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Lynn Hickey newsletter

The AD's Corner — Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014

Team at Rice

Volleyball Top Seed At This Week's Conference USA Tournament
UTSA captured its second consecutive Conference USA regular season crown and the top seed in this week’s league tournament with a sweep at Rice last Saturday. The Roadrunners (19-8) will open tournament play at noon on Friday against Charlotte (17-16) in Hattiesburg, Miss.

Outside hitter Dajana Boskovic heads into the tournament as the reigning C-USA Offensive Player of the Week. The sophomore from Bileca, Bosnia and Herzegovina, tallied a career-best 24 kills on Saturday against the Owls. This marks her second player of the week award this season.

UTSA and Western Kentucky wound up tied at 15-1 for the regular season C-USA crown, but the Roadrunners earned the No. 1 seed by virtue of their 3-1 win against the Hilltoppers on Oct. 17. WKU snuck back into championship contention when UTSA saw its 22-match conference winning streak snapped by North Texas last Thursday.

Head coach Laura Neugebauer-Groff was named Conference USA Coach of the Year and sophomore setter Jessica Waldrip was tabbed Setter of the Year, while a half dozen Roadrunners were voted to the All-C-USA teams that have announced by the league office this week. Boskovic, Waldrip and outside hitter Dempsey Thornton were named to the first team, while middle hitter Kylie Schott and defensive specialist Annie Kunes made the second squad and outside hitter Marijeta Runjic was selected to the All-Freshman Team.

Women’s Basketball To Host Abilene Christian Tonight
The women’s basketball team will host Abilene Christian (2-0) in its home opener at 7 p.m. tonight at the Convocation Center.

The Roadrunners (0-1) lost their season opener on Saturday at No. 9 Texas, 68-48. Playing without four team members due to injuries, UTSA went on a 17-4 run midway through the second half to pull to within three, 40-37. UTSA then went cold and the preseason Big 12 Conference favorites pulled away for the 20-point win.

Carlie Heineman, a freshman from San Antonio Brennan High School, led the Roadrunners with 15 points. Senior Kamra King, UTSA’s leading scorer the past three seasons, added 13.

Men’s Basketball To Continue Home Stand With I-35 Rival Texas State On Saturday
The UTSA men’s basketball team will continue its five-game season-opening home stand when it hosts Texas State at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Convocation Center. UTSA fans are encouraged to wear orange, as the I-35 Rivalry is renewed against the Bobcats (1-0).

The Roadrunners (1-1) downed Huston-Tillotson, 92-74, in last Friday's season opener before losing a heartbreaker to Texas-Pan American, 63-62, on Monday.

Senior guard Keon Lewis knocked down 28 points to lead the Roadrunners in scoring in the lid-lfiter. Senior forward Jeromie Hill posted his 11th career double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, but UTSA shot just 30.7 percent from the field and converted only 10-of-19 free throws in the setback to the Broncs.

Historic Senior Class To Be Honored Next Saturday
Thirty-six seniors — most from the Roadrunners’ first two recruiting classes — will be will be honored at the final home game against North Texas at 11 a.m. on Nov. 29 at the Alamodome.

To refresh your memory, UTSA signed its first football class in February 2010. All of those players plus walk-ons practiced during the Fall 2010 but did not play games.

The second class was signed the following February and played its first season that fall, beginning with the 31-3 victory against Northeastern State before an NCAA inaugural game record crowd of 56,743 at the Alamodome.

Eighteen members of the original UTSA squad that practiced but did not play games in 2010 will be playing in their last game against North Texas. The “Original 18” will be honored with a commemorative poster that will be distributed to fans at the game.

All 36 seniors will be honored daily through Nov. 28 on UTSA Athletics social media outlets (click here for Twitter and here for Facebook).

Contact the ticket office at (210) 458-UTSA (8872) to purchase tickets to this memorable Roadrunners season finale.

Original 18

San Antonio Business Journal, DOCUmation Offering Sweet Suite Deal
The San Antonio Business Journal and DOCUmation, the official technology provider of UTSA Athletics, have teamed up to offer businesses a Sweet Suite Deal for the Nov. 29 football season finale against North Texas.

This is a very affordable opportunity for you to entertain customers, reward employees or sponsor a business family outing to a UTSA football game. Your business group can gain access to one of three suites, enjoy free refreshments and purchase club level tickets for just $15 per seat.

