Dec. 7, 2011
LAST NIGHT IN NEW YORK
Last night Regina and I had the opportunity to attend the National Football Foundation College Hall of Fame Dinner in New York. We were joined by our friends and great University of Arizona supporters Cole and Jeannie Davis, National Football Foundation Board Members for the Southern Arizona Chapter Rick and Gene Gonzales and Gene’s wife Kim Carlson, Sr. Associate AD James Francis, Chuck and Carrie Cecil (2009 HOF Inductee), and Coach Dick Tomey and his wife Nanci Kincaid. We were all there to help honor and support our newest inductee to the College Football Hall of Fame, Rob Waldrop. Rob was joined by his mom, Marilyn and girlfriend Abbey Dettenmaier and good friend Jonathan Feinsod. It was a special evening and a well-deserved recognition for Rob and our University…..we all yelled "Bear Down" after Rob’s Hall of Fame video.
This is an event any college football fan would enjoy attending. The who’s who of college football attends and you walk away inspired by the incredible impact this game has made on so many people, communities and universities.
The other highlight besides Rob’s induction was a very moving speech by recently retired United States Secretary of Defense, Dr. Robert Gates. Dr. Gates spoke about the incredible service of our troops and the responsibility he felt as Secretary of Defense to protect and serve those inspiring soldiers as they served our country. As we reflect on the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, I hope the speech will show up on YouTube for the world to see. When Dr. Gates was President of Texas A&M University, he hired my dad as Director of Athletics so Regina and I were fortunate to spend an hour after the ceremony with Dr. Gates, his wife Becky & my parents. It's a night I will remember for many years to come.
EXAMS AND ACADEMIC CALENDAR
Our student-athletes wrapped up classes today and begin final examinations for the fall semester on Friday. Obviously it's an important time for their academic well-being. The winter recess is from Dec. 15 to Jan. 11, although some student-athletes will take advantage of Winter Session courses Dec. 19 to Jan. 10. As we roll over to the 2012 calendar year we'll begin many spring sports' preseason and training schedules and end up with 13 active sports early in the year. This next month is pretty much the calm before the storm in terms of our annual activity slate.
COACH ROD MAKING THE ROUNDS
I was very impressed by our fans great reaction when we introduced Coach Rodriguez at the men’s basketball game this past Saturday against NAU. Coach Rod sat with my family in the first half of the game and as we were walking off the floor at halftime he told me he was going to go see the students. Next thing I know he is immersed in the ZonaZoo section (as seen below) and stays there for the entire second half and well over 30 minutes after the game taking pictures and signing every autograph requested.
In case you missed it, Sports Illustrated received access to get a behind the scenes look at Coach Rod’s first few days on the job. The feature ran in the print magazine’s Dec. 5 issue and SI.com has a supplement to the story, which can be read here. I continue to be impressed with how well Coach Rod presents himself. Whether it’s talking to the media or a room of supporters, we have another outstanding ambassador to represent the University of Arizona. The man is obviously embracing our fans and community and we sure appreciate how you are embracing him as well. We will be glad when Rita, Raquel, Rhett and all of the assistant coaches and families will be in Tucson for good and I know they are already becoming part of the Arizona Family as well. Below is a picture of Coach Rod at the UA Hispanic Alumni event from this past Thursday night.
All fans are invited to our official Coach Rod welcome receptions next week. The Tucson event is Monday at the Westin La Paloma and the Phoenix event is Tuesday at the Phoenix Country Club. Both events are open to the public and free to attend, but you must RSVP by tomorrow. You can do so by clicking here.
We have already been selling a number of new season tickets after the recent announcement of Coach Rodriguez to lead our football program. 2012 Football Season Tickets would make a great Christmas present for all of the Wildcat fans on your list. Go to www.arizonawildcats.com or call 520-621-CATS to secure your tickets by making a deposit today.
COACH MILLER TV AND RADIO SHOWS
Speaking of coaches interacting with the media, it’s a good time to remind you the Sean Miller TV and Radio Shows have started. The Coach Miller TV show is taped at the Desert Diamond Casino Hotel and airs every Wednesday night at 9:35 p.m. on KWBA TV 44 and on again at 10:35 p.m. on KGUN 9. You can also view the show on www.arizonawildcats.com after it airs on TV. The Coach Miller Radio Show is every Monday at 7:05 p.m. and it can be heard on 1290 AM. Fans can come down to the Rincon Market off East 6th to watch the live broadcast. Hope to see you there.
We have a big non-conference home game coming up on Saturday vs. Clemson from the ACC. The Clemson game is part of the Holiday Pack, which is still on sale through Saturday. The Holiday Pack is a great opportunity to attend multiple home games for a discounted price. It also makes for a good early Christmas present!
50 YEARS OF FOOTBALL
Continuing the new Wildcat Wednesday tradition of recognizing season ticket holders of 50 years or more, we would like to introduce you to James Lupori. James graduated from Arizona in 1961 with a BPA degree and has held football season tickets for 50 years. As a junior high student, he was friends with Troy Winslow, the son of former Arizona head football coach Robert Winslow, and has fond memories of getting to go out onto the Arizona Stadium field with his friends. He says that being on hand to watch the Cats crush Miami in the 1994 Fiesta Bowl was one of his most memorable Wildcat football experiences. James is extremely excited for the new football coaching staff and thinks they can help make Arizona the team to beat in the Pac-12 south. Thank you for your dedication James!
Our men's basketball team is in Gainesville for a game tonight against Florida (televised live on ESPN at 5 p.m.) and will play host to Clemson at 2 p.m. Saturday in McKale.... Women's basketball will meet Long Beach State at 1 p.m. Sunday in McKale Center... please come out this weekend to support both of our hoops teams. You can pick up tickets for both atwww.arizonawildcats.com.
THE COLORS IN SOME CITIES
Below, Kellie and Matt Neely above Manhattan, looking north past Central Park.(Matt -- get a UA jacket) At bottom, Andy Blaho, Class of '11, at the Coliseum in Rome.
Continue to do what you can to help Arizona Athletics and:
- Join the Wildcat Movement
- Buy Season Tickets
- Wear the Colors (Especially on Friday)
- Get Others to Do the Same
Bear Down with Pride,
Director of Athletics
University of Arizona