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Lynn Hickey newsletter

The AD's Corner — Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Scott Inskeep mug shot Nate Leonard mug shot
Scott Inskeep Nate Leonard
Robert Singletary mug shot Triston Wade mug shot
Robert Singletary Triston Wade

Four Roadrunners Land On National Preseason Award Watch Lists
Even though the dog days of summer are here and members of the football program don't report until Aug. 1, it's been a busy week for the Roadrunners.

Offensive guard Scott Inskeep, center Nate Leonard defensive end Robert Singletary and free safety Triston Wade recently have been named to prestigious football preseason watch lists. All four players will be part of the nation's largest senior class (37) this fall.

Last Tuesday, Leonard was added to the Dave Rimington Trophy preseason watch list. The award recognizes the top center in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Two days later, UTSA's second-team Academic All-American was tabbed the Conference USA Scholar-Athlete of the Year for football.

Last Friday, Wade landed on the Jim Thorpe Award watch list for the nation's most outstanding defensive back.

The honors kept rolling in on Monday when UTSA saw Inskeep get named to the Rotary Lombardi Award watch list for the second consecutive season and he was joined by Singletary. This honor annually goes to the top interior lineman in the country.

With four players already tabbed preseason players to watch, the future obviously is bright heading into our fourth season of play and first as a full-fledged FBS program. This also comes on heels of Eric Soza (Manning Award) and Inskeep being named to watch lists a year ago.

Don't forget the 2014 campaign is right around the corner. We open the year on Friday, Aug. 29, at Houston's brand-new TDECU Stadium and the home opener at the Alamodome will take place six days later on Thursday, Sept. 4, against Arizona. Both contests will be played in front of national television audiences, as ESPNU will broadcast the game against the Cougars, while FOX Sports 1 will televise the tilt with the Wildcats.


Megan Low vs. Charlotte
Megan Low

Low Wins NCAA Home Run Title
The NCAA recently announced that Megan Low was the 2014 Division I statistical champion for home runs per game. A first-team All-Conference USA and second-team National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-South Region honoree, Low averaged a national-best 0.44 home runs per contest during her junior campaign.

The Spring native led UTSA with a .388 batting average (5th C-USA), 34 runs, 12 doubles, 22 homers (1st C-USA/4th NCAA), 47 RBIs (3rd C-USA), 137 total bases (1st C-USA), a .901 slugging percentage (1st C-USA/3rd NCAA) and .513 on-base percentage (2nd C-USA).

The Roadrunners' first baseman led the nation in home runs for six consecutive weeks from March 30-May 4 and, despite missing the final series of the season with an injury, she closed the regular season tied for the NCAA lead.

Low tied single-game school records with three homers against Texas State (April 9) and seven RBIs in a win over Lamar (Feb. 8), while her 22 round-trippers were the second-best single-season total in program history. The two-time C-USA Player of the Week honoree also helped UTSA tie an NCAA record when she hit one of two grand slams for the Roadrunners in the second inning of a win against Lamar (Feb. 8).


Football Fan Appreciation Day Scheduled For August 2
Head football coach Larry Coker and the 2014 Roadrunners will host Fan Appreciation Day at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 2, at the Convocation Center.  Fans are encouraged to bring their families to the event for free food, prizes and a chance to meet their favorite players. 

Fans are requested to park in unmarked spaces in the parking lots south of the Convo. Players will be available for pictures and autographs beginning at 11 a.m. To RSVP for the event, please call (210) 458-4182 or email rowdy@utsa.edu. Ticket information for both home and away games will be available throughout the session.


UTSA Jumps To No. 60 in USA Today Rankings
Going into the 2012 season, USA Today picked UTSA as its 124th-rated football team out of 124 NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision members.

Last year, the Roadrunners jumped only to 119th in the preseason projections

However, going into the 2014 season, Paul Myerberg picks UTSA 60th out of 128 FBS teams.

"A monster has been born on The River Walk," Myerberg writes in his July 7 report. "UTSA is so good, so fast that it nearly defies logical explanation, As if San Antonio needed another monster, but unlike those other guys — you know, Duncan and the gang — UTSA is all local, totally inexperienced, flying by the seat of its pants, taking it a game at a time and seemingly unaware of just how ridiculous this whole thing has become.  There is one similarity … UTSA is brimming with confidence. Another … UTSA is really good.”

Click here to read the entire preseason report on the Roadrunners.


It’s Time For Another Roadrunner In San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame
Nominations for the 2015 class of the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame are being taken by the San Antonio Sports Nominations Committee. Roadrunners already in the Hall of Fame include volleyball head coach Laura Neugebauer Groff (2011), former assistant golf coach Bill Rogers (2005), former athletics director Rudy Davalos (2002) and President Dr. Ricardo Romo (2002).

