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Wildcat Sports

Former Wildcat Barrett a finalist for highest USA track and field honor

Former Arizona Wildcat Brigetta Barrett is one of the finalists for the Jesse Owens Award, USA Track and Field’s highest honor, which is given annually.

This year’s award-winner will be announced in early December, around the same time as the USA Track and Field’s 2013 Annual Meeting.

Barrett, who has many awards under her belt, has already graduated from the UA, but not before she finished her collegiate career on a high note and took the NCAA Division-I high jump titles in both indoor and outdoor track. Barrett is the most successful female high jumper in collegiate history and was also named the 2013 Pac-12 Women’s Field Athlete of the Year.

At the 2013 IAAF World Championships, Barrett won the silver medal with a clearance of 200 meters, which is the highest a female high jumper from the U.S. has ever cleared at the World Championships.
In addition to The Jesse Owens Award, Barrett is also a finalist for The Bowerman Award, given to the most outstanding male and female student athletes in collegiate track and field.

— Follow Makenzie Thiel

Former UA baseball coach Kindall and current coach Lopez to appear at ALS walk tomorrow

According to a press release, former Arizona head coach and 2007 College Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Jerry Kindall will be at the Reid Park Demeester Performance Center along with current head coach Andy Lopez this Saturday, Oct. 12 from 9 a.m. to noon for the Tucson Walk to Defeat ALS hosted by the ALS Association’s Arizona Chapter.

All members of Arizona’s baseball team will be present to cheer on the crowd as they start the walk. Former New York Yankees great, Lou Gerhig was the first to bring domestic and international attention to the disease when his legendary professional baseball career came to an end after being diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

ALS is a terminal, progressive neurodegenerative disease, affecting nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing the inability to walk, talk, or even blink. Currently, there is still no cure for the fatal disease but nonetheless; the ALS Association Arizona Chapter provides annual services to more than 350 families throughout Arizona.

— Follow Evan Rosenfeld @EvanRosenfeld17

Four softball players named academic All-Americans

Four members of the Arizona softball team were named 2012-13 NFCA All-America Scholar Athletes on Monday.

Junior utility player Chelsea Suitos, senior utility player Kelsey Rodriguez, senior pitcher Kenzie Fowler and sophomore pitcher Nancy Bowling received the academic honor.

Rodriguez has a 4.00 GPA, Suitos a 3.89, Bowling a 3.53 and Fowler a 3.50.

— Follow James Kelley @JamesKelley520

Lopez's heart surgery goes "well"

As Arizona’s baseball team geared up for its first official fall practice, its thoughts and prayers were with head coach Andy Lopez, who underwent triple bypass heart surgery Monday at a local hospital.

The 59-year-old three-time national coach of the year is being held in the intensive care unit following the operation and has, along with the rest of the Lopez family, expressed appreciation for the outpouring of support received in recent days but requested privacy and respectfully asked for no visitors at the hospital.

“We are all thrilled to hear that Andy’s surgery went well,” Athletics Director Greg Byrne said in a press release. “He is receiving great care from the medical team and we all wish him a complete and speedy recovery. Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family as he begins the recovery process.”

After he is cleared by doctors, Lopez is expected to return to the team and manage the program in his 13th season since taking the helm at Arizona.

— Follow Evan Rosenfeld @EvanRosenfeld17

Fischer named semifinalist for academic award

Arizona football senior linebacker Jake Fischer was named a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete Award and William V. Campbell Trophy on Wednesday.

Fischer is a marketing major with a 3.63 GPA and is on track to graduate in December.

There are 170 candidates nominated by their schools as “the best all-around student-athlete on their respective teams.” There will be 16 honorees that get an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship and one wins the William V. Campbell Trophy.

Fischer is considering pursuing a business management degree for May 2014. He is a two-time Pac-12 All-Academic selection and in 2012 was a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection.

According to the UA, he has volunteered for more than 40 hours of community service while at Arizona, serves as a mentor to freshmen and is a founding member of the Wildcats’ chapter of Uplifting Athletes.

On the field, Fischer, who is from Oro Valley, Ariz. led the Wildcats in tackles in 2012, is on the 2013 Lott Award Watch List, the 2013 Bednarik Award Watch List, was All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention last year and won the Pac-12 Player of the Week Award twice.

