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Lynn Hickey newsletter

The AD's Corner — Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Roadrunners Road Trip logo

Road Trips To Make Final Three Stops Next Week
The 2015 Roadrunners Road Trips will shift into high gear next week with stops in the Rio Grande Valley, Austin and Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

Head football coach Larry Coker headlines a contingent from UTSA Athletics, the Alumni Association and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

All three of next week’s stops start at 6:30 p.m. and the schedule is listed below.

May 19 (Rio Grande Valley/Edinburg) — The Social Club (205 Conquest Boulevard)
May 21 (Austin) — Opal Divine’s Penn Field (3601 South Congress Avenue, Suite K)
May 22 (Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex) — Learfield Sports (2400 Dallas Parkway, Suite 500, Plano).

Admission is $10 for UTSA Alumni Association members and $15 for non-members. Appetizers will be served and a cash bar will be available at each event. Fans also may order 2015 Road Trip T-shirts by clicking here. For more information on the Road Trip and each stop, please here.

Last Tuesday, Coach Coker did a pair of in-studio radio interviews with local sports talk shows in Houston, along with a live appearance during the Houston Astros radio broadcast in their game against the Texas Rangers.

You can hear an archive of Coach Coker's interview with N.D. Kalu and Greg Koch of "In the Trenches" on Sports Talk 790 AM by clicking here.

Baseball to Visit Charlotte in Season’s Final C-USA Series
Already assured of a spot in next week's Conference USA Tournament in Hattiesburg, Miss., the baseball team will close out regular season play this weekend with a three-game series at Charlotte. The Roadrunners (30-22) and 49ers (17-27) will play at 5 p.m. (CT) on Thursday and Friday and 11 a.m. (CT) Saturday.

UTSA currently sits in fifth place with a 15-12 league record, with a mathematical chance to catch Southern Miss (16-10) and Florida Atlantic (17-10) in the league standings.

Rice (20-7) overtook Middle Tennessee (19-8) for first place last weekend thanks in part to the Roadrunners' series win against the Blue Raiders. UTSA head coach Jason Marshall also picked up his 100th career win in Saturday's series finale.

2015 Conference USA Outdoor Championships logo

Track & Field Teams En Route To El Paso For Conference USA Outdoor Championships
UTSA's men's and women's track & field teams will begin postseason competition this weekend when it competes at the Conference USA Outdoor Championships. The four-day meet is scheduled to get underway on Thursday at Kidd Field on the campus of UTEP (click here for complete meet information and this weekend's schedule).

The defending champion men come into the meet on top of five events in the league standings.

All-American Keyunta Hayes paces the conference in both hurdles disciplines. The senior from Tyler owns top marks of 13.92 in the 110m hurdles and 49.48 in the 400m hurdles, which also ranks third nationally. He is the defending champion in both events and also will be a part of the squad's 1,600m relay, which was victorious a year ago. Other Roadrunners sitting atop the circuit's leaderboard include All-American Andrew Akens in the shot put (59-5 ½/18.12m), Dionte Robinson in the 200m (program-record 20.56) and Jared Tyler in the discus (168-9/51.43m).

UTSA has won five conference team titles and a total of 60 individual/relay crowns in its history.

Meanwhile, Stephanie Wangui comes into the meet with the league's fastest 800m time this spring. The junior from Leander clocked a personal-record 2:08.44 (No. 5 on UTSA's all-time performers chart) three weeks ago at the J. Fred Duckett Twilight in Houston.

The women have won a total of five conference crowns and 61 individual/relay championships in program annals.

Tomas Stillman mug shot
Tomas Stillman

Stillman To Return To Waco For NCAA Men’s Tennis Tournament
Conference USA Player of the Year Tomas Stillman will return to Baylor’s Hurd Tennis Center in Waco from May 20-25 for the NCAA Tournament singles competition.

Stillman and his UTSA teammates saw the most successful dual match season in program history come to a close last Friday with a 4-0 setback to LSU in the NCAA First Round in Waco.

Rain delayed the start of Friday’s match then forced the action indoors. The Tigers captured the doubles point and the first three singles matches for the victory.

UTSA finished the spring with a 17-9 dual match record, which marked the most wins in program history. It was the Roadrunners' fourth NCAA postseason appearance.

Realities Of College Recruiting Seminar Scheduled For May 27
A big thank you goes to Joey Blackmon and April Ancira from the Ancira Auto Group for their assistance in promoting “The Realities of College Recruiting” seminar that will be held at 7 p.m. on May 27 at the Northside ISD Paul Taylor Fieldhouse (7001 Culebra Road).

Each Sunday, Ancira runs a full-page ad in the San Antonio Express-News highlighting the sports and outdoor accomplishments of area youth. This Sunday and again on May 24 the ad will feature information on the College Athletics Recruiting seminar hosted by UTSA.

If you or someone you know has a son or daughter in middle school or high school who hopes to someday participate in college athletics, they should attend this free seminar. Contact Aaron Johnson at (210) 458-8872 or to RSVP for the event.

Softball Makes Semifinal Exit From Conference USA Tournament
Conference USA West Division Champion UTSA ran its season-long winning streak to six games with a 4-1 victory against Louisiana Tech on Thursday in the quarterfinal round of last week's postseason tournament in Miami. However, the Roadrunners saw their streak and season come to an end on Friday with a 6-4 semifinal setback to Florida Atlantic in the single-elimination event.

