One of our favorites, Texas State Athletic Director Larry Teis, issued a letter to his constituents earlier this week. It’s real long. We’ve taken the liberty of sorting through the superfluous language to get to the real message for Bobcat fans everywhere.
While we are still early in the 2018-19 academic year, this fall has already been a time of staffing changes, celebrations, renovations and fundraising for Texas State Athletics. We have two teams atop their Sun Belt Conference standings and fighting to win conference championships down the stretch. We also have seen several renovations to our Athletics facilities that have helped enhance the fan experience at our athletics events, and we will soon be receiving three major gifts.
Allow me to let hope spring eternal in the midst of an avalanche of crap. Ignore almost EVERYTHING ELSE and focus on those thin rays of light inside the program I hath constructed from particle board, duct tape, and the blood of our donors.
By the way, our volleyball coach is a Goddess among men and probably should have my job.
The staffing changes include the addition of Bryan Dean as the Associate Athletics Director of Business Operations. He comes to Texas State after serving in a similar role at Cincinnati and Rice.
We are promoting Don Coryell, Tracy Shoemake and Travis Comer to Executive Senior Associate Directors of Athletics. We also are expanding our senior leadership team with the promotions of Bryan Miller, Kelsey Solis and Jeremy Stolfa to Associate Athletics Directors.
If you haven't had a chance to see our football, soccer and volleyball teams play this fall, please make plans to come out and watch them.
Hold on while I rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic for three paragraphs.
The women's soccer team is celebrating their 20th anniversary season and is atop the Sun Belt Conference standings with 13 conference points. They have a 4-0-1 conference record and are enjoying their best conference start since 2009. I want to congratulate Coach Kat Connor, who collected her 200th career win against Arkansas State.
Forward Kaylee Davis leads the team with 20 points and 10 goals, and has tied a school record by scoring a goal in six straight matches. She also has been selected as the Sun Belt's Offensive Player of the Week three times and Heather Martin has been named the Sun Belt's Defensive Player of the Week one time this season. Heather has also recorded three shutouts as our goalkeeper this season.
The soccer team closes out their schedule with two home matches against Georgia State on Oct. 19 and Coastal Carolina on Oct. 21.
Volleyball has won
nine straight matches.
The women's volleyball team is enjoying a great year with a 14-5 record and a 5-0 Sun Belt mark to lead the league's West Division. They are receiving 22 votes in the latest VolleyballMag.com Mid-Major Poll, and have won nine straight matches after defeating UTA in a key Sun Belt Conference match on Tuesday night. The current winning streak came after the team also won five straight matches earlier this season.
I want to congratulate Karen Chisum for moving into a tie for 10th place among the NCAA's top 10 coaches with 882 victories following the win over UTA. Individually, Emily DeWalt leads the Sun Belt in double-doubles (11). She has been named the Sun Belt's Setter and Freshman of the Week four times this season. Janell Fitzgerald, Amy Pflughaupt and Cheyenne Huskey have been named Offensive Players of the Week one time and Madison Daigle has been named Defensive Player of the week once. The 12 weekly awards earned this year set a new school record.
The volleyball team has four home matches remaining this year against Appalachian State on Oct. 12, Coastal Carolina on Oct. 13, Louisiana on Oct. 26 and ULM on Oct. 28.
Weird, our best coaches pre-date my taking over in the big chair.
The football team also had a record-setting performance this fall when A. J. Krawczyk set a school record with an 82-yard fumble return. Earlier this week, Keenen Brown was named the best tight end in the nation through the first five weeks of the season by Pro Football Focus. Brown leads the Bobcats with 19 receptions for 176 yards and two touchdowns.
Our football team has five key home games remaining this season, and the first two remaining home games take place in a span of five days during the next week. Obviously our last two games were heartbreaking losses for our student-athletes, coaches, donors, fans and administration, but, we are a couple of plays going our way from being 3-1. My belief is that if we continue to get better each week, we can turn those outcomes around.
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all parents and families to campus when they join us for our annual Family Weekend Event at Texas State on Oct. 5-6. We hope that part of your plans include attending our Sun Belt Conference football game against the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns at 6 p.m. on Oct. 6. We will honor our Sun Belt Conference championship teams in softball and track and field, and members of our 2008 conference championship football team.
Texas State will be in the national spotlight on Oct. 11 when the football team hosts Georgia Southern beginning at 6:30 p.m. on ESPNU. We hope that you will come out and support the Bobcats. We will be celebrating Faculty and Staff night and High School Band Day.
We have something very special planned for this year's Homecoming game on Oct. 27 against New Mexico State. It will be our "Throwback Game" as the football team will wear throwback uniforms representing uniforms worn by the 1981 and 1982 national championship teams. There will be a SWT logo painted on the hill near the Paul and Pat Gowens Family Pavilion, with special giveaways and recognitions taking place throughout the game. Throwback merchandise will be available at the University Bookstore during the weeks leading up to and through the game, and throwback uniforms will be auctioned off following the game on our Athletics website, www.txstatebocats.com.