—Follow James Kelley @JamesKelley520

UA hosts Junior Pan Am Diving Championships

Arizona swimming and diving doesn’t start competing for almost another month, but diving fans can get their fix this weekend.

Starting today, the UA will host the 2013 UANA Junior Pan Am Diving Championships.

The meet features 105 boys and girls from nine countries in four age groups, 11 and under, 12-13, 14-15 and 16-18. The championships run from Sept. 26 to 29 at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center.

All session adult tickets are $55, all session child tickets are $40, daily adult tickets are $15 and daily child tickets are $12. Tickets can be purchased at Hillenbrand.

Softball adds Wildcat alum Lowe as assistant coach

Former Wildcat four–time All-American and two-time national champion, Caitlin Lowe, was named Arizona softball’s volunteer assistant coach on Tuesday.

The Wildcats come off an unsatisfactory season, being eliminated from postseason play earlier than usual.

Last season Lowe was the team’s director of operations. In 2014 she will coach outfielders and slappers.

“We are very excited that Caitlin will be a member of our coaching staff with primary duties working with the Arizona outfielders, slappers and base running,” head coach Mike Candrea said in a press release.

Last year’s volunteer coach Mark Blair will take over Lowe’s position of director of operations.

“Mark is a former educator and brings a wealth of experience to our program,” Candrea said in a press release.

Arizona Wildcats hockey announces 2013-14 promotional schedule

Wildcat hockey released their promotional game schedule for the 2013-14 season on Monday.

The first home weekend at the Tucson Convention Center on Oct. 25 and 26th against NAU will feature Arizona Hockey Alumni Weekend. Other promotions from last year will also return this season such as Thirsty Thursdays, Skate with the Wildcats, the Teddy Bear Toss and Fan Appreciation Night to name several.

However, new promotions will be added to the mix this season as well, including $1 Hot Dog nights and Buy Two Tickets Get One Free nights. Additionally, the Wildcats will wear a new third jersey dedicated to Military Appreciation Weekend, where members of the military with a military ID will be able to buy discounted tickets.

2013-14 Wildcat hockey promotional schedule

Friday Oct. 25 vs. NAU: Arizona Hockey Alumni Weekend

Saturday Oct. 26th vs. Delaware: Arizona Hockey Alumni Weekend/White Out

Thursday Oct. 31 vs. Colorado: Buy Two Tickets, Get One Free/Thirsty Thursday/Halloween Costumes

Friday Nov. 1 vs. Colorado State: Tucson Schools Night/$1 Hot Dog Night

Saturday Nov. 2 vs. Colorado State: Tucson Schools Night

Fri. Nov. 8 vs. Minot State: Military Appreciation/Buy Two Tickets, Get One Free/Military Jerseys/$1 Hot Dog

Saturday Nov. 9 vs. Minot State: Military Appreciation /Buy Two Tickets, Get One Free/Military Jerseys

Friday Nov. 15 vs. Long Beach State: Tucson Soccer Night/$1 Hot Dog Night

Saturday Nov. 16 vs. Long Beach State: Skate with the Wildcats

Friday Nov. 22 vs. Iowa State: Teddy Bear Toss Sponsored by NOVA Home Loans/$1 Hot Dog Night

Saturday Dec. 7 vs. Arizona State: Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest

Thursday Jan. 9 vs. Oklahoma: Buy Two Tickets, Get One Free/Thirsty Thursday

Saturday Jan. 11 vs. Central Oklahoma: Season Ticket Holder Bring-A-Friend Night

Friday Jan. 17 vs. Liberty: Police, Fire, EMS, Nurses Night

Saturday Jan. 18 vs. Liberty: Police, Fire, EMS, Nurses Night

Saturday Jan. 25 vs. San Diego State: Skate with the Wildcats

Saturday Feb. 22 vs. Arizona State: Senior/Fan Appreciation Night

— Follow Joey Putrelo @JoeyPutrelo

Arizona softball announces fall exhibition schedule

Arizona softball unveiled its nine-game fall schedule on Friday.
The exhibition games will be all be played at Hillenbrand Stadium and begin October 11 with the Arizona Fall Invitational. There are 11 new Wildcats.

