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UA student-athletes set academic record



The 2013-14 Arizona senior class had six student-athletes named as the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the year in their respective sports, breaking the school record.

Women’s tennis player Lacey Smyth, softball player Kelsey Rodriguez, swimmers Giles Smith and Margo Greer and runners Elvin Kibet and Lawi Lalang earned the award for the 2013-14 season.

The previous record was set during the 2007-08 season when four Wildcats were honored with the award.


Austin Hill named to Biletnikoff watch list



The Tallahassee Quarterback Club announced on Tuesday that Arizona football senior receiver Austin Hill is on the watch list for the 2014 Biletnikoff Award.

The Biletnikoff Award is given to the “outstanding receiver” in college football.

Hill missed the 2013 with a knee injury but led the Wildcats in receiving in 2012.

In 2012, Hill was a Biletnikoff Award Semifinalist, All-Pac-12 Second-Team and Phil Steele Fourth-Team All-America.

In addition, Hill caught 81 balls for 1,364 yards and had 11 touchdowns. He was second in the Pac-12 in total receiving yards (1,364) and yards per game (104.9) and had at least 100 yards in five games.

In his UA career he has 102 catches for 1,675 yards and 13 touchdowns.


Austin Hill named to Maxwell Award watch list



The Maxwell Football Club announced on Monday that Arizona football senior receiver Austin Hill is on the watch list of the Maxwell Award, given annually to the college player of the year.

Hill missed the 2013 season with a knee injury, but in 2012 led the Wildcats in receiving with 81 catches for 1,364 yards and 11 touchdowns. In 2012, he was a Biletnikoff Award Semifinalist, All-Pac-12 Second-Team and Phil Steele Fourth-Team All-America.

In 2012, Hill was also second in the Pac-12 in total receiving yards (1,364) and yards per game (104.9). He had a career-high 11 catches for 165 yards at Stanford and tallied 259 yards on 10 catches in the 39-36 win over No. 10 USC.

The Maxwell award is named in honor of Robert W. “Tiny” Maxwell and has been given to the best college football player since 1937.


Arizona football to face SDSU in future series



It was announced Tuesday that Arizona football will face San Diego State in a future home-and-home series.

The teams will play at Arizona Stadium in 2021 before heading to San Diego to face off in Qualcomm Stadium in 2022.

The announcement comes on the heels of a future home-and-home series against Mississippi State announced for 2022 and 2023.

For more news on the 2014 Arizona football schedule, click here.


Arizona football to face familiar foe



On Thursday the UA announced that Arizona football will play a home-and-home series against a familiar foe.

In 2022, the Wildcats will host Mississippi State and in 2023 Arizona will travel to Starkville, Miss. to face the Bulldogs. UA athletics director Greg Byrne was the AD for MSU from 2008 to 2010, when he left for Arizona.

This is Arizona’s first game against an SEC opponent since they lost 45-3 at LSU in 2006.

“We’re excited to announce this competitive series for our future football schedules,” Byrne said in a press release. “The opportunity to play an SEC opponent will be a great addition to our schedule for our program and our fans.”

According to fbschedules.com, Mississippi State is the only school from one of the five power conferences Arizona has scheduled in the future.

In 2015, the Wildcats will host UTSA and travel to Nevada. In 2016, the UA will play BYU in Glendale, Ariz. at the Arizona Cardinals’ Stadium and host Grambling State.

Then in 2017 the Wildcats have a home game against Houston and a trip to UTEP. In 2018 the UA will play BYU and UTEP at home and Houston on the road.

Then in 2019 the Wildcats will travel to Hawaii and in 2020 will host UH and play at BYU.

The details of Arizona’s 2014 non-conference schedule was announced last week. They can be found here.


Kelsey Rodriguez named Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year



Arizona softball senior Kelsey Rodriguez has been named the 2014 Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year for the sport of softball, according to a press release.

Rodriguez is the first Arizona softball player to receive the award since the award’s implementation in 2007-08.

Off the field, Rodriguez had a 3.92 GPA, majored in Psychology and was a 2014 first-team Pac-12 All-Academic honoree.

On the field, Rodriguez led Arizona in batting average (.419) and doubles (20) during her final year of eligibility for the Wildcats.


Arizona Hockey head coach Sean Hogan resigns



Arizona hockey is in need of a new head coach after Sean Hogan resigned and decided to accept the hockey head coaching job with Ohio University.

