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Lynn Hickey newsletter

The AD's Corner — Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014

Big Weekend For Volleyball
Riding an eight-match winning streak, the UTSA volleyball team returns to the Convocation Center this weekend for matches with their top Conference USA challengers.  

The Roadrunners (11-7, 7-0 C-USA) will take on league co-leader Western Kentucky (19-4, 7-0 C-USA) at 7 p.m. on Friday. The Hilltoppers received votes in this week's American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25 Poll.  

UTSA then will host third-place Rice (15-5, 5-1, C-USA) at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

This weekend’s contests should go a long way toward determining the top seed in the C-USA Tournament which is scheduled for Nov. 21-23 in Hattiesburg, Miss.

Bring Food To Friday’s Volleyball Match
The UTSA Student Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) is conducting its annual Conference USA Food Drive. SAAC’s goal is to gather 5,000 cans of food and/or collect $5,000 in cash to purchase food through the San Antonio Food Bank.

Anyone who brings two canned food items to Friday’s 7 p.m. Western Kentucky volleyball match will receive free admission. The same offer will be made on Friday, Oct. 24, when the UTSA soccer team hosts FIU at the Park West Athletic Complex.

SAAC food bins will be available for canned food donations at both events. Anyone wishing to provide a cash donation instead of canned food can click here to make an online donation between now and Nov. 5.

Alumni Designate Game Day "Watch Zones"
UTSA Athletics sponsors Buffalo Wings & Rings (203 North Loop 1604 West) and The Block (14530 Roadrunner Way) are two of five local restaurants designated as Alumni Association "Watch Zones" for Saturday’s football game at Louisiana Tech, which is scheduled to kick off at 11 a.m. on FOX Sports Networks (FOX Sports Southwest in the state of Texas).

UTSA alumni and fans are encouraged to gather at one of the five Alumni Association Watch Zones.

In addition to Buffalo Wings & Rings and The Block, others locations include Barriba Cantina (111 West Crockett Street), The County Line BBQ (10101 IH-10 West) and Freetail Brewing Co. (4035 North Loop 1604 West).  

Nic Johnston/Jeromie Hill

College of Business Features Two Student-Athletes
Two fifth-year student-athletes are taking advantage of their extra year of eligibility to obtain a Master of Business Administration degree.

Jeromie Hill (men’s basketball) and Nic Johnston (football) recently were featured on the College of Business website. You click here to read the entire article.

Hill completed his undergraduate degree last spring but received an additional year of eligibility when he spent last season recuperating from knee surgery.

"I always liked being creative and thinking outside the box," Hill said in his interview.  "Marketing allows me to do that. I’m fascinated in learning what makes people do what they do, in relation to consumer purchasing behavior."

Hill is one of only six players in UTSA men’s basketball history to score more than 1,000 points and grab more than 500 rebounds. The Cairns, Australia, native will return to the court on Nov. 6 when the Roadrunners open the 2014-15 season with an exhibition game against Southeastern Oklahoma State at the Convocation Center.

Meanwhile, Johnston was one of the original football players that signed National Letters of Intent back in February 2010. All of the original Roadrunners practiced but did not play games their first year on campus, which gave the safety a redashirt year.  

"It’s been a bumpy ride, but it’s been a great ride," Johnston said. "From our first year, we’ve made a huge jump and we’re the fastest team ever to do what we’ve done."  

Johnston made 15 tackles in the Roadrunners' first two games this season, but he missed the next three with an injury. The Coppell native returned to action last Saturday in the 16-13 victory against Florida International.

Robert Singletary mug shot Sean Ianno mug shot
Robert Singletary Sean Ianno

Roadrunners Honored For FIU Heroics
UTSA’s come-from-behind 16-13 Homecoming victory against FIU saw two Roadrunners earn Conference USA Player of the Week accolades.

Senior defensive end Robert Singletary was a one-man wrecking crew in earning Defensive Player of the Week honors. He registered 10 tackles, including a program-record 4.5 for loss, which is the third-highest total registered by a Football Bowl Subdivision player this season.

