Facilities Projects Underway
Major athletics facility improvements are taking place throughout the summer. The new soccer and track & field venues should be completed by mid-July, with practices beginning in those facilities in August. We also will be announcing a fundraising initiative later this summer to address dressing room needs for new facilities at Park West and plans for the future football practice facility. In the meantime, while we are doing fundraising for these new permanent facilities, we are phasing in improvements to current facilities as a transition until permanent Park West facilities are constructed. Below is a list of significant projects this summer with the most recent construction pictures.
Weight room — Renovation of the weight facilities used by all 17 UTSA sports programs was completed last week. Eight new platforms and all new cardio equipment have been installed thanks to generous gifts from Roadrunner Athletic Fund donors and Roadrunners logos now adorn the floor, walls and doors of the overhauled facility in the lower level of the PE Building. Once this project is fully completed, we will have a ribbon cutting to recognize those donors and celebrate this first step in renovation of facilities to help us during our transition phase to Park West.
Football practice fields — In collaboration with UTSA Campus Recreation, the previous track & field facility has been removed so that four synthetic surface fields can be built. Three fields are for flag football and one will be a regulation NCAA football field that both our football team and band will use for practice. Once the permanent Park West football practice facility is completed, the new practice field on the Main Campus will be used primarily by Campus Recreation. We also are moving lockers into the lower level of the PE Building to accommodate the football team. The goal is to have this project completed in time for fall camp in August. Practices during the first three seasons of UTSA football have been at Dub Farris Stadium, the spacious Northside Independent School District facility near Hausman Road and Loop 1604. Working with Northside ISD was a great solution for our startup program, but we are excited to have our team practicing on the Main Campus this season.
Convocation Center floor — Every four or five years, the basketball and volleyball markings are redone when the Convocation Center floor is resurfaced. The head coaches chose to keep the Roadrunners logo at center court and the UTSA logos on both ends of the floor. Conference USA logos have replaced the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) logos in the lanes. The Roadrunners logo and the area inside the 3-point lines are stained, giving the appearance of a wood inlay. There also are alternate UTSA logos and the Roadrunners word mark on the baselines and goUTSA.com lettering in front of each bench.
Park West Athletics Complex — Track & field and soccer student-athletes will begin preseason practices in August in new facilities on the Park West Campus. For the first time in its seven-year history, the soccer program will have its own practice and game facility with permanent stands that seat 1,000 fans. The Roadrunners soccer team will open its new stadium with an exhibition match against Incarnate Word on Aug. 16. Plans are being made for the track & field program’s first meet in its new stadium during the spring. There also will be a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open Park West later this summer.
Vote Bormann For TD Ameritrade Fan’s Choice Award
Catcher John Bormann was named one of 15 finalists for the TD Ameritrade Fan’s Choice Award, the only college baseball honor determined solely by fans. The Fan’s Choice Award recognizes baseball players who excel beyond the diamond and whose leadership inspires others. Bormann is co-captain of the WAC Tournament Champions and caught all 532 innings the Roadrunners played this past season. Bormann threw out 60.8 percent of base stealers (31 of 51) and picked off 14 base runners, both of which currently are tops in the nation. Off the field, the sophomore from Seguin carries a 3.73 cumulative GPA as a business major and is a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. The winner of the Fan’s Choice Award will be announced July 3 at the 2013 TD Ameritrade Home Run Derby at the College World Series in Omaha. Fans can vote for Bormann daily through June 21 on a Facebook application located here and more information about the award can be found by clicking here.
This ‘N’ That
Women’s Golf honored for perfect APR — The UTSA women's golf program received a Public Recognition Award from the NCAA on Wednesday for its perfect Academic Progress Rate (APR) average over the last four years. A total of 976 teams (594 women's/382 men's) across all Division I sports earned the distinction from the NCAA with APRs ranging from 978 to a perfect score of 1,000. The most recent APRs are based on scores from 2008-09 through the 2011-12 academic years. During that time, the Roadrunners claimed back-to-back Southland Conference Championships and reached the program's first NCAA Regional.
Men’s Basketball signs four — UTSA head men’s basketball coach Brooks Thompson announced this week the signing of four players to National Letters of Intent. Joining the Roadrunners this fall will be Keon Lewis (Seattle/North Idaho JC), Larry Lewis (Scottsdale, Ariz/Westwind Prep), Kaj Sherman (Mercer Island, Wash./North Idaho JC) and James Williams (Arlington, Texas/John Logan JC). The quartet joins fall signee Luke Wilshire (San Antonio/Johnson HS) for the Roadrunners’ inaugural season in Conference USA. All but Sherman, a 7-0 center, are guards. Click here for more information on this week’s four signees.
