*Texas A&M women’s basketball head coach Gary Blair was inducted as one of six nominees to the prestigious Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2013.
Blair became the first Hall of Fame inductee from Texas A&M in either men’s or women’s basketball. A two-time national finalist for the prestigious Naismith Coach of the Year Award, Blair is now a member of five Hall of Fame classes, including induction into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2011, the Southland Conference Hall of Honor in 2009, the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjack Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Texas High School Basketball hall of Fame in 2002. He was also honored with the 2011 New York Athletic Club’s Winged Foot Award, which is presented annually to the winning coaches of the men’s and women’s NCAA Division I Basketball Championships.
With Blair at the helm, Texas A&M has elevated into one of the nation’s elite programs. The Aggies have advanced to at least the NCAA Sweet 16 four of the last five years, earned a trip to the Elite Eight in 2008 and won the program’s first national championship in 2011.
Noted as one of the winningest active Division I coachaes in the women’s game today, Blair is one of only three all-time NCAA Division I women’s basketball coaches to lead two different teams to the NCAA Women’s Final Four (Texas A&M and Arkansas). He currently ranks in the top 15 in career victories and in the top 25 by winning percentage among active Division I coaches with and impressive 620-253 overall record.
*A year-long commemoration of Rice University’s Centennial will culminate at Rice Stadium when the Owls host UTSA in a 2:30 p.m. kickoff on October 13th.
The Owls will help usher in the 2012 college football season when they host the UCLA Bruins on Thursday, August 30th for a 6:30 p.m. kickoff that will broadcast nationally by CBS Sports Network. The Owls will hit the road for a pair of contests at Kansas(Sept. 8th) and Louisiana Tech (Sept. 15th), before returning home to play in front of the Comcast Sports cameras on September 22nd when they host the Marshall Thundering Herd.
*For the seventh consecutive year, Rice University’s intercollegiate athletic teams continue to sine in the NCAA’s Division I Academic Performance Program public recognition awards.
Each year the NCAA honors selected Division I sports teams by publicly recognizing their latest multiyear NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR). This announcement is part of the overall Division I academic reform effort and is intended to highlight teams that demonstrate a commitment to academic progress and retention of student-athletes by achieving the top APRs within their respective sports.
*Texas Longhorns senior safety Kenny Vaccaro has been named to the 2012 Jim Thorpe Award preseason watch list. The Thorpe Award is presented annually to the best defensive back in college football.
It is named after history’s greatest athlete, Jim Thorpe, and is presented by the Jim Thorpe Association in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Vaccaro is a fourth-year defensive back who has appeared in 38 games with 19 career starts. He was chosen to the All-Big 12 first team, second team, and honorable mention in 20111 and was honorable mention for Defensive Player of the Year. Vaccaro has posted 157 tackles (102 solos), two interceptions, 12 TFL, two sacks, two forced fumbles and 16 PBU for his career and has also registered 14 tackles (10 solo) and two blocked kicks on special teams.
Texas has had two winners of the Thorpe Award in its history in safety Michael Huff(Oakland Raiders) and cornerback Aaron Ross (Jacksonville Jaguars), who won back-to- back in 2005 and 2006 respectively. The Longhorns also had two other finalists; safety Earl Thomas (Seattle Seahawks) in 2009 and cornerback Quentin Jammer (San Diego Chargers) in 2001.
*The Southland Conference , which will play host to the 2013 NCAA Division I Championship Game, will welcome 400 boys and girls ages 5 to 13 from Frisco and the surrounding region for the NCAA Football Youth Clinic on Saturday, July 28th from 9:00 a.m.-12 noon at Frisco Memorial Stadium.
Participants will have the opportunity to meet and work with college football coaches; run offensive, defensive and agility drills; learn proper techniques to promote on-field football safety; and learn about the importance of character development and good sportsmanship.