A minimum purchase of eight tickets is required to participate in this amazing offer made possible the San Antonio Business Journal and DOCUmation.

Contact the UTSA Ticket Office at (210) 458-UTSA (8872) for more information.

Area Colleges Included In Season Finale Ticket Deal
Faculty, staff and students from UTSA, as well as all San Antonio area colleges and universities, are being offered special College Day discounts to attend the Nov. 29 football season finale against North Texas. Ticket prices throughout the Alamodome are being discounted $8-$15 dollars. Click here or call (210) 458-UTSA (8872) to view the College Day discounts and purchase your tickets for the final home game of the season.

Cast Your Vote For New Cheerleader Uniforms
The UTSA cheerleading squad has launched a four-week “crowdfunding” project to raise $12,500 for new uniforms and equipment. Five days into the online fundraiser, donations have totaled nearly $3,000. Once the project is completed, all who donate will be invited to vote on one of three uniform designs to be unveiled during the 2015 football season.

Click here to make a donation and hear more about the cheerleading program. Just for your information, here’s what it costs to outfit a UTSA cheerleader:  female uniform $185, male uniform $165, megaphone $50, poms $20 and hair bow $8. Please consider making your donation today.

Final Thoughts
The grand old dome got a facelift, an important date and a huge vote of confidence last week.

From the time it opened in 1993, the Alamodome has been called “white elephant” and worse. A white elephant, according to Wikipedia, is a possession which its owner cannot dispose of and whose cost, particularly for maintenance, is out of proportion to its usefulness.

The grand old dome silenced its critics and again proved its usefulness last week with a great victory over much newer, more expensive and glitzy NFL stadiums and brought the 2018 NCAA Men’s Final Four to San Antonio.

It took the city’s promise of more than $43 million in improvements to the Alamodome to convince the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee to return the Final Four and the accompanying coaches convention to San Antonio, site of the 1998, 2004 and 2008 Men’s Final Fours.

The NCAA could not overlook the convenience of the hotel-lined River Walk, the renovated Convention Center and the city’s offer to bring wider concourses, additional meeting space and improved fan amenities to the Alamodome. San Antonio’s warm April weather and even warmer hospitality sealed the deal.

tailgating tailgating
tailgating tailgating
Roadrunners fans braved the elements during their outdoor tailgates prior to last Thursday's football game with Southern Miss.

As we prepared for last Thursday night’s football game with Southern Miss and waited in great anticipation of the NCAA’s Final Four announcement on Friday, it hit me just how important the Alamodome is to San Antonio and UTSA Athletics.

Take a minute to look at the following comparison that clearly demonstrates the importance of the Alamodome to the Roadrunners.

On Nov. 13, 2008, the University of North Carolina-Charlotte Board of Trustees officially voted to add football. On Dec. 18, 2008, the UT System Board of Regents granted permission for UTSA to start a football program.

On Nov. 28 UTSA will play North Texas in the Alamodome completing its fourth football season — its third as a member of the Football Bowl Subdivision and its second as a championship-eligible member of Conference USA.

On Saturday, Charlotte will conclude its second Football Championship Subdivision season at home against Morehead State. The 49ers will move to the FBS and C-USA in 2015.

The biggest difference between UTSA and Charlotte — two football programs of almost identical age — is the Alamodome.

Even though the city of Charlotte has a beautiful NFL stadium with 73,778 seats and 158 suites, the University of Charlotte had to build its own 15,314-seat on-campus stadium.

UTSA was able to move immediately into the air-conditioned and heated 65,000-seat Alamodome with access to 50 suites. The Roadrunners have averaged more than 30,000 fans per game during the past four seasons.  

What a huge advantage for UTSA; not only playing in a large indoor stadium but also playing in the site of multiple Final Fours, the Valero Alamo Bowl, the U.S. Army All-American Game, past NBA Finals and Big 12 Championship games, major league baseball exhibition games, George Strait concerts and more.

As tailgaters huddled around grills and barbecue pits to keep warm Thursday evening in the parking lots, they knew at kickoff of the nationally-televised UTSA-Southern Mississippi game it would be 72 degrees, calm and dry in the Alamodome.

It is a great honor to be able to serve as the institutional host of San Antonio’s fourth NCAA Men’s Final Four. It’s also an honor to be the permanent primary tenant of San Antonio’s most historic sports venue, the Alamodome.

Hope to see you at a game this week.

Go Runners!


Lynn Hickey
Director of Athletics

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