Athletics Director Greg Byrne's weekly email discussing Wildcat Athletics
Dec. 12, 2012
McKALE CENTER REDUX
You might have heard that the Arizona Board of Regents last week approved the architectural phase of our plans to renovate, modernize and improve 39-year-old McKale Center. Much as the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility will help Arizona Stadium turn a big corner, we have some early ideas for the makeover of McKale Center. The Regents' initial approval gives us a chance to work with designers to put these ideas to paper and arrive at hard-based cost figures. While we've been raising money for this project, we won't be able to move forward until we have a financial model - private donations and revenue - that can get the job done, and further ABOR and President Hart consent. Our objective is a June 2014 project start, with various phases for completion several years later. You'll be hearing more about this in the next year, but we want our fan and student-athlete amenities and infrastructure to be top-level at all our venues, and that's what we're working toward.
One Regent noted that the UA's campus-wide capital projects represent an "enormous expectation" of philanthropy, and there's no question of that. At this point, we will be seeking major gift ($50,000 & above) support for the project and, further on in the process, we will have a donor-wide campaign. If you are interested in discussing a major gift please call the Wildcat Club at 520-621-2582. We already have several pledges to the project but have a lot of work to do to make it a reality.
BIG WEEK FOR THE CATS
We have a busy pre-holiday weekend coming fast. The Wildcat football team and Coach Rich Rodriguez face off against Nevada in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl at 11 a.m. (MST) Saturday (ESPN), our 7-0 No. 8 men's basketball team plays host to No. 5 Florida later that night in a huge national game at 8 p.m. in McKale Center (ESPN), and Coach Niya Butts and the 6-3 women's basketball team plays host to Weber State at 3 p.m. Sunday in McKale (live video stream, Pac-12.com). The men turn around and play Oral Roberts on Tuesday (7 p.m.) and the women play Longwood on Thursday (5 p.m.), both in McKale Center.
Coach Miller's squad travels to Honolulu for the Diamond Head Classic, three games Dec. 22-25, to wrap up our 2012 competition. After that, it's full steam ahead as both teams enter Pac-12 play in January.
While speaking of basketball, our women's victory in The Pit last weekend hopefully foreshadowed things to come in Albuquerque. Nice job, Cats! Meantime, we were fortunate to have a good number of Arizona supporters from Charlotte and Atlanta come to Clemson for our men's victory there. It was really good to see the Wildcat Movement in action on the road. Wear your colors with pride every chance you get. It makes a difference.
Coach Tony Amato, a two-time Southland Conference Coach of the Year at Stephen F. Austin University, brings his skills to our staff as the new women's soccer coach. Welcome, Tony and his wife Samantha, and now you both can put away the purple and get with the red and blue. Kidding aside, we're pleased to hire a coach with Amato's strong background and know he'll be an asset to our program. Pictured below is (L-R) Senior Associate AD, Erika Barnes, Tony and is wife Samantha and Deputy Director of Athletics, Rocky LaRose.
PAC-12 TOURNAMENT IN VEGAS
We're just about three months out from the 2013 Pac-12 Basketball Tournament in Las Vegas. Judging by the amount of phone calls and e-mails to the McKale Ticket Office, it's safe to say there is a strong interest from Wildcat fans. We're looking forward to seeing a sea of red and blue inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena. We're currently taking requests for all-session ticket packages, which are $315 and include all 11 games. You can place a request by calling 520-621-CATS (2287) or download an order form on our Pac-12 Tournament info page. Click here to view the page for the order form and other tournament information. Information on travel packages from Bon Voyage Travel and other ticket options will be available soon. We'll also be releasing information on the women's Pac-12 Basketball Tournament held in Seattle.
SUPPORT THE CATS IN THE BOWL
As we mentioned above, it's a football game week! The travel party left for Albuquerque today and will partake in a series of fun events leading up to Saturday's Gildan New Mexico Bowl. Without a doubt the short notice and the conflict with Saturday's basketball game vs. Florida has been a challenge, but we're looking forward to enjoying the trip with our fans that are able to join us. We have received a good response from those that can't make the trip, but wanted to show their support with purchasing tickets to donate to local military. There is still time to purchase tickets for yourself or to donate. Please contact the McKale Ticket Office by calling 520-621-CATS (2287).