In case you missed it — UTSA Athletics greatly appreciates media members who cover our programs. Two excellent articles recently appeared in the Austin American-Statesman and the San Antonio Express-News. Kirk Bohls from the American-Statesman interviewed UTSA head football coach Larry Coker on the recent Roadrunners Road Trip to the Austin area. Click here to read his article from Sunday’s edition. Meanwhile, Jerry Briggs from the Express-News wrote a feature on UTSA junior 400-meters hurdler Joshua Smith and his trip to this week's NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. Click here to read his article from this morning.
Pedrotti’s UTSA Athletics sponsor — Pedrotti’s was proud to host the UTSA Athletics Banquet last month and would like to host your next event. As a full-service event center, Pedrotti’s provides great guest service and a focus on hospitality, food service and entertainment. This UTSA Athletics sponsor caters private events and activities in its banquet halls accommodating crowds between 50 and 1,500 people. Choose from a diverse menu tailored especially for your event. The Pedrotti’s staff takes care of all the details including linens, décor, setup and cleanup. For more information or to schedule your next event, click here or call (210) 695-3533.
It is hard to believe that the competition year is about to close for UTSA. My last road trip of the year was with the baseball team to the NCAA Regional in Corvallis, Ore. We are very proud of baseball’s WAC Tournament Championship and NCAA postseason appearance. The team’s success at the end of the season helped secure the WAC Commissioner’s Cup for UTSA. We have one student-athlete still competing. Joshua Smith, a 400-meter hurdler, will be in competition later tonight at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. We wish him the best and thank him for representing UTSA Athletics at the highest level.
Senior Associate Athletic Director Brad Parrott likes to introduce me by saying, “Lynn Hickey has been married to the same man for 40 years, but we can’t find a conference that she likes.” The first part of that statement is true, but the second part is false. I liked our long association with the Southland Conference. Our one-year stay in the WAC has been outstanding, and we’re looking forward to July 1 when we begin what we hope will be a long and productive relationship with Conference USA (C-USA).
Four years ago, I sat at the Southland spring meetings not knowing if we had a conference home. Member institutions had just voted not to allow any of our teams to continue in conference play if the new football program competed as an independent. As I sat wondering about our future, an email appeared on my phone with news that the Big 12 Conference was going to potentially have some teams leave. The conference realignment dominoes were falling again. Two months later, Brad and I were giving a presentation to the WAC hoping to secure an invitation to join.
Thank goodness the WAC and its member institutions saw our potential and were willing to accept us as a member. Even though our association has been short-lived, UTSA will be forever grateful to the WAC. This group of universities gave us the opportunity to make the first step in building our program at the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level. As the conference realignment musical chairs played on, the WAC staff continued to run a first-class operation and provide an unbelievable opportunity to pursue our vision for UTSA Athletics.
This is a busy speech-giving time of year for me with graduations and the beginning of summer meetings. As I speak about building winning teams, there are three points that I like to make.
First, you must have a good plan to be successful. Second, you must have passion and a strong work ethic to achieve your goals. Third, winners have faith and believe that they will be successful.
Our coaches and teams put these concepts into practice this year as they made the step up to the FBS and won the Commissioner’s Cup as the WAC’s best all-around program.
Now we make another step up into C-USA competition.
I sat on the edge of my seat last Friday as our baseball team took a 4-3 lead into the ninth inning against Oregon State, the No. 3 team in the NCAA Tournament. Even though we lost 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth and were eliminated 6-1 by Texas A&M the next day, UTSA was right there competing with the best in the country and that’s where we’ll be next year in C-USA.
As fans of UTSA Athletics, please let me assure you that we have a good plan to be successful. Our administrative staff, coaches and student-athletes have tremendous passion and a strong work ethic. This past year in the WAC has only strengthened our faith and belief that we will be successful. Thanks for your support. We’ll continue to work this summer to make our first year in C-USA just as successful as our only year in the WAC.
One more final note. This will be the last newsletter for three weeks, as I will be going with an abbreviated schedule for the next couple of months. The next installment will be June 26, followed by July 24 and I will pick back up on a weekly basis beginning on Aug. 7.
Director of Athletics