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Lynn Hickey newsletter

The AD's Corner — Wednesday, July 15, 2015


Football Fan Appreciation Day Set For Friday, Aug. 14
UTSA will hold its annual Fan Appreciation Day with Rowdy, the cheerleaders, door prizes, an autograph session and more on the night of Friday, Aug. 14. A time and location will be determined at a later date. Light food and refreshments will be available to all who RSVP by Saturday, Aug. 8, via email to rowdy@utsa.edu or by calling Laura Little at (210) 458-8566.

The Roadrunners have been on campus for summer classes and offseason workouts. Fall practices begin on Monday, Aug. 3, in preparation for the Sept. 3 season opener at Arizona.


Soccer To Host Meet-And-Greet On Thursday, Aug. 13
Fans can meet head coach Greg Sheen and members of this year's soccer team from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 13, at Park West Athletics Complex. Food and refreshments will be made available for those who RSVP to UTSASports@utsa.edu by Saturday, Aug. 8. An autograph session will follow the event.


Megan Low mug shot Dempsey Thornton mug shot
Megan Low Dempsey Thornton

Two Roadrunners Earn Conference USA Scholar-Athlete Awards
Two highly-decorated seniors were among 18 Scholar-Athletes of the Year selected from Conference USA’s full-time and affiliate institutions.

Megan Low was selected as the top scholar-athlete in softball and Dempsey Thornton shared the volleyball award with Marshall's Samantha Bane.

The scholar-athlete awards are presented to the top student-athletes in all 17 conference-sponsored sports (indoor and outdoor track & field are combined into one sport for scholar-athlete purposes). The award is based on academic achievement, athletic achievement and community service.

Low is just the second player in the softball program’s history to earn first-team all-conference honors at least three times. She also became the first Roadrunner drafted by the National Pro Fastpitch league when she was selected by the Akron Racers in April. The Spring native was named to the C-USA All-Academic Team twice and she also earned the league’s Spirit of Service Award in 2014.

Meanwhile, Thornton helped lead the Roadrunners to C-USA regular season championships in each of the past two seasons and was named first-team all-conference as a senior. The Corpus Christi native graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA in sport, event and tourism management. She also was a C-USA Spirit of Service Award winner, a C-USA Academic Medal recipient and Capital One Academic All-District VII team selection.


Nikki Long at U.S. Open

Long Becomes First Roadrunner To Play In U.S. Women's Open
In early June, Nikki Long finished third at a U.S. Women's Open sectional qualifier in The Woodlands, earning a spot as an alternate for the major.

On July 4, she received word from the USGA that she would be playing in the U.S. Women’s Open the following week in Lancaster, Pa.

Long wrote a daily journal about her experience as the first Roadrunner to compete in the U.S. Women's Open. (click here to read her five entries). The sophomore-to-be shot an 86-79—165 and missed the cut, finishing outside the top 63 in the field of 156 professional and amateur players.

Since graduating from San Antonio Johnson High School in 2014, Long has logged a perfect 4.0 GPA as a pre-business major. She received the Conference USA Academic Medal for a cumulative 3.75-or-better GPA and also was named to the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll in April.

Last week while traveling to Pennsylvania, she was named a Women’s Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholar.


Bryce Alley mug shot J.J. Lindsey mug shot
Bryce Alley
J.J. Lindsey

Alley, Lindsey Lead UTSA To Magnolia Amateur Title
Bryce Alley and J.J. Lindsey combined to shoot 2-under-par to lead UTSA to the team title in the Magnolia Amateur College Team Event, which was contested last weekend at Hattiesburg (Miss.) Country Club.

In a competition that used the combined scores of two players on the same team for three rounds, Alley carded a 2-under 208 on the par-70 layout to place third out of 140 collegiate and mid-amateur players. The junior-to-be from Longview opened with a 3-under 67 and then battled back from a 72 on Saturday with a 69 in the final round on Sunday to finish one stroke behind runner-up Luke Kwon of Oklahoma and five back of individual champion Colin Monagle of Jacksonville (71-66-66—203).

Lindsey posted an even-par 210 to tie for fourth. The senior-to-be from Adkins recorded a 71 on Friday and then posted a 69 and 70 over the weekend.

Alley and Lindsey helped the Roadrunners to a 2-under 418 to win the 16-team competition ahead of Oklahoma (E), Alabama (+6), Houston (+7) and Memphis and Southern Miss (+9).


Smith-Jones Becomes UC Riverside Athletics Director
Associate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator Tamica Smith-Jones has accepted the director of athletics position at UC Riverside and her appointment was effective July 1.

Smith-Jones has been responsible for student-athlete affairs, health and safety, Title IX and gender equity, diversity and inclusion, life skills and community engagement since joining the UTSA staff back in August 2013. Prior to coming to the Alamo City, she was athletics director at Clark-Atlanta University and held other athletics coaching and staff positions at Morris Brown and Savannah State.


All-Conference USA honorees
(L-R) Drew Douglas, Jason Neill, Bennett Okotcha

Roadrunners Garner Preseason Conference USA Laurels
UTSA saw three members of its defense earn Preseason All-Conference USA accolades in a vote by the league's 13 head coaches, the conference office announced on Tuesday.

Linebacker Drew Douglas, defensive end Jason Neill and cornerback Bennett Okotcha, all seniors, all landed on the league's 14-man defense.

Douglas is coming off a junior season that saw him start 11 games and he finished third on the club with 71 tackles (36 solos/35 assists), seven of which came behind the line of scrimmage. The Garland native also had a sack, forced a fumble and broke up one pass from the middle linebacker position. The 6-foot-1, 225-pounder had a season-high eight stops in three different contests (at Oklahoma State/vs. New Mexico/at Rice) and he added a career-best two tackles for loss in the home opener against Arizona (Sept. 4). That came on the heels of a 69-tackle performance in his first year as a starter back in 2013.

Meanwhile, Neill appeared in all 12 contests (four starts) in his third season as a Roadrunner and he finished the campaign with 29 tackles (17 solos/12 assists), including 6.5 for loss and a team-leading 3.5 sacks. The Flower Mound native also recorded three QB hurries and forced a pair of fumbles in his first season back following reconstructive knee surgery. The 6-foot-2, 260-pounder had a career-high eight stops and 1.5 sacks at Oklahoma State (Sept. 13) and his two tackles in the backfield in the home opener against Arizona also was a personal best.

Okotcha played in all 12 tilts, including 11 starts, last fall and the Coppell native registered 23 tackles (16 solos/7 assists), an interception and five pass breakups. He racked up a season-high five stops at Oklahoma State (Sept. 13), his lone pick of the campaign came in the season opener at Houston (Aug. 29) and the 6-foot, 195-pounder broke up a season-best two passes against FIU (Oct. 11). Okotcha earned honorable mention All-C-USA accolades following his sophomore season in 2013.


Helmet vs. Southern Miss

Athlon Sports Likes UTSA’s Patriotic Football Helmet
Around a Fourth of July theme, Athlon Sports took a look at college football’s 35 most patriotic helmets.

UTSA's helmet worn in last season’s Military Appreciation Game against Southern Miss was among the red, white and blue creations. Click here to see the stars and stripes Rowdy helmet and all of college football's other patriotic looks.


Lara Weinstein Joins Women’s Golf Program
Lara Weinstein has signed a financial aid agreement to play at UTSA and she will join the program this fall. The junior transfer from Texas will have two years of eligibility remaining after competing for the Longhorns the past two seasons.

Prior to her time in Austin, Weinstein was a back-to-back Kenako World Junior Champion and a two-time Border Ladies winner in 2012-13. The Johannesburg, South Africa, native represented her native country in the 2013 Spirit Cup and won the Kwa-Zulu Natal Ladies Open and Gauteng North Ladies Match Play titles the same year.


Final Thoughts
The UTSA Business Alliance is back for the fast-approaching 2015 football season and it has an exciting new wrinkle. Roadrunners fans who wear orange and/or blue on the day before UTSA football games, home and away, will receive gifts and discounts from participating UTSA Business Alliance members and official UTSA Athletics sponsors.

Here are a few examples of how OrangeandBlueDay.com works:

· Wear orange and/or blue and receive free nachos with the purchase of an entrée at Don Pedro’s Mexican Restaurant.

· Wear orange and/or blue on the day before a UTSA football game into the Law Offices of Diana Martinez and receive five percent off family legal services.

· Wear orange and/or blue on the day before a UTSA football game to AJ’s Cyclery and receive $20 off any tune-up of $65 or more.

The list of OrangeandBlueDay.com businesses offering gifts, discounts and promotions is growing. On Aug. 1, the OrangeandBlueDay.com website will begin listing UTSA Business Alliance members and official UTSA Athletics sponsors offering gifts and discounts on food, products and services.

In addition to helping sponsors and alliance members generate traffic to their business, OrangeandBlueDay.com is building awareness of UTSA football games and encouraging our fans to show their UTSA pride.

More than 120 local businesses have taken advantage of the UTSA Business Alliance to align with the Roadrunners for the upcoming season. Alliance members receive tickets to use for client entertainment, sales incentives, employee rewards, networking and more. The $12,500 Executive Level includes four Founder’s Level season tickets, 100 individual game tickets for C-USA games, two parking passes, four season tickets to all on-campus UTSA Athletics events, game broadcast advertising and more. Additional packages are available at $7,500, $3,500, $1,000 and $400.

Some UTSA Business Alliance members already have moved up to become official UTSA Athletics sponsors. Businesses like H-E-B, DOCUmation, Ancira, Silver Eagle and SACU purchase customized sponsorship packages that include game broadcast advertising, Alamodome game-day signage, hospitality opportunities, social media mentions, program ads and many more options. We greatly appreciate the sponsors who use the official UTSA Athletics sponsor logo in their television and other advertisements.

Please visit OrangeandBlueDay.com to view the current roster of UTSA Business Alliance members. Beginning Aug. 1, the same website will provide the complete list of sponsors and Alliance members offering gifts and discounts.

July 31 is the last day to purchase UTSA Business Alliance packages and receive all of the benefits. To become a member, call the UTSA Ticket Office at (210) 458-UTSA (8872). To become an official UTSA Athletics sponsor, call Bobby Jordan at (210) 458-6243.

The season opener at Arizona is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 3, so get ready to wear your Roadrunners colors on Wednesday, Sept. 2.

If you would like to shop online to expand your orange and blue wardrobe, visit UTSAGear.com, the official online store for the UTSA Roadrunners.

I hope you’re having a great summer and are looking forward to following the Roadrunners during the 2015-16 school year. See you soon.

Go Runners!

Sincerely,

Lynn Hickey
Director of Athletics

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