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Lynn Hickey newsletter

The AD's Corner — Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015

Softball To Host Houston Baptist Tonight
The softball team is off to a 12-4 start, its best since the 1995 season, and it is riding a four-game winning streak entering tonight’s 6 p.m. home contest against Houston Baptist (6-8).

The Roadrunners opened last weekend’s UTSA Classic with a loss to Iowa State, but they rebounded by winning two games apiece against Incarnate Word and Southeastern Louisiana.

Playing in their fourth tournament of the young season, UTSA will take on Boston, Illinois State and No. 22 Texas A&M at this weekend’s Texas A&M Invitational in College Station. The Roadrunners will open their Conference USA slate next weekend with three games at Southern Miss.

UTSA Women Drive For C-USA Tournament First-Round Bye
After winning four of its last five games, the women’s basketball team (13-13, 8-6 C-USA) is launching a late-season drive toward a first-round bye in the Conference USA Tournament, which is scheduled for March 11-14 in Birmingham, Ala.

The top four teams in the C-USA regular season standings receive a bye in the first round of the 12-team tournament. The Roadrunners currently are tied for fifth but have a chance to make up ground when they meet third-place Southern Miss (18-8, 11-4 C-USA) at 7 p.m. on Thursday and fourth-place Louisiana Tech (14-12, 9-6 C-USA) at noon on Sunday (please note the time/day change) at the Convocation Center.

The UTSA women will conclude the regular season on the road next week at Rice (March 5) and North Texas (March 7).

Conference USA Indoor Championships Delayed Until Thursday
The start of the 2015 Conference USA Indoor Track & Field Championships has been delayed until Thursday due to inclement weather. The city of Birmingham made the decision to shut down all public facilities today due to the threat of several inches of snow.

The entire meet now will be contested on Thursday. UAB is the host school for the annual postseason event, which is being held at the Birmingham CrossPlex. It is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.

Student-Athletes To Be Honored Thursday For Fall Grades
All UTSA student-athletes who earned a 3.00 grade point average or better during the fall semester will be honored at halftime of Thursday night’s UTSA-Southern Miss women’s basketball game.

Overall, UTSA student-athletes averaged a 3.00 GPA during the first semester of this academic year and 20 earned a perfect 4.00 GPA during the fall.

UTSA Men’s Basketball To Hit The Road
The men’s basketball team will embark on its final road trip of the regular season this week.

The Roadrunners (13-12, 7-7 C-USA), currently in a three-way tie for seventh place in the Conference USA standings, will meet Southern Miss (7-19, 2-13 C-USA) at 7 p.m. on Thursday before moving on to league-leading Louisiana Tech (21-7, 12-3) at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

The men will close regular season play at home next week against Rice (March 5) and North Texas (March 7).

The top 12 teams from the conference regular season standings move on to the C-USA Tournament, which is scheduled for March 11-14 in Birmingham, Ala.

Dirty Bird

"Dirty Birds" Help Baseball To Perfect Home Stand
Former UTSA players and students lined the new right field fence providing enthusiastic support as the baseball team swept a four-game home stand during the past week.

The Roadrunners (6-2) took all three games against 2014 NCAA Tournament participant Bryant last weekend and shut out Incarnate Word, 12-0, on Tuesday.

Six-foot chain-link fences down the left and right field lines at the Bird Bath have been replaced with much lower padded walls. Sight lines have been improved for fans in lawn chairs down the left field line and those sitting on the berm down the right field line.

Student hecklers calling themselves the “Dirty Birds” raised brooms in celebration Sunday as UTSA completed the three-game sweep of the Bulldogs.

The Roadrunners and Dirty Birds will return to the Bird Bath for a three-game series with UC Irvine from March 6-8.

Ticket 760 Host Calls UTSA “San Antonio’s Team”
Radio sports talk show host Mike Taylor devotes two segments to UTSA Athletics each week.

At 8:45 a.m. each Monday, he visits with Andy Everett, the voice of Roadrunners football and men's basketball broadcasts.

At 8:30 a.m. each Friday during basketball season, Taylor visits with UTSA men’s head coach Brooks Thompson.