Oh, and one final piece about this Saturday. IMG Arizona has produced a preview show for the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. The show will air tonight at 7:05 pm (you may have already missed it) on KCUB and the statewide Wildcat radio network. If you didn't catch it tonight, the show will be repeated on KCUB only, Friday at 6:05 pm and Saturday morning at 9:05 am. The show includes interviews with Head Coach Rich Rodriguez, Ka'Deem Carey, Jake Fischer, Jeff Casteel and Tony Dews. Saturday's radio coverage begins with the preview show at 9:05 followed by the network broadcast of the game at 10:00 am. The day ends with the UA vs. Florida basketball game at 8:00 pm with network radio coverage starting at 7:00 pm.
UA running back Ka'Deem Carey earned a Walter Camp All-America honor (among others) this week and last, some big-time pub from the national voters. He's up to eight awards so far with a few more to be released. He received a few votes in the Heisman Trophy balloting and let me say - and not the first one to do so - that we expect him to be a contender for the honor in 2013. In today's world, information is so widespread and instantaneous that a "campaign" isn't necessarily required. What will be required is improvement, his continued growth as a student-athlete, and a good team around him to make it all possible.
Monday, ICA staff , colleagues, friends and family of Director of Communication Services, Tom Duddleston celebrated his retirement in the Rountree Mezzanine of the Jim Click Hall of Champions. For Tom's 31 years of service to Arizona Athletics he was awarded the John "Button" Salmon award. Enjoy your time on the golf course, Dudd! Pictured below are Betty and Tom Sr., seated. Left to right, Christina Dudd (daughter-in-law), Beth, Zack, td, Nick, daughter-in-law Angelica Dudd.
WILDCAT CLUB: TENNIS LETTERWINNERS GIVE BACK
We are very excited about the upcoming Men's and Women's Tennis Reunion which will take place on January 18th and 19th. Not only are we grateful to have a group of tennis letterwinners return to the UA and reconnect with their alma mater, we are also appreciative that they have chosen to present a donation back to the Arizona Tennis program to help "pay it forward" and support current student-athletes. The gift will be presented during the reunion weekend. We want to thank the individuals listed below for contributing thus far:
Gaile Sovell Kenyon Jim Logan Edward Palmer Lucy Read Tina Rimer Ernest Schoop Kathi Novak Skytta A-CLUB LETTERWINNER UPDATE
We were honored to have Arizona letterwinner and retired US Army Colonel Peggy Carson present at our last home football game to stand on the field for the National Anthem with Wilbur and Wilma. Peggy was a two-sport student-athlete here at the University of Arizona playing softball and volleyball and also a member of the A-Club Letterwinners Association. At the game we mistakenly announced Peggy's last name as Carter, not Carson, so we wanted to correct our mistake and apologize for the error. We're proud to have Peggy Carson as a member of our Wildcat family!
Final examinations end tomorrow, with winter recess to continue until the first day of spring-semester classes on Jan. 9. Here's to good scholastic success in finals, an enjoyable holiday season, and a redoubling of efforts in all areas with the start of 2013. It's a key turnaround period every year... UA head swimming and diving Coach Eric Hansen will coach the United States men's team at the FINA World Swimming Championships starting today in Istanbul, Turkey. We'll have a few current UA swimmers on his team and the women's side... Football assistant Calvin Magee was named National Running Backs Coach of the Year by footballscoop.com while baseball assistant Matt Siegel earned a Rising Assistant nod from perfectgame.org. You can't help but be impressed by our coaching staffs...
Check out our weekly schedule graphic at the bottom of this email. Right click, save and share!
Below; L-R - Henry Gonzales, Angel, Michael Woolworth, Dale Radtke and seated is Sharon, of El Continental Barber Shop, wearing the colors like they do every Friday.
Collier Moody (left) brought his own head gear to a game and compared it to the original, Wilbur, and at the bottom, an over-sized Arizona headband and socks on a very new Wildcat, Zoey Leilani Hales.
Continue to do what you can to help Arizona Athletics and: