The AD's Corner — Wednesday, April 16, 2014  

UTSA Cleans Up Batting Practice Quickly
With impressive coordination and teamwork, the UTSA baseball team cleared Roadrunner Field of batting practice equipment in a record 29.4 seconds on Sunday. This YouTube video shows Batting Practice Cleanup Coach Brock Hartson providing hand signals to teammates as they break the huddle and hit the third-base line. After a shift in formations, the Roadrunners snap the baseball and clear the field of the batting cage, screens and mats in record time.

UTSA took two of three games from Marshall last weekend at Roadrunner Field and currently sits in a tie for second place in the Conference USA standings. Rice, which is ranked as high as No. 14 nationally, is alone in first place at 13-5, while UTSA, UAB and Southern Mississippi are tied for second with 10-5 records. The Roadrunners improved to 25-12 with a 7-2 victory against I-35 rival Texas State on Tuesday night and they now will travel to Norfolk, Va., for a three-game C-USA series at Old Dominion (22-15, 10-8 C-USA) that begins at 5 p.m. (CT) on Thursday.

Win A UTSA Football Fiesta Spring Game Ultimate Fan Experience
Like UTSA Athletics, KENS5/ and Ticket 760 on Facebook and you can win the Ultimate Fan Experience at the UTSA Football Fiesta Spring Game presented by HealthTexas on Saturday, April 26, at the Alamodome. Three winners and a guest will receive sideline access during the game, a pregame tour of the Alamodome, two tickets to the 2014 home opener against Arizona on Thursday, Sept. 4, and UTSA gear. Click here for all the details.

Track & Field Returns Home For UTSA Invitational
The track & field program will return home on Saturday to host the UTSA Invitational at the Park West Athletics Complex. The Roadrunners will host Houston, New Mexico State, Sam Houston State, South Plains and Texas State in their second home meet of the spring. All the action will get underway at 10 a.m. and admission is $5.

Low Earns Conference USA Weekly Honor Again
For the second time this season, UTSA slugger Megan Low was named Conference USA Softball Player of the Week on Monday. The junior first baseman began the week by tying a program single-game record with three home runs in a 9-6 victory against I-35 rival Texas State. In the second game of the Roadrunners’ three-game series this past weekend at FIU, Low hit her NCAA-leading 20th home run of the season.

The Roadrunners (20-23, 7-8 C-USA) return home to face No. 16 Tulsa (38-5, 12-2 C-USA) in a 2 p.m. doubleheader on Friday followed by a single game at 1 p.m. the next afternoon.

Women’s Golf Headed To Conference USA Championship
The women’s golf team will compete in its first-ever Conference USA Championship next Monday-Wednesday, April 21-23, in Gulf Shores, Ala. UTSA enters the field ranked No. 54 nationally by Golfweek and No. 58 by Golfstat. Tulane (29/34) and East Carolina (43/47) are the only league teams ranked ahead of the Roadrunners heading into the postseason event.

Tennis Teams Off To Conference Tournaments
The men’s and women’s tennis teams will begin competition in their respective conference tournaments this week.

The Conference USA Women’s Championship will be hosted by Old Dominion from Wednesday through Sunday in Norfolk, Va. The Roadrunners (11-10) are the No. 8 seed and they will face the first-round winner between No. 9 Middle Tennessee and 16th-seeded Florida Atlantic at 2 p.m. on Thursday. Click here for the complete bracket.

Meanwhile, the men’s tournament is slated for Thursday through Sunday at Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla. No. 10 seed UTSA (9-16) will square off against seventh-seeded UAB at 10 a.m. on Thursday with the winner advancing to play No. 2 Tulane at 10 a.m. on Friday. Click here for the complete bracket.

Football Season Opener At Houston Moved to Friday, Aug. 29
The American Athletic Conference announced Tuesday that UTSA's season opener at Houston has been moved to Friday, Aug. 29, to accommodate a national television broadcast. Originally scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 30, the first-ever contest in the Cougars' new Houston Football Stadium will be televised by ESPNews with an 8 p.m. kickoff.

The Roadrunners now will play three non-Saturday games — the first such contests in program history — this season, as the home opener against Arizona was moved to Thursday, Sept. 4, and the home contest with Southern Miss was changed to Thursday, Nov. 13, both for national TV.