Leading into this week’s conversation with Everett, Taylor commented on the apparent decision of the Oakland Raiders to move to Los Angeles instead of San Antonio. After dissing any real interest from the Raiders to move to the Alamodome, Taylor said, “Doing all that we can fiscally to help UTSA Football is what we ought to do because it’s in our best interest.”

Click here to listen to the complete commentary by Taylor and his subsequent conversation with Everett.

UTSA Hires Mike Markuson As Offenisve Linemen Coach
UTSA head football coach Larry Coker has hired Mike Markuson as the Roadrunners’ offensive line coach. The coaching veteran has served as an O-line coach at Wisconsin (2012), Mississippi (2008-11), Arkansas (1998-2007) and Boise State (1997), as well as other schools during his 30-year career. Markuson first crossed paths with Coker when he was an offensive graduate assistant at Oklahoma State in 1987-88.

Michigan Quarterback To Transfer To UTSA
Quarterback Russell Bellomy will join the UTSA football program upon graduation from Michigan on May 1. The 6-3, 220-pound Texas native appeared in six games during the past three seasons for the Wolverines. Bellomy led Arlington Martin High School to a 10-3 record and UIL Class 5A Division I regional semifinals as a senior in 2010. He will have one year of eligibility left while he attends graduate school at UTSA.

Roadrunners Alliance Open To Business Fans
Do you want to attract UTSA fans to your business? Do you want to tie your business to the successful Roadrunners athletics programs? Are you a UTSA fan and a business owner? The UTSA Roadrunners Business Alliance is for you.

The Alliance provides varied packages for business owners of all sizes to purchase UTSA Athletics sponsorships and tickets. Package prices range from the all-inclusive Executive Level at $12,500 all the way to the Rowdy Pack at just $400.

All Alliance members receive a distinctive sign for their businesses to let UTSA fans know that you back the Roadrunners. Upper level packages include client tickets, parking passes, game day program advertising, hospitality access and a tax deductible donation to the Roadrunner Athletic Fund.

Please call Aaron Johnson at (210) 458-4188 for more information or to become a member today.

Lubomyr Lichonczak mug shot
Lubomyr Lichonczak

Final Thoughts
As we begin to close the 2014-15 basketball regular seasons, I will invite our head coaches to talk about their seasons and seniors. The UTSA women close their home schedule with a pair of home games this weekend, so here is a note from head coach Luby Lichonczak.

“With four games left in the conference regular season, we have qualified for the C-USA Tournament in Birmingham. We have shown steady improvement throughout the year. Through hard work and effort, we have used athleticism to create chaos on the defensive end, which has created offensive opportunities. We’re playing with a lot of energy and hustle.

“I’m very proud of our three seniors. Kamra King more than likely will become the only player in school history to lead the Roadrunners in scoring in four straight years. Mannasha Bell ranks in the C-USA top 10 in rebounding and steals. Ashley Spaletta is a four-year starter. Our senior leadership has helped position us for a run at the conference tournament championship in March.

“We have doubled our conference win total from last year. On Jan. 24, we beat Western Kentucky, which was ranked No. 24 in the country at the time. That was the program’s first-ever win against a nationally-ranked opponent.

“We invite everyone to these last two games this week. Help us close out the home portion of our schedule and say goodbye to our seniors. We promise that you will enjoy the energy, hustle and chaos created by our team.”

One familiar face will be absent from this week’s games. Longtime supporter Bill Collenback passed away on Tuesday. Bill and his wife, Loyce, have been part of UTSA Athletics from its inception. They were recruited to be part of the Roadrunners Family by former athletics fundraiser and Alumni Association administrator Jane Burton.

Bill was a longtime State Farm Insurance agency owner and instrumental for years with the Women’s Walk, an annual fundraiser for women’s athletics. He and Loyce rarely missed a women’s basketball game or volleyball match. We will miss him courtside. Please keep the Collenback family in your thoughts and prayers.

I hope to see you at the games this week. Please come out and say goodbye to our three seniors and wish our women’s basketball team good luck in the C-USA Tournament on March 11-14 in Birmingham.

Go Runners!


Lynn Hickey
Director of Athletics

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