Arizona Fall Invitational
Friday Oct. 11 6 p.m. Phoenix College
Saturday Oct. 12 5:30 p.m. Arizona Western
7:30 p.m. Central Arizona
Sunday Oct. 13 3 p.m. Cypress College
5 p.m. Pima

Fall Round Robin
Saturday Oct. 26 3 p.m. Eastern Arizona
5 p.m. Fort Lewis
Sunday Oct. 27 2 p.m. Scottsdale Community College

Sunday Nov. 10 Noon Alumni Game

Arizona soccer's Kaufman named Pac-12 defensive player of the week

Arizona goalkeeper Gabby Kaufman was named the Pac-12 defensive player of the week Tuesday after collecting two shutouts over the weekend.

On Friday in the Wildcats’ home opener, the junior from Calabasas, Calif. made three saves in Arizona’s 6-0 victory over UC Riverside. She followed up Friday’s performance with seven saves Sunday against the No. 24 Ohio State Buckeyes in a scoreless 0-0 tie on the road in Columbus.

Kaufman and the Wildcats’ defense have allowed only two goals in four games thus far in the 2013 season and now have three shutouts in a row. With her 15 saves, Kaufman is currently tied for second in the Pac-12 in total saves and her 0.62 goals against average is good for fifth in the conference.

The Wildcats will be up in Tempe, Ariz. this weekend for the Sun Devil Classic where they will take on Kansas on Friday and Illinois on Sunday.

Tra’Mayne Bondurant named Pac-12 defensive player of the week

Arizona safety Tra’Mayne Bondurant collected his first Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week award Monday for his performance Friday night against NAU.

Bondurant whose official position title in the 3-3-5 odd stack defense is “Spur,” had a game-high seven tackles and intercepted two passes versus the Lumberjacks. Bondurant’s job in the unique defense is to make plays and react quickly in the open field to the offense’s play.

The junior did exactly that Friday with his fourth and fifth career interceptions. His first interception Friday he took 23 yards for a touchdown, his second return for a touchdown in college. The first interception return for a touchdown came in 2011 at Colorado.

“All the best defensive players just recognize things a little quicker and have a way about shedding blocks or getting around blocks and making plays,” head coach Rich Rodirguez said about Bondurant.

Bondurant’s production on defense helped the Wildcats hold NAU to 15 first downs in the game on Friday, the second lowest in the Rodriguez era.

Colorado wide-receiver Paul Richardson and California place kicker Vincenzo D’Amato join Bondurant as the offense and special teams conference players of the week.

“[Bondurant] has good size, but he doesn’t overwhelm you with his strength or his speed, he’s just got great great instincts,” Rodriguez said. “He’s one of the guys defensively, that has as good of instincts as anyone on our team.”

Former Arizona athletes to participate in alumni softball game

The Tucson Padres are hosting a Bear Down Friday game this Friday, Aug. 23.

A group of prominent Arizona alumni athletes will gather at Kino Veteran’s Memorial Stadium for an alumni athlete softball game.

The softball game is from 5:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., prior to the Tucson Padres game. Any fan wearing UA apparel will receive $5 box seats.

Participating athletes include seven-time Olympic medalist Amanda Beard, former NFL offensive lineman John Fina, and former MLB relief pitcher Ed Vosberg.

Current Arizona baseball head coach Andy Lopez will deliver the first pitch. Former Arizona basketball Wildcat Corey Williams and UA football alum David Adams will be captain for each team.

Other former Arizona athletes included are Joseph Blair, George Arias, Stan Oply, Steve Strong, Matt Muelbach, Annie Grevers and Alex Davis.

Dave Sitton memorial service to be held Sunday

A public celebration of life for former Arizona rugby coach and sports icon Dave Sitton will be held at McKale Center on Aug. 18 at 6 p.m.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. Parking is available on campus and will be free Sunday. A live stream of the event will be available on

Arizona in the running for ESPN College GameDay appearance

Arizona men’s basketball has the potential to make an ESPN College GameDay appearance in February. The weekly show, sponsored by State Farm, has a pair of Pac-12 games to choose from.

The show will either be at the Wildcats’ game at Colorado or the UCLA game at Stanford. This means Arizona will not hold hosting privileges this year.

The UA has been part of the show three times, and a selection this season would put the Wildcats at a tie for the most College GameDay appearances in the Pac-12.

If Arizona does not receive the 9 p.m. ET College GameDay television slot, it will still be televised on either ESPN or ESPN2 at 6 p.m. ET. If Arizona does receive the GameDay slot, the UCLA at Stanford game will take the alternate television slot.

Arizona football to offer chance to meet the team

On Sat., Aug. 17, Arizona Athletics and Arizona football will host a Meet the Team event at Arizona Stadium. The event begins with a 6 p.m. practice and an opportunity for autographs from the team and Rich Rodriguez after.

Attendees can also purchase season tickets for the seats in the north end zone lower bowl. Fans can sit in the north end zone or lower east side to watch the practice, but the rest of the seating will be closed off.

The indoor volleyball team will sign autographs from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the north concourse of the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility.

Parking and admission will be free and fans can enter the stadium through Gate 2. This will be the only practice and autograph opportunity open to the general public.

Arizona golf hires former All-American Chris Nallen as an assistant coach

On Wednesday the UA announced that former Arizona golf superstar Chris Nallen will join the men’s golf program as an assistant coach.

Nallen was a four-time All-American at Arizona from 2001 to 2004, leading the Wildcats to three top ten finishes at the NCAA championships, including third place in 2001 and 2004.

“Chris is a very accomplished golfer on all levels, and he’ll bring a very valuable skill set to our program,” head coach Jim Anderson said in a press release. “He’ll have instant credibility with the current and future members of our team. In addition to his golf résumé, Chris is also a member of the UA family, which makes this a perfect fit.”

Nallen won six individual medals at the UA, was first-team All-Pac-10 in his last three seasons in Tucson and was named freshman All-American by the Golf Coaches Association of America in 2001. He competed for the United States at the Walker Cup in 2033 and the Palmer Cup in 2003 and 2004.

“I’m really excited to be joining the Arizona men’s golf staff,” Nallen said. “It’s a great opportunity for me to see the game of golf from a different side, while at the same time helping the team prepare to compete at a high level. I’m looking forward to working with Jim and getting to know the staff and players. I want to figure out how to work with each guy to help make him better and use my experience to help impart the approach and preparation needed to play at a high level.”

Nallen was a semifinalist at the 2004 U.S. Amateur, then won the 2004 Gila River Classic in his first Nationwide Tour tournament, becoming the first ever to win a Nationwide event his first-career start wire-to-wire.

“Chris is a true professional about his craft,” Anderson said. “He’s detail-oriented in his approach, and that has made him a success. I know he’s going to approach coaching in the same manner. We talk to our team about having the best attitude, being the hardest working and being the most professional, and Chris fits that mold.”

Nallen graduated from UA in 2004 with an economics degree.

The Wildcats open their 2013-14 season in September.

Arizona men's golf receives academic award

The Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) awarded University of Arizona men’s golf a Team Academic Award on Wednesday.

The award goes to teams with a collective grade point average of 3.0 or higher. This year, a record setting 143 teams were recognized for reaching that average.

“As a program, we’ve outlined goals that emphasize success in the classroom, as well as on the course,” Arizona men’s head golf coach Jim Anderson said in a press release.

This year has been academically productive for the men’s golf team, with rising senior Erik Oja, recent graduate Trent Redfern, rising junior Alex McMahon and rising senior Benson Liu earning Pac-12 All-Academic honors in the spring.

The GCAA honored Oja and Redfern as All-America scholars last week. This award recognizes students with a minimum 3.2 GPA and who fulfill off-course requirements.

“Having two All-America Scholars this year is a great accomplishment, and I’m confident that we’ll have more candidates in the years to come,” Anderson said.

Campus guide: several 'other' sports to consider at Arizona

Arizona sports are more than just lining up early for front row basketball seats and pledging to not leave football games early.

The Tucson area has about a million people and no top level major professional sports, but it loves UA athletics and there’s a lot more to do besides the usual suspects. Here’s a few:


Not too long ago the Wildcats played before depressingly small crowds at their on-campus stadium. But, in 2012 they moved to Hi Corbett Field and the program enjoyed a renaissance.