"It's very exciting for our program to have three of our games moved to primetime on weeknights for national TV broadcasts," head coach Larry Coker said. "This creates a tremendous amount of national exposure for UTSA, the type of publicity you really can't put a price tag on. I know our players are really fired up about having the chance to play in these types of games. It's a testament to how hard everyone has worked in a short amount of time to build this program into one that is considered for national TV games."

Entry Deadline For Larry Coker Golf Tournament Rapidly Approaching
This Friday is the deadline to enter this year’s Larry Coker Golf Tournament, which is scheduled for Monday, April 21, at Fair Oaks Ranch Golf & Country Club. More than 100 players are expected to tee off with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start. Lunch will be served following the tournament. Click here for more information or to register for the tournament. Please contact Associate Athletic Director for Development Brandon Raphael at (210) 458-8138 with questions.

Final Thoughts
We were so pleased to get the call from the University of Houston requesting to move our season-opening football game to Friday, Aug. 29. Conference USA television partners already had requested home games against Arizona (Sept. 4) and Southern Miss (Nov. 13) be moved to Thursday nights. That means three UTSA games this season will be broadcast on national television during primetime viewing hours. Opening the season with two nationally-televised games is a great compliment to our program and it provides a national stage for UTSA Athletics, the University and the City of San Antonio.

The baseball victory last night against Texas State marked the beginning of a busy week for the Roadrunners. The men’s and women’s tennis teams will compete in their respective Conference USA Tournaments tomorrow through Sunday. Softball hosts league-leading and No. 16 Tulsa in a three-game series beginning Friday. Our women’s golf team will compete in its first-ever C-USA Championship next Monday-Wednesday. The track & field program will host a six-team meet this Saturday at the Park West Athletics Complex.

In little more than a month, the Roadrunners’ first year of competition in C-USA will be complete. So far, we’re much more than holding our own.

In addition to performing successfully on the field and in the classroom, our student-athletes also have been active in the community.

The softball team recently raised more than $1,000 during its Strike Out Cancer game for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of San Antonio. Several of our teams also were involved in raising funds to fight childhood cancer at the For The Kids (FTK) Dance-a-Thon at the Convocation Center. It’s my understanding that our women’s basketball team won the dance contest. I’m certain it was the tips received from head coach Luby Lichonczak that gave them the edge.

Many thanks to Smithson Valley High School and its head football coach Larry Hill for sharing their wonderful facilities with our football team last Saturday. It was our last open practice prior to the UTSA Football Fiesta Spring Game presented by HealthTexas, which is scheduled for Saturday, April 26, at the Alamodome. Come to the spring game at 1 p.m. and stay for the Fiesta Flambeau Night Parade in Downtown San Antonio beginning at 6:15 p.m. Admission to the spring game is free and fans will be invited down on the field to meet the players after the game.

Thanks to everyone who renewed their football season tickets by yesterday’s deadline to retain seats and request parking. Football season tickets have become the lifeblood of our department. We offer payment plans and ticket prices to fit any pocketbook. We want you to be a part of our extensive UTSA family. If you have not purchased your 2014 season tickets, expect a call from us in the next few weeks.

In closing, I want to mention the recent death of Craig Blair, the husband of former UTSA head women’s basketball coach Rae Blair. Craig was a victim of early onset Alzheimer’s and will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Our thoughts and prayers go to Rae and her family.

Thanks for all you do for the Roadrunners. Please have a blessed holiday weekend and hope to see you at the fields.

Go Runners!


Lynn Hickey
Director of Athletics

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Upcoming Schedule Of Events  
April 17 Men's Tennis vs. UAB (Conference USA Tournament)   10 a.m.

April 17 Women's Tennis vs. Middle Tennessee (Conference USA Tournament)   1 p.m.

April 17 Baseball at Old Dominion   5 p.m.

April 18 Softball #16 Tulsa (DH)   2 p.m.

April 18 Baseball at Old Dominion   5 p.m.

April 19 Men's Track & Field UTSA Invitational   10 a.m.

April 19 Women's Track & Field UTSA Invitational   10 a.m.

April 19 Baseball at Old Dominion   11 a.m.

April 19 Softball #16 Tulsa   1 p.m.

April 21-23 Women's Golf at Conference USA Championship   All Day