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From Jim's Desk...Welcome to 2014-15!

UTA athletic director Jim Baker.
 
UTA athletic director Jim Baker.
 
Aug. 28, 2014

Welcome to 2014-15! It's always a special time of year when students, faculty and staff return to campus. You can feel the energy of a new year and the promise it brings. It feels great to be back.

Athletics is already in full swing with a weekend of excitement on tap. Your volleyball team serves up its season opener Friday in the College Park Maverick Classic. The Mavericks face Incarnate Word at 7 p.m. at College Park Center before playing two matches Saturday.

Volleyball returns 10 players, including four starters, and was picked to finish fourth in the Sun Belt Conference. Coach Diane Seymour has put together another great home schedule that features Baylor on Sept. 9 and the Hilton Mavericks Classic. We're also celebrating the 25th anniversary of the 1989 Final Four team throughout the season.

Coach Seymour also welcomes two new assistants in Kelly Richardson and Taylor Szypulski. One of our former standout players, Shelby Dickson, also joined the staff as a student assistant. Check out our season video preview on UTAMavs.com.

Volleyball season and single-game tickets are on sale at UTATickets.com. Season tickets are $40 for all 17 home matches at College Park Center. Single game tickets are $5 for the general public and $3 for UTA students.

UT Arlington students also have the option to buy the Mavericks All-Sports Pass for $25 payable on MyMav. This pass allows entry to all home athletic events during 2014-15, including volleyball, men's and women's basketball, baseball and softball.

We've also introduced the Faculty/Staff All Sports Pass. For just $99, UT Arlington staffers and faculty can catch every home athletic event for 2014-15 with the Faculty/Staff All Sports Pass. The F/S Pass is on sale at UTATickets.com and by calling the College Park Center box office at 817-272-9595. Faculty and staff members are eligible to buy up to two (2) All Sports Passes.

Our acclaimed cross country teams have an earlier than usual start at Friday's Bear Twilight Invitational in Waco. With their entire stable of top runners from a year ago on both sides, the reigning Sun Belt Conference men's champions and league runner-up women have each been predicted to duplicate their 2013 finishes in the SBC preseason poll. Coach John Sauerhage and his staff host the UTA Season Opener/Gerald Richey High School Invitational on Sept. 13 at Lynn Creek Park in Grand Prairie.

Our Letterwinner Association held its annual award ceremony recently, honoring 117 student-athletes. Sixty-one student-athletes were presented with a letterman's jacket after completing their first year at UT Arlington. Thirty student-athletes received a blanket and 26 received a Letterwinner's watch.

September is also a busy month for men's golf. The 15th Annual Chip-N-Classic, sponsored by the Maverick Club, is Monday, Sept. 8 at Rolling Hills Country Club. There is still plenty of time to register. The golf team hits the links Sept. 12 for The Invitational at the Ocean Course in Charleston, South Carolina.

Speaking of the Maverick Club, the annual giving fund for Athletics enhances our student-athletes’ experience at UT Arlington as well as funding your program as a whole. We have a full schedule of Maverick Club events in September, including a Volleyball Reception. Join today!

#iBleedBlue,

Jim Baker

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