of room for improvement. The data for the classes of student-athletes enrolled between 2002-03 and 2005-06 show nearly seven of 10 (68%) graduated within six years. We made a commitment to improve, and we have, but we’ve also made a defined promise to keep these numbers trending on an upward scale. A great deal of work by student-athletes and staff will be involved, and we welcome that challenge. We want to stand up to and exceed our contemporaries in educational bounty – just like in competition. We will Bear Down, to be sure.
WHAT A ROSTER OF GREATS
Part of next weekend’s Homecoming events is our own Arizona Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on Friday, Nov. 9. We’ll be welcoming a fine class of inductees including decathlete Jake Arnold, long-time staff member the late Clarence “Stub” Ashcraft, gymnast Jenna Karadbil, long-time coach Rick Larose, softball great Caitlin Lowe, NCAA Woman of the Year and swimmer Whitney Myers, the 2006 NCAA Champion men’s 4x200 free relay – Simon Burnett, Lyndon Ferns, Tyler DeBerry and Adam Ritter, and the 2012 NCAA Championship baseball team which also will be presented with Pac-12 and NCAA championship rings. It’s an amazing group of individuals and teams, and the event always serves to underscore that it’s great to be an Arizona Wildcat -- past, present and future.
CONGRATULATIONS TO CROSS COUNTRY
Congratulations to our cross country teams for their showings at the Pac-12 Championships last week. Our women’s team finished second and our men went 1-2 with Lawi Lalang winning a second consecutive title and Stephen Sambu finishing second. The women were led by Elvin Kibet’s third-place finish and had a strong field to earn the runner-up position. The women notched a point in the Territorial Rivalry Series while the other school picked up a point on the men’s side as our squad finished seventh overall. Both teams return to action in the NCAA West Regionals next week in Seattle.
KICKOFF FOR HOMECOMING SET
The kick time for the Colorado-UA football game next week (Nov. 10) has been set for 11:30 a.m. MST (Tucson time) and will air nationally on FX. After last week’s huge game against USC, you know that I’m more than eager for us to get Arizona Stadium in its ultimate red-blue, raucous and supportive fashion for our team and program. It’s Homecoming weekend on campus, and the football game always is one focal event among the many ceremonies and festivities. It is not too late to have additional impact on all of our programs by coming out to the game. Be there!
There are a couple options for those looking for tickets to the Homecoming game vs. CU. Value packs, which include food and beverage vouchers are available. The Blue Mini-Plan will get you tickets to the CU game and to the game vs. our neighbors to the north at a discounted rate. Click here to get your football tickets or call 520-621-CATS.
BASKETBALL TIPS OFF TONIGHT
Coach Miller and themen’s basketball team have been working hard these last few weeks as official practices started October 12. Tonight they face another team by hosting Humboldt State in the first of two exhibition games. Ever since the October 21 McDonald’s Red/Blue game the ticket office has received a steady number of orders for season tickets. It helps that the team is getting good press and getting ranked 11 th in both Top 25 polls, but I think a lot of it has to do with our fans having the sense something special is about to happen. Season-ticket numbers are ahead of last year’s pace, but there are still limited seats available in most seating areas. Give the ticket office a call at 520-621-CATS to set up a time to come down to McKale and take a tour of some of the seats that still can be purchased for season tickets. You can also order season tickets online right now byclicking here.
WHO ARE WILDCAT CLUB MEMBERS?
There are many ways our Wildcat faithful can become official supporters of Arizona Athletics. In short, you can become a Wildcat Club member by making a donation to Arizona Athletics. Most gifts fall into one of the below categories:
2.Ticket priority (the tax-deductible portion of the overall ticket price)
3.Capital Campaign contributions
No matter how you contribute or what areas you support in athletics, know that it makes a big difference in the lives of our nearly 500 student-athletes. During the next few weeks, we hope to use the Wildcat Wednesday as a means to educate our fans on the many ways you can make a positive impact on our department and help us to solidify our spot as one of the most elite athletic programs in the nation! Visit www.wildcatclub.orgtoday and help us reach our goal of 12,000 members by June 2013.
