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Lynn Hickey newsletter

The AD's Corner — Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Saturday Practice To Provide Glimpse Of 2015 Roadrunners
You can get a glimpse of the 2015 UTSA football squad at noon on Saturday at the Main Campus Practice Facility, as head coach Larry Coker will run his team through a two-hour, full-contact practice that will be open to the public.

Another open practice will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 11, and the UTSA Football Fiesta Spring Game presented by HealthTexas will be played at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 18, at the Alamodome.

Admission is free to all three events.

Fans are being asked to park in unmarked spaces in the lot located across Barshop Boulevard from the baseball field and enter the football practice facility from the west. Food trucks will offer food and drinks beginning at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. Tables and chairs will be provided near the food service area, but no food or drinks will be allowed on the football practice fielda. Fans will be able to visit with players and coaches and obtain autographs following the conclusion of practice.

Baseball To Continue Busy Home Schedule Tonight
The baseball team continues its nine-game home stand against Incarnate Word at 6 p.m. tonight at Roadrunner Field. The Roadrunners are four games into a stretch that will see them play nine games in 12 days.

UTSA (13-11, 4-2 C-USA) will resume C-USA play against No. 25 Florida Atlantic (20-5, 4-2 C-USA) in a three-game home series this weekend.

The season’s longest home stand will come to a close when the Roadrunners host I-35 rival Texas State (10-13-1) at 6 p.m. next Tuesday.

Alumni Association Offering Football/Baseball Combo
The UTSA Alumni Association is encouraging its members to make a day of it Saturday at the open football practice and the baseball game against 25th-ranked Florida Atlantic.

The Alumni Association will have a reserved viewing section throughout Saturday’s football practice beginning at noon and head coach Larry Coker will visit the area immediately following practice for a meet-and-greet session.

Following the football practice, Alumni Association members are invited to the berm area down the right field line for “Birds Up at the Berm” during the baseball game that is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Roadrunner Field. Members are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, enjoy refreshments and join the “Dirty Birds” on the berm cheering for the Roadrunners.

Click here or call Steve Woodall at (210) 458-7226 to RSVP for either one or both of Saturday’s Alumni Association activities.

Volleyball To Host TCU In Spring Scrimmage
The defending Conference USA Regular Season Champion volleyball team will host TCU out of the Big 12 Conference in the only home scrimmage of their spring season at 11 a.m. on Saturday at the Convocation Center. Admission is free.

The Roadrunners captured the league's regular season crown with a 15-1 record and finished at 20-9 overall last fall. Meanwhile, TCU was 17-15 overall and 6-10 in conference play last season.

Collegiate volleyball teams are allowed four play dates during the spring and may schedule up to four scrimmages on each date. In addition to the TCU scrimmage, the Roadrunners will play in the 40-team F.A.S.T. Complex Collegiate Invitational on Saturday, April 11, in Houston, in the 20-team Lone Star College Classic Showcase on Saturday, April 18, in Dallas and at Texas in a scrimmage that will be televised on the Longhorn Network at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 24.

Graduate Assistant Fresh From NCAA Volleyball Championship
Head volleyball coach Laura Neugebauer-Groff has added Dominque Gonzalez as a graduate assistant on her coaching staff.

The San Antonio O’Connor High School graduate played defensive specialist for perennial power Penn State through last season. The Nittany Lions lost to Oregon in the national semifinal round last December in Louisville, Ky. Gonzalez led Penn State with 3.59 digs per game, which ranked 11th in the Big Ten during her senior season.

Rowdy bio

Vote Rowdy For San Antonio’s Top Mascot
In the spirit of March Madness, San Antonio Magazine is sponsoring a Mascot Madness competition to determine which San Antonio mascot is the best.

UTSA’s Rowdy the Roadrunner already has knocked off the New Braunfels High School Unicorn and the San Antonio Spurs Coyote to reach the Mascot Madness finals against Ballapeno, the San Antonio Missions baseball team mascot.

You can click here to cast your vote for San Antonio’s top mascot today.

Check back with the San Antonio Magazine website during the next week to determine who wins the crown as San Antonio’s top mascot.

Zander Lozano at Lone Star Invitational

Lozano Leads Men's Golf Team At Lone Star Invitational
True freshman Zander Lozano tied for first place to help lead the UTSA men's golf team to fifth at this week's Lone Star Invitational, which was hosted by the Roadrunners on Monday-Tuesday at Briggs Ranch Golf Club.

The Boerne Champion High School product carded a season-best 9-under-par 207 (72-68-67) to finish in a tie with Hannes Ronneblad of Texas Tech atop the 88-player field. Ronneblad outlasted Lozano with a birdie on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff to capture the individual title.

Lozano, who leads UTSA with a 72.25 stroke average this season, was named Conference USA Co-Player of the Week today for his performance.

Men's Tennis Continues Hot Stretch
The men's tennis team continued its recent hot stretch with a 6-1 victory against New Mexico State this afternoon at the UTSA Tennis Center. The Roadrunners improved to 12-6 on the year with their 10th win in their last 12 matches. UTSA is ranked 74th in the nation by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, its third straight week in the top 75. The Roadrunners will hit the road to face ninth-ranked Texas A&M on Sunday.

Football Banquet Scheduled For April 17 At Pedrotti’s Ranch
Friends, family and fans of Roadrunners football are invited to commemorate the program’s academic, athletic and community service accomplishments at the second annual UTSA Football Banquet at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 17, at Pedrotti’s Ranch. Registration for the dinner and the program begins at 5:15 p.m.

Four individual ticket levels are available: $50 to sit with a student-athlete, $100 to sit with an assistant coach, $250 to sit with the offensive or defensive coordinator and $500 to sit with head coach Larry Coker.

