Athletics Director Greg Byrne's weekly email discussing Wildcat Athletics
Nov. 14, 2012
VEGAS BABY, AND SEATTLE TOO We will dive into football in a second, but I want to touch on the Pac-12 men’s women’s hoops tournaments this spring. The women will be playing in Seattle March 7-10, at Key Arena and the men will be playing in Las Vegas from March 13-16, at the MGM Grand. We want Arizona to lead the Pac-12 in attendance at these tournaments (although I could understand the hometown Huskies perhaps having a slight advantage over us in Seattle). Earlier in my career I attended the SEC Basketball Tournament over an eight-year period. Each year the Kentucky fan base would take over the tournament and it gave them an incredible advantage. Let’s do the same this year and future years in Las Vegas and Seattle. This is a fresh start for us with the Pac-12 Tournaments. Coach Miller and Coach Butts know this will give us another chance to separate our programs from our competitors and give the University of Arizona another great chance to showcase our passion as a fan base. More information will be available soon. In the meantime call the McKale Ticket Office at 520-621-CATS (2287) to request tournament tickets. BOWL ELIGIBLE Thank you to everyone who was at Arizona Stadium this past Saturday to see the football team defeat Colorado on Homecoming weekend. Also, a big thank you to those fans who called in some favors to keep the rain away. It turned out to be a perfect day for football! With the victory we are now bowl eligible with two regular-season games to go. Being bowl eligible with six wins doesn’t necessarily mean we’re a shoo-in for a spot in a bowl game. A seventh victory would do that. And, as Coach Rodriguez says in the video below, eight is better than seven. Wildcat Club members and season-ticket holders can place a request for bowl game tickets now by clicking here. You’ll also find a schedule of the possible bowl games that might select the Cats. As we’re in the infancy stages of the new era of Arizona football it’s a good time to remind our fans how important it is to support the program in bowl games. Obviously it helps us financially, but more importantly it helps establish a reputation for outstanding fan support, which is critical for earning invitations to the high-profile bowls. Bowl games are looking for programs that will fill their stadiums with fans. Our bowl game’s official invitation probably won’t come until December 2nd, but please make your plans to join us and help show the college football world that Arizona fans love their Wildcats and will travel. BIG CROWD FOR BASKETBALL OPENING DAY We had a crowd of 14,507 for Sunday’s men’s basketball opening day which was a few short of a sellout. It was the biggest opening-day crowd since 2005. It was great to see a packed house for the first regular-season game of the season, especially from the ZonaZoo. Thanks to all who came out. The next home game is tomorrow night vs. UTEP at 8 p.m. Get your tickets now. I have a feeling as the season goes on it will get more and more difficult to find available tickets.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL OFF TO A GOOD START Congratulations to Niya Butts and the women’s basketball team on a good start to the 2012-13 season. The Wildcats won their first two road games, including last night’s dramatic 83-82 victory over UNLV. The home opener is this Saturday at 1 p.m. vs. Cal State Northridge. Then on Tuesday we are hosting our annual Field Trip Game against BYU, when thousands of elementary school kids will pack McKale to support the team. The game will start at 11 a.m. We’re hoping to establish a new attendance record at that game, so come down on your lunch break and check out some basketball. Tickets can be purchased online at ArizonaWildcats.com byclicking here or call 520-621-CATS. STUDENT-ATHLETE NOTES… Lawi Lalang won his second NCAA Regional cross country race last week, with Stephen Sambu picking up runner-up honors. They made the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Association’s all-region team along with women’s runners Jen Bergman. Elvin Kibet, Nicci Corbin and Elizabeth Apgar. Bergman had a sixth-place finish in regionals to pace UA to a second-place finish in the team standings… Congratulations to John Bonano and Jake Fischer of football for the Academic All-District nods they received last week. That puts them on the ballot for CoSIDA Academic All-America honors. Again, kudos to both, and to our academic services staff, coaches and all the Wildcats for taking scholastic endeavors seriously. Also on district ballots were Kristin Strother of soccerand Rachel Rhoades of volleyball.Our primary mission is education and we laud success… Our gymnastics team held its intrasquad event last weekend before at least one national-level judge, new Arizona Sports Hall of Fame inductee Jenna Karadbil, and performed well in showcasing some routines for the 2013 season… Ka’Deem Carey’s school-record 366 rushing yards against Colorado last week helped earn him Pac-12 Player of the Week honors, among several. What a break-out performance… Meantime, another sophomore, receiver Austin Hill, was named a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award… HONORS OF THE MONTH We extend congratulations to four student-athletes for their selection as academic performers of the month. Faitele Faafoi of football, Lawi Lalang of cross country and track and field, Chelsey Salli of swimming and diving, and Shaquilla Torres of volleyball earned Student of the Month honors for September/October. The academic services staff selects winners based on classroom performance, improvement, effort and character. The good news is that the choices are getting tougher and tougher. We’re committed to scholastic excellence and these – and many other – students have what it takes to succeed. Bear Down! TERRITORIAL CUP GAME I probably don’t need to remind you about the Territorial Cup football game in Arizona Stadium on November 23 against that school from up north, and all that it means. We respect the rivalry like no other and, of course, want our home field to be as receptive as possible to our guests. The game will be televised nationally (ESPN) but we want you in the stands, not at home. Coach Rodriguez and his staff, new to this rivalry, deserve to witness the electric nature of the matchup at its best. That means all of you on hand with your best red-and-blue behavior. I’m keyed up just thinking about it, and expect our fans to bring it and Bear Down! Volleyball will have the second part of its rivalry series match on Friday, November 23 in Tempe. The match is set for 6 p.m. and will air on Pac-12 Networks. CLUB SEATS – IT’S SHOW TIME If you were in the Jim Click Hall of Champions this past weekend you probably saw the mockups for the Club Seating area of the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility. Fans can now “try out” the Club Boxes and Premium Club Seats to get a feel for the game-day experience that will be available in 2013. This showroom is open to the public during normal Jim Click Hall of Champion operating hours. Call the McKale Ticket Office at 520-621-CATS (2287) if you would like to schedule an appointment to view these seats with a ticket sales representative. Currently only Wildcat Club members and/or football season ticket holders who put in a request have the opportunity to reserve these seats for the 2013 season. Any available seats remaining after this presale will be open to the public starting in January when 2013 football renewal are sent. DOWN TO THE WIRE Wilma is closing in on the end of the regular season and needs your vote to advance to the playoffs and have a chance of being the first-ever female mascot to win the Capitol One Mascot Challenge and earn scholarship money. In order to advance she needs to be in the top 8 and she currently sits at number 9 and needs our votes to push her past Sparty. Be sure to vote this week and next week for Wilma and get her into the playoffs. BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL RENEWALS While our fall sport season is winding down it won’t be too long before all spring sports are in season, includingbaseball and softball. The renewal deadline for baseball and softball season ticket holders is this Friday. Coming off a national championship, the anticipation for the 2013 baseball season is sky high and softball fans are looking forward to seeing Coach Candrea’s highly touted recruiting class take the field and help the Cats get back to Oklahoma City. Make sure to renew your season tickets by Friday’s deadline. Click here to renew online. WILDCAT CLUB: CAPITAL CAMPAIGN IMPACT Every time I walk past the construction zone of what will soon be the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility, I’m in awe of the progress being made. Most of all, I’m excited about what the addition means for our student-athletes and fans. The creation of this facility will not only allow us to recruit elite student-athletes and improve the experience for our current student-athletes, but it will also vastly improve the game-day experience for our fans. As we mentioned a couple of weeks ago, we want to use the Wildcat Wednesday to continually educate our fans about different ways donors make an impact on our athletics department. Our ability to improve our current facilities and build new ones is only possible because of donations to the Capital Campaign. Last week we talked about how ticket priority allows us to improve the experience for our student-athletes. Campaign donations do much of the same. These funds are so important in allowing us to continue to compete as one of the strongest athletics programs in the nation and provide our student-athletes a place to train, learn and compete with the best of them. Check out the progress of the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility by clicking here. A-CLUB LETTERWINNER UPDATE
Miles Simon, men’s basketball ’98, is a recognized name nationwide and an Arizona Basketball Alumni favored by the Tucson community. He is remembered for his leadership which led the 1997 men’s basketball to a National Title. Miles will be going into his fifth year working for ESPN as a college basketball analyst. Make sure to stay tuned into Arizona basketball as Miles will be broadcasting several games this year for our Cats! We are very proud of him and his continued involvement in Arizona Athletics as an active A-Club member for life.
Attention all Club Arizona Members
The next Hughes Federal Credit Union Club Arizona Day $1 day is right around the corner. The volleyball team will take on Colorado this Friday at 7 p.m. We will host a special event before the Wildcats take on the Buffs. Come to the Hall of Champions at 6 pm for Pizza Hut and autographs with women’s basketball head coach, Niya Butts. (Pizza will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis)
WEEKLY SCHEDULE Check out our weekly schedule graphic at the bottom of this email. Right click, save and share!
CLAD IN THE RED AND BLUE Below, Navy Commander Michael Lavor, M.D., in between patients in Afghanistan, while at bottom Joe DiMatteo shipboard on a cruise trip in the northwestern United States. Also, click here for the latest online gallery of several dozen more Wildcats wearing the colors. Do your thing and represent! Remember, if you send photos, we prefer photos of identified Wildcats. Include names, please, and remember to send good resolution pictures. Continue to do what you can to help Arizona Athletics and: