Wildcat Wednesday – Grateful to Serve – University of Arizona Athletics – University of Arizona Athletics

GRATEFUL TO SERVE

I’d like to open this Wildcat Wednesday email with a note of gratitude to the entire Wildcat Family. I am tremendously grateful for the opportunity to serve this flagship university and be part of the incredible Southern Arizona community. Arizona Athletics is a nationally recognized, leading athletic department, with a rich history and storied legacy that I have the privilege to be part of. We have accomplished, as a team, tremendous milestones and achievements in my five years as the Director of Athletics and the future is certainly bright.  We look to add many exciting new chapters for this athletic program and university. I want to thank our student athletes, alumni, fans, supporters, and Wildcats across the globe for making our athletics program a special place that epitomizes Championship Excellence. Bear Down!

 

RECAPPING THE SPRING GAME

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Arizona Football’s Spring Game proved to be another memorable afternoon for our student-athletes, alumni and fans at Arizona Stadium. The fun and energetic atmosphere on Saturday centered around the opportunity to see our football student-athletes take to the field and put on a show. The excitement on the field was a nice preview for Saturdays in the fall when Coach Fisch and the Wildcats begin their 2022 season. I would like to thank our colleagues at the Pac-12 Networks for broadcasting the game as well as capturing some outstanding content that showcase our entire athletics department. You can catch replays of the spring game on the Pac-12 Networks throughout the summer.

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Over 200 alumni returned to campus for the weekend, which is an important component of our Wildcat Way student-athlete experience. Letterwinners reconnected with teammates and made new connections with current football student-athletes during our Friday evening Scheme & Eat event. We continued the celebration and cheered on fellow teammates and special guest coaches Lance Briggs (’01) and Tedy Bruschi (’95) at the spring game Saturday afternoon. We focus on developing the outstanding men and women in all our programs to become academic, athletic and life champions. They stay connected to the program, that is near and dear to their hearts, after graduation. Alumni reunions and celebrations are lifelong memories that continue that heartfelt connection to the program.

 

Saturday was the official end of spring practice for our football program as they wrap up the semester. With just under a month remaining before our season ticket renewal deadline, now is a great time to lock in your seats for football, basketball, volleyball and soccer seasons. Click here to renew your season tickets. You can also purchase new season tickets here to utilize some of our season ticket holder perks.

 

TITLE IX ANNIVERSARY EVENT

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Arizona Athletics’ honoring of the 50th anniversary of Title IX will culminate with a special celebration on Thursday, June 23, which is the actual day of enactment of this landmark legislation. Our athletics department is excited to welcome the Southern Arizona community to campus for the day, beginning with a Field Day for youth, grades kindergarten to eighth, to partake in some sporting activities and meet Arizona student-athletes inside the Cole and Jeannie Davis Sports Center.

 

After lunch, we will begin an informative and inspirational panel of Wildcat trail blazers and icons to discuss the impact of Title IX on their lives, sports in the United States and Arizona Athletics. The panel will include prominent figures in department history with an educational discussion on the impact of Title IX on the lives of those in attendance. Admission is free for the entire day, so click here to make a reservation to join us for the Arizona Athletic Title IX Celebration. A complimentary meal will be provided at lunch for those who make a reservation.

 

CATSYS

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The CATSYs, our annual student-athlete award show, is returning to McKale Center on Monday, April 18. The event has free admission as our athletics department bestows a bevy of awards on student-athletes with Wildcat alum Alex Flanagan hosting. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. (MST) with the show scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. (MST). Fans are encouraged to sit in the bowl of McKale Center above the floor to enjoy the evening of programming as we honor our athletic, academic and life champions who live the Wildcat Way.

 

HOME MEET SUCCESS FOR TRACK & FIELD

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Last weekend’s Jim Click Shootout and Multis saw our women’s track and field team win the event with the men’s side coming in second. Among the victorious performances by our student-athletes, Samantha Noennig won another shotput title while Jared O’Riley won his first event of his season with a victory in the javelin. We also saw another Wildcat sweep of the podium in the women’s high jump as Lillian Lowe edged out her teammates, Talie Bonds and Alexa Porpaczy, for the win.

 

Congrats to all our Track & Field Wildcats on a terrific home meet over the weekend. The program has started outdoor season off on a high note, and we look forward to seeing more excellence at the Mt. Sac Relays this week in California.

