Feb. 6, 2013
Dear UT Arlington Fans,
When I accepted the head coaching position at UT Arlington back in 2006, I had visions of turning this program into a Mid-Major Powerhouse. I was confident that with President Spaniolo's leadership, the support of the athletic department, the right mix of talented and high-character student-athletes, and an outstanding coaching staff that we could make UT Arlington the next Gonzaga, George Mason or Butler.
Some of you know and others do not, but I was a player here at UT Arlington from 1995-1998, and then an assistant coach from 1998-2006. I remember the dark days when we played on stage, but not in December because the Nutcracker had priority over basketball. I remember the days of being so excited just to have access to a practice facility in the old, upstairs Physical Education Building. I remember the days when people were excited for us to just have a winning record.
Times have changed, but my vision has stayed the same. This campus is completely different from the campus that existed two years ago, and my former teammates probably wouldn't even recognize the school because it has changed so much for the better.
We have done some amazing things since 2006. In 2008, we went to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. The program had been in existence for 49 years as a Division I institution. We also won 21 games that year, which was the most in school history. Then this past year, we raised the bar even higher by winning an amazing 24 games, winning the Southland Conference Championships, and advancing to the NIT Tournament.
Now, we are in our new home thanks to President Spaniolo. For those of you who attended the opening of College Park Center last year against UTSA, you can remember the electricity that was in the building. We won that game because of YOU, our fans. We went on to win our last three home games at College Park Center and had an amazing 16-game winning streak. We had one of the best home-court advantages in the country, and it was because of you!
As most of you know, we have moved to the WAC, and it is a much tougher league. We needed to do this to elevate our program, and it will help us achieve my goals. We are sitting right in the middle of the pack, and the WAC is the 13th best league in the country out of 33 leagues. Six of our next eight games are at home, and we need you to come support our program.
We need the electricity in the building. We need the students to come out because they energize our guys! It's imperative that we continue to make College Park Center a true home-court advantage. On Friday, November 16th, we played OU, and College Park Center was sold out, and the atmosphere was absolutely electric again. We lost a heartbreaker by three points, but every fan in the building had to leave there knowing that your Mavericks are for real.
It is time to take the game-day atmosphere to another level here at College Park Center. That is only going to happen if the city of Arlington, along with the UT Arlington students, comes out in full force to support our basketball team. We not only want you in the seats, but we want you to be LOUD and PROUD of your Mavericks. I cannot promise you that we will win every game, but I can promise you that you will see one of the hardest playing teams in the country, and I have a feeling that we are going to do something really special before the season is finished! We have six more home games starting Thursday night at 7 PM against our rival, Texas State!
I look forward and hope to see you at the game,
UT Arlington men's basketball head coach
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