Maverick Club supporters hear from student-athletes

Feb. 17, 2014

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ARLINGTON, Texas - Members of the Maverick Club had the opportunity to get to know more about the student-athletes who represent UT Arlington in its athletic competitions at the most recent luncheon Feb. 11. Each sport was represented by a student-athlete who sat at various tables to visit with the many supporters who were in attendance. 

The luncheon also featured our golf, tennis, and track programs. The head coaches previewed their upcoming seasons and hosted a short question-and-answer session with their athletes.

Coach Jay Rees discussed the upcoming golf season before asking senior Brad Mason about his experience here at UTA. Brad, who transferred from Mississippi State, noted that the biggest difference coming to UTA was "the family atmosphere and chemistry that the golf team has."

Tennis coach Diego Benitez introduced Austin Robles and Giada D'ortona from the men's and women's teams, respectively, and asked them a wide range of questions. Austin shared that his best shot is his forehand. Giada talked about the opportunities that she has been allowed by attending UTA, "UTA has given me the chance to earn my Bachelor's Degree in Economics and begin my Master's program while playing tennis."

Finally, coach John Sauerhage discussed the record breaking weekend that indoor track and field had. Ryan Tilotta broke Sauerhage's mile record that has stood for more than 30 years. Ryan is majoring in criminal justice and hoping to work for the DEA or FBI. Ashly Wright represented women's track and shared her experience with the Maverick Club.

"One of the best things about being a college athlete is the travel," she said. "Before coming to UTA, I had never been on a plane. I've been able to see so many places that I wouldn't have been able to see otherwise."

Athletic director Jim Baker said, "This was a great opportunity for our supporters and donors to get to know the student-athletes on a more personal level."

The Maverick Club is dedicated to enhancing the experience of the student-athlete, whether this occurs through supplementing a specific sports budget, helping pay for tutoring, or assisting travel budgets so that Ashly has her first experience of flying. The Maverick Club is the annual fund for athletics, with all donations going to the annual budget of the athletic department and being a tax deduction for those who contribute. 

A new era in UT Arlington Athletics has begun; an era that you will want to be a part of.  For more information on how you can help the Maverick Club, please contact Kris Wood at 817-272-9613 or




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