Bill Byrne
Director of Athletics

I'm hearing from a few of you who were surprised to learn last Friday I was at a point of transition from my role as Athletic Director at Texas A&M. President Loftin announced it after a workshop on conference realignment last Friday in The Zone Club. As I enter the last period of my contract, President Loftin and I continue to work together to continue the tradition of excellence of Aggie Athletics.

I've been looking forward to my life after athletics. I will be right there with all of you rooting for our teams and watching Texas A&M strive for championships. This is a wonderful time at Texas A&M and I look forward to announcing, with President Loftin's support, my next steps.

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I’m pleased to report our recruiting is going well in men’s and women’s basketball, and we are getting some good commitments in football.

We received great reports from those who attended Friday Night Lights, and we estimated a lot of you were there. It was a terrific crowd for the second of three scrimmages open to the public, and we had a number of recruits there. It was a great success. Some of our new players really showed off their skills. Transfer Brandon Williams set the tempo early by running a kickoff back for a touchdown, and our young quarterbacks continue to make progress.

It’s apparent we are becoming more comfortable with the speed of the offense, meaning how quick we are ready to snap the ball after each play.

This Saturday we host the annual Maroon and White Spring Football Game presented by Wells Fargo. The event will start at 1 p.m. Gates will open at noon. The cost will be $5, and all college-aged students and younger will be admitted free. Click here to purchase your ticket and avoid the walk-up ticket-buying lines on game day.

Coach Kevin Sumlin will utilize the following the scoring system for the game.

Offense will be normal scoring.

Defense will earn six points for a touchdown, three points for a fourth down stop, three points for a missed field goal or turnover, two points for a sack, and one point for a three-and-out.
As a reminder, we won’t be hosting any ancillary events on Saturday like in years past. Instead of having an autograph day in conjunction with the spring game, our team has scheduled a Fan Day for Aug. 11, where you will have a formal chance to meet the 2012 Aggies and get photos and autographs.

 

You may notice some elements on our scoreboards not functioning correctly this Saturday. We have had a lot of issues over the years with the scoreboards mounted on the front of the third deck on the east and west sides of Kyle Field. You may recall that the game clock is kept by an official on the sidelines in the SEC. Our current scoring mechanism is unable to accommodate this mandatory SEC rule. Combine that with the maintenance issues we’ve had, and it is a perfect time to install a completely new scoreboard system at Kyle Field. It won’t be ready this Saturday as we will be installing it during the summer.

Don’t forget we have exclusive reports from every practice and scrimmage via 12th Man TV at AggieAthletics.com.

The registration deadline for 2012 football tickets for students who had a sports pass during the last two seasons is nearing. Due to demand for student tickets, we encourage those who have had a football sports pass to register now. Complete information regarding the registration process for current students and incoming students is available by clicking here.

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I’m excited to share with you the news we will be opening the 2013 football season by hosting Rice at Kyle Field. We have some details to finalize, but it’s a terrific opportunity for us to play an in-state opponent at home that we have played 75 times dating back to 1914. It will be the first time for us to play Rice since our days in the Southwest Conference.

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One of my friends makes it a habit to wear Texas A&M gear when he goes into retail establishments that sell collegiate athletic gear. He makes it a point to ask why they don’t have a better selection of Aggie gear. I think that is a great idea. I encourage as many of you as can to always stop by these stores and ask if the Aggie gear can be more prominently displayed. Then make a maroon purchase to reinforce your inquiry.

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I came away really impressed with Baylor last weekend as they beat us in three games. They just seemed to find a way to win. Baseball is a funny sport like that. One Baylor player fouled off 10 straight pitches and then hit a two run home run Sunday. They are a veteran ball club and play like it.

Meanwhile, we were just not hitting, fielding or pitching well at the right times and lost five games in a row. Baseball is cyclical, and I am sure we will turn it around like we did last night at TCU. Our No. 9 team beat the Horned Frogs, 4-1. There are still a lot of games to be played.

This Friday we begin a three-game series with our friends from the state capital. We host game one in the State Farm Lone Star Showdown Friday at 6:35 p.m. at Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park. The game will be televised by Fox College Sports.

Games two and three will be played in the state capital. Saturday’s game will be televised by FSN at 2:30 p.m.

Next Tuesday, we will play at Sam Houston at 6:35 p.m.

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We had a good weekend at the LSU Alumni Gold track meet. A number of our athletes set personal records as they begin the process of peaking for the post season. Prezel Hardy set a career best time of 20.46 to win the 200 meters as we totaled an impressive10 victories.

You can read a complete wrap-up of our achievements in Baton Rouge, La.

Beginning Thursday, we will be in Philadelphia for the annual Penn Relay Carnival. It will be the final scheduled meet before we compete in the Big 12 Championships on May 11.

In the latest rankings, our men have moved to No. 1 nationally while our women are No. 6. It is the first outdoor rankings this season not to include data from the 2011 season.

We are the three-time defending outdoor national champions in men’s and women’s track and field.

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Our No. 16 softball team finished a sweep of Baylor last night at the Aggie Softball Complex. Junior Mel Dumezich hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning as we run-ruled the Bears, 10-2. We are now 32-14 overall and 12-6 in the Big 12. We are in second place in the league.

We have a three-game series with our No. 7 friends from the state capital beginning Thursday. Game one in the State Farm Lone Star Showdown will start at 6 p.m. at the Aggie Softball Complex and will be televised nationally by ESPN2. I encourage you to come out for this important game on Thursday. Let’s make the Aggie Softball Complex standing room only.

You can purchase your tickets in advance by clicking here.

Game two in the series will be Saturday in the state capital and will be televised by FSN at 12:30 p.m.

Congratulations to Cassie Tysarczyk who was named the Big 12 Player of the Week. The right fielder hit .778 in the series win over No. 24 Texas Tech this week, going 7-for-9 from the plate with a double, a home run, six runs scored and eight RBI.

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Our No. 13 men’s golf team came in second in our Aggie Invitational last weekend at Traditions. The course proved challenging for all teams. It was our fifth straight top four finish this season. Senior Geoff Shaw paced us with a seventh-place finish after carding a 5-over 221. This weekend, we will play in the Big 12 Championships being hosted at Whispering Pines in Trinity, Texas.

Meanwhile, our No. 11 women’s golf team will be in Lawrence, Kan., for the Big 12 Championships.

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Closer to home, we will be hosting the men’s and women’s Big 12 Tennis Championships at the Mitchell Tennis Center.

Women’s coach Howard Joffe led us to a second place finish in the league, but due to the tiebreaking formulas, we will be seeded third. We face No. 6 seeded Kansas State in the quarterfinals on Friday at 3 p.m. We are ranked No. 19 nationally.

Congratulations to Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar for being named Big 12 Conference Women’s Tennis Player of the Week. Cristina, who is ranked 8th in the country, went a combined 6-0 in doubles and singles matches – including three ranked wins.

Meanwhile, our men’s team is seeded fifth and will play our fourth-seeded friends from the state capital on Friday at noon.

Tickets for the Big 12 Championships are available now by clicking here.

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Gig’Em!