Back-to-back home runs by Vivian Tijerina and Randee Crawford sparked a 4-0 lead for the Roadrunners in the third inning on Friday. Crawford’s solo shot tied the team’s single-season RBIs record with 64. FAU struck back with six unanswered runs in the fourth and fifth innings and the Owls retired the final seven Roadrunners in order to move on to the final round.

Western Kentucky downed Florida Atlantic in Saturday's title game by a score of 3-1 and the Hilltoppers quaiified for the 64-team NCAA Tournament as the league's champion. FAU was given an at-large bid and it marked the sixth consecutive season that C-USA has earned multiple bids to the NCAA Tournament.

TCU, Texas Tech Assistants To Address San Antonio QB Club
Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Bennett and offensive coordinator Kendal Briles will address the San Antonio Quarterback Club at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday at Earl Abel’s Restaurant (1201 Austin Highway). Texas Tech associate head coach Mike Jinks will wrap up the spring series with a luncheon presentation at 11:30 a.m. on Monday.

UTSA head coach Larry Coker will lead off the QB Club fall series on Sept. 14. UTSA assistant coaches will precede the featured speakers at each Monday luncheon throughout the fall. For more information on membership and luncheon schedules, please visit

UTSA Staff Receives Thanks For Hosting NCAA Women's Golf Regional
Baylor shot a 7-under-par 281 in the final round to win the NCAA Women’s Golf San Antonio Regional hosted by UTSA last week at Briggs Ranch Golf Club. The Roadrunners did not qualify to play in this year’s NCAA Regional, but UTSA staff members Sherman Corbett, Brenna Ellis, Patrick Grant and Kyle Stephens headed the Roadrunners contingent that hosted 18 teams and six individual players for three days of play.

“The only thing that didn’t go well during my stay in San Antonio was my inability to say thank you in person for the hospitality and warm friendship that I received this week,” wrote Chuck Walsh, deputy director of sports information at Florida State. “Though my team didn’t earn the results it wanted, I appreciate your help and ability to deliver a friendly, professional work environment. Everything worked great for me and I appreciate all of your efforts during the planning and execution of the event.”

UTSA now has served as the host institution for 17 NCAA Championship events since 1997. The 2018 Men’s Final Four is the next NCAA event scheduled to be hosted by UTSA in the Alamo City.

Final Thoughts
These thoughts come from the Conference USA Spring Meetings in Destin, Fla. Athletics directors, senior woman administrators, faculty athletics representatives and head coaches for football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball for all 14 C-USA members have gathered for three full days of meetings.

Each group meets separately and has its own agenda.

Athletics directors are reviewing the past year, making the necessary operational revisions for the coming year and discussing the conference’s strategic plan and national issues. Representatives from C-USA bowl partners, television networks and sponsors join these conversations.

The 2014-15 athletics year rapidly is coming to a close. Men’s tennis ended its season in the NCAA Tournament last week in Waco and softball was eliminated in the semifinals of the C-USA Tournament in Miami. Both teams had outstanding seasons and are well positioned for the future. Our baseball and track & field teams are still alive for conference championships and possible NCAA postseason berths.

Sixty student-athletes walked across the stage at the Alamodome last week in commencement ceremonies. The “real” world just received 60 productive, service-minded future leaders. Please click here for a complete list of this spring’s student-athlete graduates. We hate to say goodbye, but we are so proud of their accomplishments and are so pleased for their families.

As we close the year, I’d like to share two stories of individuals in our UTSA family who have overcome tremendous adversity.

The first is Alyssa Minwell. You may have read about Alyssa on the front page of Saturday's San Antonio Express-News (click here to read the full article). She has been blind since the age of three and graduated last week with a degree in entrepreneurship. It took the 21-year-old less than three years to attain her degree.

Mentioned briefly in the fourth paragraph is the fact that Alyssa tutored our student-athletes. For the past year she worked with student-athletes from all sports helping in accounting, economics, math and business statistics.

“Alyssa was always on time and happy to be there,” academic coordinator Sara Gothelf said. “She enjoyed helping the students and was always available to meet during the week. She was flexible and comfortable, and she really cared about the students she met with.”

The second young lady who I’d like to mention is softball player Kendall Burton. The freshman from Missouri City started all 54 games in center field, led the conference with 190 at-bats and a school-record seven triples and was second on the team in batting average (.362).

Instead of leading off for the Roadrunners this spring, it appeared Kendall’s career might be over just before Christmas when she suffered a stroke.

“My biggest struggle was not being able to speak, read or write after the stroke,” Kendall said. “The support I received from my family, coaches and the UTSA Athletics staff was overwhelming. I cannot thank them enough.”

“Kendall is such a strong-willed individual, I never doubted her ability to bounce back from this adversity,” head softball coach Michelle Cheatham said. “Her attitude about challenges has never faltered. It carries over to the playing field. She is never afraid of big moments, which allow her to be a clutch player. She is a fighter on the field and in life.”

We are so blessed to work with young student-athletes and students like these two. As we continue to build our program, we will graduate seniors, we will win games and we will develop productive, service-minded leaders.

When you attend a game, buy a season ticket and donate to the Roadrunner Athletic Fund, remember that you are much more than a fan. You are making an impact on young lives and sending future leaders into our community. Thank you for all that you do.

Go Runners!


Lynn Hickey
Director of Athletics

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