For more information or to purchase banquet tickets, please call Brooke Lanie at (210) 458-4288.

All proceeds will benefit the UTSA Football program.

Keyunta Hayes at UTSA Challenge Invitational

Track & Field Teams To Compete At Historic Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays
The UTSA men’s and women’s track & field teams begin competition on Thursday evening at the 88th running of the Nike Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays.

The 2015 edition of the elite high school, collegiate and professional outdoor track & field meet began today and runs through Saturday at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin. Long-time University of Texas Athletics Director DeLoss Dodds will be recognized as the honorary meet referee during opening ceremonies at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Senior All-American Keyunta Hayes was named C-USA Men's Track Athlete of the Week after clocking a national-leading and facility-record time of 50.47 to win the 400-meter hurdles at last weekend's UTSA Challenge Invitational.

Roadrunners Road Trips Coming To Your Town
More details have become available on the 2015 Roadrunner Road Trips throughout Texas. UTSA head football coach Larry Coker will be making media visits and hosting Alumni Association receptions in Houston on May 5, the Rio Grande Valley on May 19, Austin on May 21 and Dallas/Fort Worth on May 22. Following are the times and locations for all four Alumni Association receptions:

6:30 p.m. — May 5, Houston Texans Grille (12848 Queensbury Lane, Houston)
6:30 p.m. — May 19, The Social Club (205 Conquest Boulevard, Edinburg)
6:30 p.m. — May 21, Opal Divine’s Penn Field (3601 South Congress Avenue, Austin)
6:30 p.m. — May 22, Learfield Sports Headquarters (2400 Dallas Parkway, Suite 500, Plano)

Please save these dates for the Road Trip to your area. RSVP and reception registration information will be provided at a later date.

Caliente Harley Davidson billboard
UTSA alum Fred Bosshardt, owner of Caliente Harley Davidson, leased a billboard at San Pedro and Hildebrand Avenues so he could pair his advertising with the UTSA Top Tier Education billboard. That’s letting your Roadrunners colors show!

Final Thoughts
Monday was Pro Day for our graduating football seniors. The NCAA allows professional scouts to come onto a campus and hold tryouts for seniors who have completed their eligibility. Pro Day drills include the bench press, vertical jump, shuttle run, 40-yard dash and several other tests administered by the scouts to measure athleticism.

Scouts from 17 National Football League teams began the day in the weight room on the lower level of the P.E. Building across the hall from the football locker room. When I arrived, anxious parents, girlfriends, personal trainers, agents and others were huddled in the hallway looking through the glass doors into the weight room. It reminded me of a hospital with family and friends peering into the newborn nursery admiring the recent arrivals.

A year ago, only five teams sent scouts to our Pro Day. Even though UTSA has only one former student-athlete on an NFL roster (former All-America track sprinter Teddy Williams with the Carolina Panthers), the pro scouts and their employers know the Roadrunners football program is growing and its visibility has increased greatly and why wouldn’t it? After all, head coach Larry Coker ranked among the top collegiate coaches for putting players in the NFL when he was at Miami (Fla.).

Raising the visibility of UTSA was a major consideration when football was added nearly seven years ago and President Dr. Ricardo Romo just initiated a new strategic planning process.

The UTSA Blueprint 2020 process seeks input from faculty, staff, students and the community to develop a strategic plan to guide the university’s progress for the next five years. Athletics just completed its initial report designed to “Elevate Athletics,” one of the components of six strategic priorities identified by Dr. Romo.

Right or wrong, athletics is often a university’s most visible entity, the front porch most often observed by key stakeholders. Daily coverage of major college sports activities on national, regional and local television, through websites and apps, and traditional print mediums provides immense visibility and exposure for a university. With the addition of football and recent move to Conference USA, the UTSA front porch has become much more visible, helping to open the door to stronger community involvement, a superior student experience and greater perceptions of UTSA’s educational excellence.

UTSA Athletics now is competing at the top levels of NCAA competition.

The baseball team hosted the No. 1 ranked team in the country, Texas A&M, last night at Wolff Stadium. The softball team took Texas to the final innings last night before losing two heartbreakers in Austin. The track & field teams will compete against the best athletes in the country this weekend at the 88th Annual Nike Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin. Freshman men’s golfer Zander Lozano was named the C-USA Co-Player of the Week after finishing second at the Roadrunners’ prestigious Lone Star Invitational the past two days at Briggs Ranch.

However, Roadrunners Nation still has a ways to go.

Too many in the crowd of 3,700 last night at Wolff Stadium were wearing maroon, not orange and navy blue. UTSA student-athletes deserve better. The last time a top-ranked team visited Wolff Stadium back in 2013, the Roadrunners beat Baylor by a score of 5-3. The last time Texas A&M visited Wolff Stadium four years ago, the Roadrunners beat the Aggies, 3-2, in 10 innings. There was reason for UTSA fans to turn out, wear the school colors, and cheer for the Roadrunners.  

Some day, a No. 1-ranked team will visit Wolff Stadium, the Alamodome, the Park West Athletic Complex and/or the Convocation Center and visiting fans will find tickets are not available because the UTSA faithful will have purchased them all.

Remember, the best way to support the UTSA Athletics program is with your attendance at our home events. It not only helps our programs grow, but it also showcases UTSA and the San Antonio community to the nation as a Tier 1 institution.

Please read through the long list of athletics events taking place on the UTSA Main Campus this weekend and come out to support the Roadrunners. Your attendance provides a home-field advantage that helps build a legacy for both UTSA and the Alamo City.

Thank you for your support and looking forward to seeing you on campus this weekend.

Go Runners!


Lynn Hickey
Director of Athletics


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