 

ARIZONA DIVING CLEANS UP ON PAC-12 AWARDS

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A week after Delaney Schnell won Pac-12 Women’s Diver of the Year and Dwight Dumais took home the Pac-12 Women’s Diving Coach of the Year, Arizona Swimming & Diving dominated the men’s side of the all-conference awards in diving.

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Bjorn Markentin was named Pac-12 Men’s Diver of the Year after an All-American campaign. Bjorn is no stranger to diving awards from the conference after being named the 2020 Pac-12 Freshman Diver of the Year. Dwight completed the sweep of the Diving Coach of the Year awards by winning for the men’s side as well.

 

A SPECIAL THANK YOU

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On Monday evening, for the first time in three years, we celebrated our annual Diamond and Platinum Reception at Loews Ventana Canyon. This event is one of our favorites of the year as a premiere showcase of our student athletes, coaches and administrators from across all sports and the department. All of our Wildcats have the opportunity to meet and thank those who support them and Arizona Athletics. Diamond and Platinum donors are members of the Wildcat Club at the highest levels, who make significant annual contributions that impact our first-class student-athlete experience. Collectively, the financial support of all Wildcat Club members is a critical resource that allows our department to provide opportunities for our student-athletes to become academic, athletic and life champions.

 

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This event truly reflects our purpose of a Commitment to an Athletes Total Success (C.A.T.S.); the holistic support, investment and development of our student-athletes. If you are not already a Wildcat Club member and would like to learn more about how to get involved, please visit our website at www.wildcatclub.org and consider making a donation. Thank you to our loyal supporters for not only attending this event, but for your ongoing generous support of our nearly 500 student-athletes.

 

THIS WEEK AT BEAR DOWN BEACH

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Arizona Beach Volleyball will host their final regular season matches at Bear Down Beach this week with the Arizona Invitational as the program welcomes Southern Mississippi, CSU Bakersfield, Long Beach State and Grand Canyon. The Sand Cats will play double headers on Friday and Saturday, beginning at 11 a.m. (MST) and 3 p.m. (MST) on Friday, April 15.

 

Coach Walker and the Wildcats have won 80 percent of their home matches this season as Bear Down Beach is an excellent environment to catch a match and enjoy Southern Arizona’s beautiful weather. Admission is free for all matches, so come down to campus and cheer on the Wildcats this week.

 

We are also happy to announce to Wildcat Wednesday subscribers that we will be hosting the 2022 Pac-12 Beach Volleyball Championships later this month. The championships will run all day for three days beginning on Wednesday, April 27 with the Pac-12 Networks broadcasting the action.

 

SOFTBALL RETURNS HOME

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Arizona Softball is back in action at Mike Candrea Field at Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium this week for three games against the Oregon Ducks. With Sunday being Easter, we want to remind fans that the series will be on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with gametimes of 5 p.m., 5 p.m. and 12 p.m. (MST).

 

The Wildcats have won 17 games this season at our storied venue, which includes the best fans in the country in attendance. Game days at home are a special occasion for our student-athletes, coaches, staff and loyal supporters. If you don’t have your tickets for the Oregon series, click here. See you at the ballpark this week.

 

IN THE HUNT FOR A CHAMPIONSHIP

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On behalf of the entire Wildcat Family, I want to wish Arizona Men’s Tennis the best of luck as they close out the regular season this week. The team sits atop the Pac-12 standings with matches at Oregon on Friday and Washington on Sunday as the program seeks its first-ever Pac-12 championship. Clinching a regular season title would be another historic achievement for Coach Shields and the Wildcats who have been on a meteoric rise under Clancy’s leadership.

 

Our men’s tennis student-athletes and coaches are tremendous ambassadors of our athletics department, university and community and represent the Block A with pride. Bear Down, go cats, and we will all be cheering you on this week.

WEAR THE COLORS – SHARE THE PHOTOS

Send us your photos of you wearing the colors while staying safe!

Thank you for wearing the colors and sharing your Arizona pride! Make sure to take a picture the next time you are wearing the colors and send it to us, we just might include it in next week’s Wildcat Wednesday! And even if your photo submission doesn’t make  next week’s edition, please check our “Wear the Colors” album at facebook.com/ArizonaAthletics on Fridays.

 

NOTE: Please submit photos for Wildcat Wednesday with an original email to uofaad@arizona.edu using the subject line ‘Wildcat Wednesday photo.’ Also, please ensure all submissions are clear and properly lit. We also ask that you identify everyone in the photo so we can highlight them accordingly.

Bear Down and Go Cats!

 

Dave Heeke

Vice President and Director of Athletics

University of Arizona

uofaad@arizona.edu