It’s time for the Hall of Fame nominations committee to consider another Roadrunner — Devin Brown.

The South San Antonio West Campus High School alum is the all-time high school scorer in greater San Antonio and the leading scorer in UTSA history with 1,922 career points. He went on to play for six franchises over eight seasons in the NBA. Brown was a member of the 2005 NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs and was named the 2003 NBA D-League Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year. Click here to cast your vote for Devin or any other San Antonio native today.  


This ‘N’ That
Conference USA welcomes Western Kentucky — The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers officially joined Conference USA on July 1. To celebrate the day, WKU officials traveled throughout Bowling Green, Ky., handing out prizes to anyone wearing Western Kentucky's shade of red. C-USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky, Hilltoppers head coaches, cheerleaders and other special guests culminated the day at a rally in downtown Bowling Green. Since 2000, WKU has won more than 80 conference championships. The men’s basketball program ranks 18th in NCAA history for wins, women’s basketball has appeared in three NCAA Final Fours and the school boasts more than 70 football All-Americans.

Single-game home tickets now on sale — Single-game home tickets for the 2014 football season now are on sale. Fans may purchase tickets by clicking here or calling (210) 458-UTSA (8872). Don't forget, UTSA opens its home slate at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 4, against Arizona.

Football poster now available — The 2014 UTSA Football poster has been revealed and is available to Roadrunners fans to post in their work places and homes. They are available upon request for all fans at the UTSA Tickets Office, which is located at 5710 West Hausman Road, Suite 101. Please take enough to post in your office reception area, break room or any other high-traffic work area where public information is posted. Posters also will be available at Fan Appreciation Day, which is scheduled for Aug. 2 at the Convocation Center.

Chartered bus headed to season opener at Houston — UTSA graduate Joe Vasquez is sponsoring a chartered bus to the Friday, Aug. 29, season opener at Houston. The game, scheduled for 8 p.m. at the brand-new TDECU Stadium. You can email Vasquez directly at thaimex37@yahoo.com for more information on the road trip.


Final Thoughts
Folklore says bad news comes in threes and that certainly has been true since our last newsletter.

Three individuals dear to UTSA Athletics passed away during the past three weeks.

Seven-year-old "Andy Boy" Pardo was a pediatric cancer patient and an honorary member of the Roadrunners football team at this year’s Football Fiesta Spring Game at the Alamodome. Andy also was an honorary member of the YMCA Texans 10 and under football team. The Texans helped raise money for the Pardo family to help cover costs of his medical treatment. Melissa Russell, a mother of a Texans player, recently sent an email to me about Andy.

“Once again, I am most impressed with your athletic department’s involvement with good causes in the community,” Ms. Russell wrote. “The Pardo family spokesman contacted us last week, concerned that the family couldn’t afford the $400 fee for an obituary, and, as we were scrambling to collect it, we learned that Coach Coker graciously provided the funding. I wanted to express gratitude for Coach Coker and UTSA’s contribution.”

Soon after learning of Andy’s death, former UTSA women’s basketball head coach Rae Blair died in a motorcycle accident in Austin. She was 52. A group of UTSA administrators, coaches and players took a chartered bus to Ardmore, Okla., for her services. Family and friends packed the First Baptist Church to eulogize Rae’s life in a way that celebrated her accomplishments and allowed us to laugh through the tears at her unique personality.

This past weekend, we learned that San Antonio businessman and civic booster Bob Coleman died after a long illness. He was 82. In addition to being a huge Oklahoma Sooners fan, Bob was instrumental in the building of the Alamodome and the creation of the Sports Foundation. He also led an effort that helped keep the Spurs in San Antonio in addition to attracting the 1993 Olympic Festival and 1998 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four to the Alamo City.

Not so well known is the fact that Bob and his wife, Ann, made the first large gift to UTSA Football. Brad Parrott and I went to the Colemans' office to visit and ask for the gift.

Ann looked at Bob and said, “Well is this something you would like to do?” 

With his health already in decline, he looked at his wife and then toward Brad and me. He then smiled, with a tear running down his cheek, and nodded yes. He never said a word.

Bob always had the best interest of San Antonio on his mind. He knew what football could mean to UTSA and the community. Boy, was he was right!

The wins and recognition that Coach Coker and his team have brought to UTSA and San Antonio have been significant, but the joy that they brought to a dying 7-year-old and his family cannot be measured.

We’ll miss Andy, Rae and Bob. Each one brought something special to UTSA Athletics. Please keep their families in your prayers.

Go Runners!

Sincerely,

Lynn Hickey
Director of Athletics

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