Meanwhile, senior place-kicker Sean Ianno was tabbed the circuit's Special Teams Player of the Week after drilling his third field goal of the game, a 39-yarder with 50 seconds remaining, which helped the Roadrunners snap their four-game losing streak. It was the fourth game-winning field goal of his career.

Get The Lead Out ad

Round Two Of Lead Jersey Auction Underway
The opening group of 36 game-worn jerseys from the Oct. 4 "Get the Lead Out" contest with New Mexico received qualified bids and have been sold.

Bidding now is open until next Monday, Oct. 20, for jersey Nos. 25-60. Remember, that Nos. 61-99 will go on sale next week through Oct. 27.

Jump into the grey-fray today and click here to place a bid on your favorite jersey number right now.

Another Fan Bus Headed To Rice
UTSA alum Joe Vasquez still has seats available on a bus headed to the Rice football game that will be played on Nov. 8 in Houston. Please contact Joe at (210) 574-6136 if you are interested in riding the bus.

ESPN Explores UTSA Football’s South Texas Roots
Earlier this week, Sam Khan of interviewed members of our staff for an article on Hispanic Heritage Month.

He wanted to explore how UTSA Football has become a success story both on and off the field, with a focus on how the university has embraced the Hispanic culture of South Texas.

We always are proud to tell the story of UTSA, especially our rise under the leadership of Dr. Ricardo Romo and our efforts to become San Antonio's and South Texas' team.

Click here to read Khan’s complete story that was released today.

Final Thoughts
After watching the video highlights of Saturday’s Homecoming victory against FIU, it became even more apparent to me the importance of our home crowd. In fact, click here to watch video and see it for yourself.  

FIU was penalized twice for illegal procedure to begin the game when its offensive linemen could not hear the quarterback’s signals. The crowd participation throughout the game was tremendous, especially when the public address announcer called out, "Another third down and LONG!"

This home field advantage is no accident. Since it was announced that UTSA was adding football, our staff has been aggressive in its sales of season and single-game tickets. The person at the heart of this effort has been IMG Learfield Ticket Solutions General Manager Aaron "AJ" Johnson.

AJ and his staff are on the phone and out in the community day and night selling UTSA Athletics. Their dedication and work ethic is exemplary. Those of you who know AJ readily recognize why his efforts are so impressive.

AJ played college football in his home state of Montana. After college, he became a golf professional and competed on a mini-tour. One night after missing a cut, he was driving home in the wee hours of the morning and hit a bridge abutment.

The steering column on his vehicle jammed into his stomach, which snapped his spine. This successful young athlete has been confined to a wheelchair for the past 10 years, but it has not slowed him down one bit.

After several months of rehabilitation in Montana, AJ migrated to the University of Arizona where he worked in the Wildcats’ ticket sales organization. After six years of honing his craft in Tucson, he accepted the general manager’s position here at UTSA.  

After three home games this season, UTSA is second in average home attendance in Conference USA. A home game with Texas Tech helped propel UTEP to a season average of 34,201, but we are nipping at the Miners' heels at 31,946. Nationally-ranked and undefeated Marshall is third at 28,408.

The Roadrunners showed great resiliency this past Saturday. Doubts created by a program-record-tying four-game losing streak and injuries to two starting quarterbacks provided every reason to settle for something other than victory against FIU.

However, we persevered.  

That’s what college athletics does for youngsters. It teaches them that through hard work and faith in their team they can accomplish the difficult and sometimes the unbelievable.  

I watch AJ get into his red truck on a daily basis so he can sell UTSA Athletics and I watch as he moves around the Alamodome on game days. I see the fortitude and mental toughness of an athlete, an athlete who learned through faith and hard work that anyone can overcome life’s difficulties.

Thank you AJ for your hard work in creating a home-field advantage for UTSA. More importantly, thank you for being an inspiration to all of us.

Go Runners!


Lynn Hickey
Director of Athletics

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