A-CLUB LETTERWINNERS UPDATE
Special thanks to Alumni Letterwinner Frankie Acosta for his 16 years of service to the Athletics Department and the A-Club Letterwinners Association. Frankie spent 22 years here at Arizona, first as a student-athlete and then as full-time staff member. He recently accepted a position with Nelligan Sports Marketing as the general manager of the Texas State University property. Frankie’s last day was Friday and the department staff and a number of alumni letterwinners were able to give him a good Wildcat “send off” to wish him well in his new endeavor. Frankie, thanks for all you have done for the University of Arizona.
And to each of our letterwinners, please stay in touch. Check out what’s happening with Arizona Athletics on our website at www.wildcatclub.org/a-club , and/or connect with former letterwinners through our facebook page at www.facebook.com/arizonaletterwinners. If you have any questions about homecoming, reunions, or simply want to get a personal update about your Cats, please contact Phoebe Chalk at 520-621-4263 email@example.com.
A-CLUB ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT
Arizona Athletics and the A-Club are excited to announce this year's Annual A-Club Golf Tournament. This tournament is an exclusive event, offered only to our alumni letterwinners, their families and friends. We are excited to have some of our head coaches come out and participate, including softball’s Mike Candrea and Jim Anderson from men’s golf. This will be a great opportunity for alumni letterwinners to mix and mingle with former teammates, coaches and friends! If you wish to register for this event or want additional information on other homecoming events, pleaseclick here. Bear Down.
SPEAKING OF TELEVISION (AGAIN)…
We still have questions about television providers for the Pac-12 Networks, notably because our first basketball games will begin on the network at the end of next week. The league reports it’s still working on expanding its roster of providers to include some very key, larger players but also notes that home viewers should seriously consider their options if changing to a system that carries P12N is feasible. The bottom line is that P12N and its regional partners have carried five of our football games, and numbers of Arizona soccer and volleyball matches already among its projected hundreds and hundreds of Pac-12 Conference competitive events. Not to mention some serious studio shows and replays of all kinds, along with special features, etc. We can’t make decisions for people but it’s clear that the full menu of Pac-12 events has been impressive and you shouldcontinue to push your provider to carry the network if it doesn’t.
GET WILMA TO THE PLAYOFFS
The Mascot Challenge is entering the final month of its regular season and Wilma is in a battle for a spot in the playoffs. The top 8 mascots advance and Wilma currently sits in ninth place. This week she is taking on CAM the Ram from Colorado State.Click here and make sure to vote for Wilma every day!
Cats in the Community – Club Arizona
This past Sunday, Oct. 28, four student-athletes joined Wilbur and Wilma at the Club Arizona Halloween Extravaganza! This Halloween event was held at Murphy Field at the Mulcahey Soccer Stadium directly before the Wildcats took on the Utah Utes! The four student-athletes that helped Club Arizona members gear up for Halloween were Chelsea Suitos, Alex Weatherly, Lezo Urreiztieta, and Harry Zimmerman. In addition to photograph and autograph opportunities, the student-athletes passed out candy, gave out Arizona “A” stickers and colored with the event participants. “It is so special to have the athletes at the events, my kids get so excited to see them!” said one parent of a Club Arizona member. As the event wrapped up, everyone moved to the stadium to cheer on the soccer team as they defeated Utah in the last second in double overtime.
Check out our weekly schedule graphic at the bottom of this email. Right click, save and share!
HAPPY HALLOWEEN, EVEN IF ORANGE IS SO PREVALENT
Click below for a special happy Halloween video from the “McKale Family."
Below, a group of Wildcats make tonight’s (Halloween) email the right stuff. From top to bottom are Camryn Federhar, Eden and Isaiah Thorstad, Kellen Newhouse and dog Kuma, and a RED pumpkin photo sent by Marie Sutter.
Continue to do what you can to help Arizona Athletics and: