Director of Athletics
This is going to be a short edition. We have SEC meetings in New Orleans today and then it’s off to Kansas City for the Big 12 Championships.
We’ve been working hard as a league on future schedules in all sports, but there is still more work to do. We should see volleyball and soccer schedules released soon and the other sports later in the spring and summer.
I’ve been to several SEC meetings over the last few months, and many of our coaches and administrators have attended conference meetings, participated in conference calls, or attended SEC Championships.
The common theme I continue to hear from our staff is how good the SEC office staff is to work with and how professional and collegial they are. Every time an issue is discussed at our AD meetings, the result is all of the schools work collectively to solve problems for the betterment of all of the member schools and the success of the conference. I like that.
Last weekend I spent a lot of time at the old ballparks: tennis, softball and baseball. I made a real mistake Saturday morning when it looked so pretty outside. I decided to wear Bermudas and a short sleeve shirt to the tennis match. The wind from the north sent me scurrying home to put on long pants and a parka. It was fun to see all of our fans at the venues. Not only does our 12th Man Rewards Program help attract fans, but our teams are fun to watch and the large crowds help us win and attract even better recruits.
While I don’t want to get gushy about Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park, it is flat out incredible. Our No. 5 baseball team swept Michigan State over the weekend. We are now 12-1 entering the three-game series with Cal State Fullerton Friday. First pitch is 6:35 p.m. A lucky fan on Friday will win the chance to take batting practice at Blue Bell Park. Saturday’s game will start at 2:05 p.m. After the game we will invite fans to the field to play catch in the outfield for 30 minutes. On Sunday, we start at 1:05 p.m. In addition to inviting kids to the field after the game to run the bases, we have a couple of activities planned for Fathers and their Sons including a post game catch in the outfield, fishing for prizes, and on-field promotions. Sons are encouraged to come dressed like their dads.
Spring Break starts this weekend at Texas A&M. With the students away, we encourage our local neighbors to come out and fill the seats at Blue Bell Park. Click here to purchase tickets.
Softball will host the Aggie Invitational starting this Thursday. We went 4-1 in our tournament here last weekend. Joining us this week will be Monmouth, Liberty, and North Dakota State. We are ranked No. 21 nationally. Click here to purchase tickets.
Tonight, our men’s basketball team begins play in the Big 12 Championship in Kansas City. We are the No. 9 seed and will face No. 8 seeded Oklahoma at 6 p.m. in the first round. The game will be televised by the Big 12 Network. Check your local listings. You can also listen on the Texas A&M Sports Network.
Tomorrow, our defending national champion women’s basketball team will start Big 12 Championship play. We are seeded third and will face No. 6 seeded Kansas in the quarterfinals. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. and will be televised nationally by FSN. We finished the regular season tied for second place with Oklahoma. After exhausting a complex set of tiebreakers, the league office held the first-ever draw to determine the Nos. 2 and 3 seeds. The Sooners were drawn out of the basket first and are the second seed.
Preparations continue for the 2012 NCAA Women’s Basketball First and Second Rounds being hosted at Reed Arena on March 17 and 19. Tickets are on sale now. We continue to rank third among the 16 first and second round sites and the four regional sites in tickets sold.
Our team will be playing opening round games at Reed Arena. First round action will happen on Saturday, March 17 at 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. We will find out which game we will play in when the 64-team bracket is announced on March 13. You can join our team for the annual selection show on Monday at 6 p.m. inside the practice gym at Cox-McFerrin Center for Aggie Basketball. Click here for more information and to select your seat.
Many of you received your tickets for the NCAAs last week, and a few of you have shared some concerns about your seat location being different from the regular season. Because this is an NCAA predetermined site, the NCAA has reserved many prime seats for the participating teams. These blocks are directly behind and also across from each bench. These are the same seats we get when we have traveled to other venues during the NCAAs. In addition, four areas have been reserved for the bands from the four participating schools. The result is many of our season ticket holders were reseated for this championship.
Our No. 15 men’s tennis team extended the school-record home winning streak to 43 matches after beating Texas-Arlington and Abilene Christian over the weekend. We will be in Columbus, Ohio Friday to play No. 2 Ohio State.
Meanwhile, new head coach Howard Joffe has our women’s team off to a 9-1 start and a national ranking of No. 15. It’s our highest ranking since 2007. We’ve won nine straight matches to tie the school record for consecutive wins set in 1986. We host No. 16 Michigan on Friday. The match will start at noon instead of 6 p.m. due to inclement weather forecasted for our area.
Our No. 3 equestrian team beat No. 21 Kansas State last Saturday. It was our 21st straight home victory. We close the regular season on Saturday when we host Baylor at 11 a.m. at the Brazos County Expo Complex.
Our No. 13 men’s golf team will be in Las Vegas this weekend for the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters. Meanwhile, our No. 12 women’s team is preparing for the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational which starts on March 13 in Hawaii.
And finally, good luck to our No. 3 men’s and No. 5 women’s indoor track and field teams as we send a team of 18 student-athletes to Boise for the 2012 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships Friday. Our men have finished second to Florida the past two seasons while our women have finished fifth the last two seasons. We have had a terrific indoor season and I’m looking forward to seeing our teams on the top step of the awards podium Saturday night.
It’s a busy time of year with so many different events happening in different cities. I hate to eat and run, but I am off to Kansas City.