Athletics News

From Jim's Desk...What a Spring so far!

Jim Baker
April 19, 2016

From Jim's Desk,

Looking back on the college basketball season, let's celebrate a banner season for hoops here at UT Arlington. The men's team enjoyed a historic campaign that culminated in the first postseason win in program history. Your Mavericks reached the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament and tied a school record with 24 wins. Erick Neal was named All-Sun Belt Conference first team and Coach Scott Cross was a finalist for the Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award.

The Lady Mavericks might not have had the season they hoped for, as injuries played a big role in knocking the team off course, but their will and fight never wavered. Their resolve to step up for each other was never more impressive than in the Sun Belt Conference Championship. Even in defeat, they represented all that we've come to expect and value here at UT Arlington. Look out next year, the Lady Mavs are coming!

I'm proud of both of our basketball programs and excited that our coaches are committed to the future at UTA. Coach Cross and Coach Krista Gerlich have both agreed on contract extensions through 2020. Both programs could not be in better hands.

The NCAA Tournament provided us with so many wonderful memories. Buzzer-beaters and upsets and the pure joy that surrounds the tournament reminds all of us the purity of college athletics. As people continue to debate whether college student-athletes should be paid, it's important to remember the mission of college athletics. Big East commissioner Val Ackerman and Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott wrote an outstanding opinion piece titled "College athletes are being educated, not exploited" in USA Today. We've posted the article on our website. It's worth a read.

Softball is also worth a visit. The Mavericks opened the season with a school-record 19-0 start, which led to UTA receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Coaches Poll. The Mavericks are 27-12 with one home series remaining (Troy, April 30-May 1), so get out to Allan Saxe to watch some of the best softball around.

Baseball scored a big 4-3 win at No. 5 TCU not too long ago and is a solid 20-17. The Mavericks have a big game tonight at Dallas Baptist before returning to the road this weekend at Troy. Two pivotal home series remain (Louisiana, April 29-May 1 and Texas State, May 19-21) at Clay Gould Ballpark. Tickets for baseball and softball are available at UTATickets.com.

The return of the Bobby Lane Invitational is a great development for our track and field programs. We had sensational weather and enthusiastic crowds for the two-day event at Maverick Stadium. We had four top-10 finishes at the Texas Relays as we continue to prepare for the Sun Belt Outdoor Championships next month.

Women's tennis finished the regular season with a 23-match home winning streak that dates back to the 2015 season. UTA is 64th in the latest ITA/Oracle Collegiate Rankings and enters the Sun Belt Championship as the third seed. The men tied their second best season with 15 wins and achieved back-to-back winning campaigns for the first time since 2003-2005. UTA is just two wins shy of the program's wins record as it heads to the Sun Belt Championship on Friday.

Men's Golf finished the semester strong and is gearing up for the Sun Belt Championship next week in Florida. The team is peaking at the right time with some great individual performances down the stretch by Tanner Gore

The annual All-Sports Banquet presented by Texas Trust is May 4 at College Park Center. We're very excited to have Emily Jones of the Texas Rangers as our keynote speaker. Information on tickets and table sponsorships is available here. The All-Sports Banquet is always a wonderful event that celebrates another great year at UT Arlington!

This is #MavCity,

Jim Baker

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