“I have decided to start a new chapter in my life and move closer to my family,” Hogan said in a press release. “The opportunity at Ohio University allows me to do that and I look forward to the new challenges in Athens, Ohio.”

Hogan became the program’s second head coach after he replaced Leo Golembieski in the summer of 2011. Last season Hogan led Arizona to its first ACHA Division I national tournament appearance since 2006.

The Wildcats finished the 2013-14 season with a 17-24 record and compiled five victories over top-5 opponents, two of which were ranked No. 1 overall.

Wildcat hockey said in a press release a national search has begun for a new head coach.


Arizona Football gets four nationally televised games



On Thursday the Pac-12 announced game times and television networks for five of Arizona football’s games in the 2014 season.

The Wildcats will open the season by hosting UNLV Fri., Aug. 29 at 7:30 p.m. MST on ESPN. It will mark the second season in a row that Arizona kicked off the season with a Friday game.

The Wildcats will play three more weekday games, including Thurs., Sept. 4 at UTSA at 5 p.m. on Fox Sports 1.

Arizona will host Nevada on Sat., Sept. 13 at 8 p.m. MST on the Pac-12 Networks.

On Thursday Oct. 2, the Wildcats play at Oregon at 7:30 p.m. MST on ESPN. Arizona closes out the season by playing ASU on Friday Nov. 28 at 1:30 p.m. MST on FOX.

The game time and television provider for the rest of the Wildcats’ games will be announced either six or 12 days in advance.

The UA’s non-conference opponents are familiar foes. In 2013, Arizona beat UNLV and UTSA 58-13 and 38-13 respectively and in 2012, beat Nevada 49-48 in the New Mexico Bowl.

2014 Arizona football schedule
Friday Aug. 29 vs. UNLV, 7:30 p.m. MST ESPN
Thursday Sept. 4 at UTSA, 5 p.m. MST FOX Sports 1
Saturday Sept. 13 vs. Nevada, 8 p.m. MST Pac-12 Networks
Saturday Sept. 20 vs. California TBA
Thursday Oct. 2 at Oregon, 7:30 p.m. MST ESPN
Saturday Oct. 11 vs. USC (Family Weekend) TBA
Saturday Oct. 25 at Washington State TBA
Saturday Nov. 1 at UCLA TBA
Saturday Nov. 8 vs. Colorado (Homecoming) TBA
Saturday Nov. 15 vs. Washington TBA
Saturday Nov. 22 at Utah TBA
Friday Nov. 28 vs. ASU, 1:30 p.m. MST FOX
Friday Dec. 5 Pac-12 Championship Game (Santa Clara, Calif.) Fox


Nick Ross named Pac-12 field athlete of the week



Arizona redshirt senior Nick Ross was named the Pac-12 field athlete of the week Tuesday.

The jumper set a new school record on Saturday in the men’s high jump competition with his clearance of 7-6.5 (2.30m) at Arizona’s Double Dual against ASU and NAU.

This is the second time this season Ross has been honored. Previously, he was named the Pac-12 field athlete of the week on April 15.

Ross broke James Frazier’s school record of 7-6 (2.29m). Frazier had held the record since May 10, 1980. Ross’ jump ranks No. 1 in the country and No. 5 in the world this year.

—Follow Luke Della @LukeDella


Sand volleyball adds local player



Arizona sand volleyball added another player for 2015, Taylor Lane, who is from Tucson.

Lane, who prepped at Amphi High School, transferred from Point Loma Nazarene University and will have two years of eligibility remaining.

“It’s such a thrill to add a Tucson native to the program,” head coach Steve Walker said in a pres release. “Taylor is a very explosive athlete who also has an innate feel for virtually all aspects of the game. She was a standout locally at the high school level on and off the hardwood, and I look for her to be an impact player for us, especially as a defensive player who can transition and score points.”

Lane is a 5-foot-9 hitter/defensive specialist that led Point Loma to a 30-7 record and the NCCAA National Championship in 2013. She had 103 assists, 61 digs, 21 kills and 12 service aces in 2013, and 108 digs and 43 kills in 2012.

Lane was on the PacWest All-Academic Team in 2012 and 2013 and was an NCCAA Scholar-Athlete selection in 2013.

—Follow James Kelley @JamesKelley520