Hi Corbett, the former spring training home of the Cleveland Indians and Colorado Rockies and former home of the Triple-A Tucson Toros, is loved by locals and students alike.

Beer is sold at Hi Corbett, which was featured in the classic movie Major League and the atmosphere is lively. Arizona’s 105,131 fans in 2013 ranked 14th in the country.

Oh, and the Wildcats won the national championship in 2012.


Historically Arizona’s most successful program — eight national championships — enjoys one of the best home field advantages.

The Wildcats have won 583 games in Hillenbrand Stadium’s 20 years. They’ve led the country in attendance nine times out of those 20 years and were second in 2012 and 2013, despite this past season being a down year.

While baseball has beer and plays in a park next to the zoo and In-N-Out Burger, softball games are two innings shorter, have a mercy rule and have less pitching changes.

Ice hockey

Hockey is actually a club sport, but Wildcat hockey is so popular that many mistake it for a varsity team.

Fueled partly by beer, the UA fans at the “Madhouse on Main Street” provide one of the best atmosphere for games other than football and men’s basketball. After Arizona goals, fans chant “He shoots, he scores, hey goalie you suck! It’s all your fault! It’s all your fault!”

Last season they had promotions every weekend, like the Teddy Bear Toss, where fans were encouraged to throw teddy bears on the ice after Arizona’s first goal. The games were filled with action, shootout wins, glass breaking and fights. The Wildcats last two games each drew over 5,000 fans and this year they host a team from Canada’s version of the NCAA.

Hockey is not included in the ZonaZoo passes, but student tickets were $5 last year and the UA offered a free shuttle to the games. The Wildcats play at the Tucson Convention Center downtown, which will get a $7.8 million facelift.

Other sports

Women’s basketball plays an up-tempo style and now that they mostly play on Fridays and Sundays, hoops fans don’t have to pick between watching men’s basketball or women’s basketball anymore.

Volleyball features rallies where it isn’t unusual for players to dive all over the court or come near the fans. This creates a lot of intense moments as teams vie to win sets — it’s like each match features a bunch of the climaxes to basketball games.

Gymnastics has its intricacies; fans cheer for the other team and you have to wait like ten minutes after a meet to find out who won, but it is definitely something to watch. College gymnasts use better, more contemporary music for their floor exercises and you can sit very close to the action.

The women’s soccer team has historically struggled, but with MLS spring training, an international friendly last winter and FC Tucson all making their way down South, Tucson is quickly becoming a soccer town.

Arizona Stadium to hold fireworks show following seating open house

This Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:45 p.m., Arizona Stadium will hold a free fireworks show. The show is a way to celebrate the near completion of the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility and the new Club Seating area. Visitors will get a view of the new seating from inside the stadium.

Earlier in the day, Arizona Stadium is holding a seating open house to give people a chance to see the seat options in person. Ticket buyers can select seats in the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility Club Seating area. Season ticket holders will also be able to change their current seat locations to the new sections.

The viewing window is 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., and guests must RSVP in order to be in this time slot. The open house goes until 1 p.m.

The fireworks show is open to all public and entry is through Gate 2. Parking will be free in the Cherry Parking Garage.

Rodriguez to be featured all over ESPN Thursday

Arizona football coach Rich Rodriguez will be all over ESPN TV and radio on Thursday.
Here’s his schedule:

10:00 a.m. ET/7:00 a.m. PT – GameDay Radio
10:15 a.m. ET/7:15 a.m. PT – SC Tonight with Freddie Coleman
10:30 a.m. ET/7:30 a.m. PT – Recruiting Nation
12:15 p.m. ET/9:15 a.m. PT – The Herd with Colin Cowherd
12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT – Chat
1:20 p.m. ET/10:20 a.m. PT – SportsCenter
1:45 p.m. ET/10:45 a.m. PT – College Football Live
2:15 p.m. ET/11:15 a.m. PT – SVP & Russilo radio show
2:45 p.m. ET/11:45 a.m. PT – Coach & Company radio show

For more information on Pac-12 Media day, click here