Director of Athletics
When I saw Ryan Tannehill’s pass drop to the ground after being swatted by a Missouri defensive lineman, I thought back to another Missouri game in the past and wished we had “Fifth Down” Brown officiating. We could have used another shot, but it was not to be.
A number of you have let me know how disappointed you are with our three losses this season. I agree they are all tough to take. But, we can’t linger on the losses. We have to move on to the Sooners.
I’m sure all of you read with concern the announcement we made last Thursday about men’s basketball coach Billy Kennedy being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. We have great faith he is going to return to coach the Aggies very soon.
I thought you might appreciate the reaction I received from football coach Mike Sherman when I saw him in the Bright Building. The first thing he said to me was, “How is Billy Kennedy doing?” That tells me a lot about our head football coach.
This week our football game at No. 6 Oklahoma will kick off at 2:30 p.m. The game will be televised by ABC to much of the country, while the remaining portions of the country will need to turn to ESPN2 to receive the game in their area. We hope to have a coverage map available at AggieAthletics.com on Thursday. The game will also be available online live at ESPN3.com.
In addition to the television broadcast, you can listen to the Texas A&M Sports Network with the pregame starting at 1:30 p.m. You can hear the game on your local Texas A&M Sports Network station, AggieAthletics.com, or via our new iPad and Android mobile apps.
For those in the Metroplex, please note the game will be carried this week on 98.7 KLUV-FM.
Earlier this week, we were notified by the conference office that our football game on Nov. 12 against Kansas State in Manhattan, Kan., will kick off at 11 a.m. or 2:30 p.m. and be televised by ABC. The network is utilizing another of its six-day advance notices. We should know the exact game time by sometime Sunday morning.
We have some tickets remaining for the Kansas game on Nov. 19. I hope our sellout streak will improve to seven straight games. These tickets are from the allotment the school returned to us.
Also, our Thanksgiving night game against our friends from the state capital is sold out.
We continue to average over 87,000 fans at our home games this year and we are certainly on pace to shatter our previous high average of 82,711 set in 2001.
To purchase tickets to the Kansas game, click here.
A note about the Kansas game and the Thanksgiving game. Due to the games being five days apart, this places a strain on our ability to distribute our 30,000 student tickets for Thanksgiving night. Instead of a game-week student ticket pull for the State Farm Lone Star Showdown, we will conduct the pull starting Monday, Nov. 7. Due to events in The Zone Club, we won’t allow camping in The Zone Plaza until after 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5. For more information on the student ticket distribution plan, please click here.
I told you last week we would talk about some of the different procedures we will experience as we transition to the SEC. The first that comes to mind is football officiating. The most significant change is in the Big 12 the timer is seated in the press box. In the SEC, the backup official on the field runs the clock. This will require us to make some updates to our current timing system at Kyle Field which we will do in the off-season. The SEC also has a very sophisticated and complete protocol for reviewing all aspects of football officiating. The SEC coordinator of football officials monitors each SEC game from the command center at the headquarters in Birmingham, Ala. It is far and away the most impressive process I have ever seen. I’ve also heard they have had our games on their command center monitors the last few weeks.
I watched our third place volleyball team beat Kansas, 3-1, on Sunday at Reed Arena. It was a great way to start the second half of the Big 12 volleyball season. We have won four of our last five matches and we are 6-3 in the league. We are receiving votes in the latest national volleyball poll, and it looks to me that this team has an excellent chance of returning to the NCAA postseason.
It was a special day on Sunday for the Byrne family at Reed. Between the second and third games, I was able to present a rose to six breast cancer survivors, one of whom is my favorite first wife. I’m often asked about Marilyn’s health, and I’m glad to report she is doing fine. Thanks for asking.
Tonight we host Texas Tech at 6:30 p.m. at Reed Arena. To purchase tickets, click here. On Saturday afternoon we will be at Kansas State.
Soccer came through with a 3-0 shutout of our friends in the state capital last Friday as part of the State Farm Lone Star Showdown. We earned a full point in the Showdown. That was great! Our fans got to saw Varsity’s horns off one last time in Austin. Our winning soccer program has become something our fans in the state capital have enjoyed over the years. I’m told the stands emptied early last Friday night after we scored the third goal and our fans were heard chanting “beat the traffic!”
We completed our final Big 12 campaign with a 6-1-1 record and a second place finish.
Congratulations to senior Bri Young who was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week, and to freshman Kelley Monogue who was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week for the fourth time in six weeks.
Our final Big 12 Championship tournament starts tonight at 8 p.m. at Blossom Soccer Stadium in San Antonio. We face Kansas in the opening round. A pair of former Texas A&M students have arranged with the host San Antonio Sports Foundation to admit all Texas A&M students free while offering a $2 discount to anyone wearing maroon. You can follow the Big 12 Championship here.
We hosted the Big 12 Cross Country Championships last Saturday at Pebble Creek Country Club. Our No. 24-ranked men finished fourth while our women were sixth. Highlighting our individual success was Henry Lelei who finished the 8,000 meter course in 23:29.7 for third place. Henry was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year. Natosha Rogers led our women with a 12th place finish and a time of 20:02.5 across the 6,000 meter course.
By all accounts it looks like this will be the last year of the State Farm Lone Star Showdown. Right now we are trailing 2.5 to 1 after soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, and one volleyball match.
A full point is available this Friday night when our women’s swimming and diving team faces our friends in the state capital.
We beat Missouri 180-120 Saturday in Mansfield, Texas. We had nine individual wins with seven of those coming in swimming events and two in diving. We also won a relay.
Our defending national champion equestrian team beat TCU last Friday. We continue to be undefeated this season with a record of 5-0 and ranked No. 2 in this week’s national poll. We will host Oklahoma State on Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Brazos County Expo Complex. Admission is free.
Congratulations to our men’s golf team for winning the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate at Royal Oaks Country Club in Dallas on Tuesday. Our team shot 22-under which was a tournament record for the event. It was the third time in four years for us to win at Royal Oaks. Cameron Peck and Jordan Russell helped lead the way for us as they shot 8-under for the tournament to finish tied for second place. Next week we will conclude the fall schedule in Jacksonville, Fla.
Our No. 17 women’s golf team played a terrific final round to finish third at the Alamo Invitational Tuesday at Briggs Ranch Golf Club in San Antonio. We started the final day in eighth place, but the strong finish helped us to a three round total of 880, our lowest of the season. Sophomore Katerina Ruzickova finished fifth with an even-par 216. It was her lowest total this season and her fourth top 10 finish. The tournament was our final event for the fall.
Basketball season is here. Our No. 19 men’s team will host Dallas Baptist on Thursday at 7 p.m. in an exhibition game. The regular season will start on Wednesday, Nov. 9 against Liberty in the 2K Sports Classic at Reed Arena. Season tickets are available through our online select-a-seat system by clicking here. We also have a Saturday 6-Pack and a Pick 7 package available, too.
Season tickets for women’s basketball are on sale now. You can select your seat online by clicking here. We’ve already sold a record number, and for the first time, we are also offering a six-pack for women’s basketball.
Our defending national champion women’s team will start the season ranked No. 6 nationally.
This Sunday, we will have an exhibition game against Oklahoma City University at 2 p.m. The regular season begins on Saturday, Nov. 12 against Lamar at 7 p.m.
Mark your calendars for Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 3 p.m. when we host No. 9 Louisville. This is the game when we will present the national championship rings to our team and unveil the national championship banner that will rise to the rafters in Reed Arena. The game will be televised by ESPNU. Make plans to leave work and school early for this special afternoon. The ceremony will start at 2:40 p.m.
You can purchase tickets by clicking here.
As a reminder, tickets are also on sale for the 2012 NCAA Women’s Basketball First and Second Rounds being hosted at Reed Arena. Click here for more information.
Congratulations to former Texas A&M basketball player Donald Sloan who helped USA Basketball win the bronze medal at the Pan American Games. Donald scored 11 points and had three assists as USA beat the Dominican Republic, 94-92. It is the first medal for USA Basketball in the Pan Am Games since 1999.
For those of you who were at the football game on Saturday at Kyle Field, you saw the video that 12th Man Productions created showing what Texas fire fighters have been doing to help citizens of Texas during the wild fires. The Texas Forest Service, an agency of the Texas A&M System, has been coordinating the effort. We honored members of the Texas Forest Service at halftime. Here is a letter they sent us on Monday.
Just a short note to tell how much we appreciated your assistance in making the “Kyle Field Recognition of TFS” happen. It meant a lot to our personnel and our agency. The 12th Man TV presentation was exceptional. It certainly meant a lot to me to be following the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band having been in it. The last time I was on the field was the 2001 OSU Red-White-Blue Game with the Alumni Band.
Department Head - Incident Response
Chief of Fire Operations
Texas Forest Service
Have a great week!