Our football team is 1-3, for most places that would be a reason to panic, but for us, that’s called September. We have one of the best tight ends in college football, and our coaches are working feverishly to incorporate him into our quarterback draw based offense.
We are well on our way to matching last year’s win total, at least.
Hey, we’re getting throwbacks to a time when we were good at football. That was all before my time.
Each of our teams is benefiting from different facility renovations this year. The largest project is the University Events Center, which opened earlier this fall with the volleyball team playing in renamed Strahan Arena. The newly named arena features a new court, video board and scoreboard that hang from the rafters. Seating capacity has increased by over 1700 seats. A new weight room, training room, offices, locker rooms, academic areas and support spaces for men's and women's basketball, volleyball, baseball and softball were constructed. In addition, men's and women's golf, tennis and soccer teams have new offices for coaches and support areas.
Texas State will have a rededication ceremony for the University Events Center on Oct. 6 that features a tour of the new facility beginning at 10 a.m.
Video board at Bobcat Stadium
New video boards supported by three brick pillars have been added to the south end of Bobcat Stadium for our football games. The new video boards are hi-definition 10mm video boards with dimensions of 36 feet by 61 feet. Each video board stands on three pillars encased by a new brick façade.
The baseball and softball teams will have a new playing surface, dugouts and video boards added to their stadiums. The video boards are the former football stadium's 15mm 14-by-26 feet boards. Both facilities now feature Field Turf Classic HD2" artificial turf, while the baseball mound and softball infield remain dirt. Inlaid Texas State logos and mow lanes are included in the field design.
The baseball and softball stadiums have new turfs.Both home dugouts are being renovated and expanded, making more room for staff and student-athletes. Restrooms will also now be available at each visitor's dugout. New masonry walls, provided by Acme Brick, will wrap the perimeter of each field adding to the new look of Bobcat Ballpark.
LOOK! SHINY THINGS!
Like the East Germans before us, we tore down that wall, in Strahan. It took us nearly as long to do it, but inspired by Chip and JoJo we tore that wall down!
We took down the 72-inch LED televisions at Bobcat Stadium and replaced them with larger screens that you can see stuff on.
By the way, our baseball and softball teams replaced perfectly good natural God-fearing grass and are now playing on the fake stuff, the way Putin always hoped we would.
Both men's and women's basketball teams have begun official practice for their upcoming seasons which begin in early November. The women's team is coming off one of their best seasons in school history after advancing to the Sun Belt Championship game and playing in the WNIT for the second time in school history.
They return two starters from last year, Toshua Leavitt and Brooke Holle. Leavitt averaged a team-best 17.9 points per outing as a junior. She broke the school and Sun Belt record for most 3-point field goals made in a season after making 137 3-point attempts. Holle started 31 contests, averaging 11.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. The women's team opens its 2018-19 season at New Mexico in the first round of the preseason WNIT on Nov. 9.
The men's team will open its season against Air Force at 7 p.m. on Nov. 9 when they play their first game inside the renovated Strahan Arena. The game is part of a basketball-football weekend as the football team hosts Appalachian State on Nov. 10 at 3 p.m.
The men's squad hopes to duplicate the success they enjoyed two seasons ago when they were a Sun Belt Finalist and advanced to the quarterfinals of the CBI. They return four starters from last year. Nijal Pearson was an All-Sun Belt selection after leading the Bobcats with 15.2 points per game, while Tre' Larenz Nottingham averaged 7.5 points and Alex Peacock added 7.1 points per game. Marlin Davis also returns after starting the first 16 games at point guard before suffering a season-ending injury.
Take your right index figure and poke yourself hard in the eye, just once. That’s how many winning records men’s basketball has had in my fifteen years of making sure my desk chair doesn’t fly away.
In addition to the facility upgrades, I am excited to tell you that we will announce three major gifts in November totaling $1.1 million. We are fortunate that our donors continue to be generous with their gifts to support our student-athletes through scholarship support and high impact facility projects that provide the necessary resources to compete at a high level.
Like Jesus before me, I am capable of somehow producing miracles. Sure attendance is floundering, and our revenue sports are struggling, there’s still a sucker born every minute - a sucker that believes in my vision of mediocrity.
Let us plunge to the bottom of Sun Belt together.
On the academic front, we are about to submit APR data to the NCAA and the preliminary numbers show our student-athletes continue to be successful in the classroom. Last spring, we had three teams earn NCAA Public Recognition Awards after scoring in the Top 10 percent of their sports. We also had eight teams post perfect single-year scores.
Our student-athletes continue to succeed academically, even if I am unable to create an environment where they have any hope of succeeding athletically. The NCAA will be pleased to know that I have taken the "athlete" out of “Student-Athlete.”
As you can see, this has been quite a start to a new year for Bobcat Athletics, and we are hopeful that success will continue with more record-setting performances throughout the year.
Dr. Larry Teis
Director of Athletics
Texas State University
Always end on a positive, and mix in a little spin. Things are great, just ignore all the objective data. Life’s more comfortable that way. Here’s to another fifteen years of mediocrity.
Hugs and kisses,
Your man Larry.