The AD's Corner — Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014
Wade Named Semifinalist For Jim Thorpe Award
Named after history’s greatest all-around athlete, the Thorpe Award is presented annually to the nation’s top defensive back. This season’s winner will be unveiled on Dec. 11 at The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPN.
Wade leads UTSA with 57 tackles, nine pass breakups, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries this season. The two-year team captain from Tyler is the Roadrunners’ all-time leader in tackles (264), pass breakups (30), interceptions (11), forced fumbles (8) and fumble recoveries (6).
Volleyball Continues Conference USA Dominance
Last week, San Antonio Express-News reporter Jerry Briggs wrote a well-deserved column on the program's success. Briggs did an excellent job summing up the dominance demonstrated by head coach Laura Neugebauer-Groff and the Roadrunners during the past two seasons in Conference USA.
The Roadrunners upped their all-time C-USA regular season record to 24-1 with wins at Marshall and Charlotte last weekend. UTSA now has won 19 matches in a row against league competition in regular season play and that streak increases to 22 when you factor in last year's perfect three-match run through the C-USA Tournament.
Asked by Briggs if she addresses the streak with her players, Groff said, “Ah, I don’t do that. Maybe I’m superstitious, but I’m truly honest when I say I’m just worrying about the next match.”
Click here to read the entire article.
King To Lead Roadrunners Into 2014-15 Season
King led the Roadrunners in scoring last season with 13.6 points per game and the 5-foot-6 guard from Norman, Okla., averaged 9.3 and 10.4 points her first two seasons in the Alamo City.
King and the UTSA will be out to prove the pundits wrong during the 2014-15 season, as the Roadrunners were picked to finish ninth in Conference USA this season.
The Roadrunners will play their second exhibition contest at 2 p.m. next Saturday, Nov. 8, against Howard Payne before opening the regular season on Nov. 15 at Texas (time TBA). That game will be shown live on the Longhorn Network.
C-USA announced last Thursday that home game against Florida Atlantic will be moved to 11 a.m. on Feb. 8 to accommodate a television broadcast on FOX Sports Networks. The game originally was scheduled for Feb. 7.
Soccer Seniors To Conclude UTSA Careers On Thursday Night
Members of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee will be in Halloween costumes passing out trick-or-treat candy to youngsters and fans are encouraged to come in full costumes, as well.
The Roadrunners (5-10, 1-7-1 C-USA) are out of contention for a berth in next week’s eight-team Conference USA Tournament, so Charlotte Husoe, Anissa Muson, Happy Orere-Amadu and Taylor Wingerden will be playing their final games on Thursday. Taking part in the pregame senior recognition but not playing will due to injury will be Anka Grotle and Kaytee O’Brien.
O’Brien is a midfielder who was injured during the third game of the season at Kansas, while Grotle is a fifth-year midfielder who currently is on crutches after undergoing knee surgery last week.
A similar injury last season led to a redshirt year for the senior from Norway.
Grotle was the first player in program history to earn first-team All-Southland Conference honors in back-to-back seasons during her first two seasons as a Roadrunner, but injuries have slowed her on-the-field accomplishments late in her career. However, it has not diminished her classroom accomplishments.
Dr. Donovan Fogt from UTSA's department of kinesiology, health and nutrition, recently wrote a lengthy letter to me praising Anka.
“Ms. Grotle’s academic performance to date has been excellent, although it may not speak to her greatest strengths,” Dr. Fogt wrote.
He went on to describe Grotle as trustworthy, mature, personable and well-received by all she meets.
Dr. Fogt then ended his letter with, “Finally, Anka has proven trustworthy and responsible in and out of the academic environment AND she is my daughter’s favorite player (probably because she looks like Elsa from Frozen, of course).”
Grotle will continue to work with Dr. Fogt in athletics training, as she pursues her master’s degree in kinesiology.
Alumni Association Taking Rice Tailgate Reservations
Food and drink will cost $20 for Alumni Association members and $25 for non-members who register before the game. All admissions will be $25 at the game. The cutoff for pregame registration is noon on Friday, Nov. 7. Please call (210) 458-4133 for more information.
Bidders Go 'All In' For Lead Jerseys
"This was our first-ever jersey auction and we were thrilled with the results," Associate Athletics Director for Development Brandon Raphael said. "We thank the Roadrunner Nation for going 'All In.' Because of the success of this auction, we will be placing more items for sale online in the near future."
HealthTexas Seeking Best Roadrunners Fan Pics
To enter your best Roadrunners fan photo in the HealthTexas contest, post your pictures at UTSAPride.com. You could win autographed jerseys, campus store gift cards and season tickets to next year’s games. Two additional winners will be identified following home games on Nov. 13 against Southern Miss and again on Nov. 29 against North Texas.
Download Roadrunners Schedules To Your Calendar
The future UTSA head football coach was like thousands of other youngsters throughout Oklahoma in the 1950s and '60s. Their trips to Sooners football games were their only exposure to a university campus. It left a lasting desire not only to play college sports but to attend college.
The marketing slogan “Your Town, Your Team” is more than a catchy come-on designed to sell UTSA Athletics tickets. It’s a responsibility to give back to the San Antonio community.
The last line of the UTSA Athletics mission statement is, “Above all else, we develop productive, service-minded leaders.”
Meeting that commitment to our student-athletes means placing them in a position to give back to their community.
Rowdy Readers and Dream Runners are two programs designed to give back to the community and teach community service to our student-athletes.
Veronica Segovia-Cadena is vice principal at Virginia Myers Elementary School in the Northside Independent School District. She first initiated the Rowdy Readers program at another NISD school and reintroduced it when she moved to Myers.
Rowdy Readers is a program where UTSA softball student-athletes visit Myers each week to assist 50 students who struggle with reading. Many of the youngsters just need an encouraging word, especially from a college student-athlete.
“They talk about college and career readiness, setting goals, weekend experiences, campus experiences and pretty much offer a support system to make our kiddos feel very special,” Segovia-Cadena said of the Rowdy Readers program.
Segovia-Cadena also uses UTSA football tickets as incentives for perfect attendance and rewards for acts of respect and good character. Several Myers students and their parents attended recent home games at the Alamodome as rewards for their accomplishments.
UTSA graduate Jeremy Koester is an eighth grade teacher at the KIPP Academy of Arts & Letters in Austin.
The UTSA women’s soccer team met Koester and his students as they began their recent day-long Dream Runners visit to UTSA's Main Campus.
“My expectations of the Dream Runners program were not exceeded, they were decimated,” Koester wrote in an email to UTSA President Dr. Ricardo Romo. “Coach (Stephanie) Sanchez went far above and beyond to create a memorable experience for our students.”
Athletics works with the Office of P-20 Initiatives to provide meaningful experiences for hundreds of Dream Runners each year. Many top off their day-long visits to the UTSA campus by attending an on-campus athletics event.
Vice Principal Segovia-Cadena ended her recent thank you note to me by writing, “Our kiddos are clearly seeing college as a MUST, not a MAYBE!”
So when 30,000 attend a UTSA home football game at the Alamodome or when a few hundred watch a soccer match at Park West Athletics Complex, there’s more than a game being played.
Among the Rowdy Readers and Dream Runners in attendance may be a young Larry Coker who develops a desire to not only play college athletics, but also decides to go to college.
Hope to see you at a game soon.