Monday, December 6, 2010



Clearly, the McMurry sports blog has not been at the top of the priority list. Thomas and I are pouring more effort into, the Facebook, YouTube and Twitter pages than ever before; and the blog has gone by the wayside. I wish we had time to do everything, but we don't. I hope you enjoyed what we did do, and when Football Training camp rolls around we will have a separate blog just for that event. Thanks for following and be sure and check for inside coverage, stories, videos and more.

-- KR

Monday, October 4, 2010

Game Notes from McMurry vs. Howard Payne

Don't forget to check out the photo gallery and purchase your favorite photos from McMurry's 51-19 victory over Howard Payne. Check that gallery here.

- And before we get into the football notes, remember that McMurry's swim season starts this weekend and that the first official NCAA basketball practices are Oct. 15!

• In the NCAA era, McMurry had only strung together two consecutive games where the defense held its opponent to under 300 yards of offense. However, in 2010, McMurry’s defense has opened the year by keeping its opponents under 300 yards all five games.
• McMurry’s 51 points give the team at least 50 in two games this season; the last time that happened was in the 2000 season.
• The win Saturday night was Hal Mumme’s 115th career collegiate win; in his 20th season as a college head football coach, he’s 115-111, and he’s 2-0 against Howard Payne
• The McMurry defense held Howard Payne to its lowest offensive output of the season at 293 yards. HPU’s 40 yards rushing was the lowest total by McMurry’s three ASC opponents this season.
• Jake Mullin moved to second all-time on McMurry’s career passing yardage chart, and it took just 14 games. Mullin has 4,700 passing yards in 14 starts and passed Kurt Ashmore for second. Ashmore played for four seasons from 1984-1987 and passed for 4,361 yards. Braxton Shaver’s 8,721 yards will be in Mullin’s sights next. Mullin’s career yards per game average is 335.7 through 14 games; if he keeps that pace, he’ll pass Shaver after the third game of his senior season.
• Senior wide receiver Marcus Franklin needs just 91 yards to move into McMurry’s top 10 for career receiving yardage. At 1,381 yards through his first 15 games in a McMurry uniform, he, along with teammate R.J. Long also each have 15 career touchdown receptions. That number is good for third all-time among McMurry players in the NCAA era.
• R.J. Long caught a touchdown pass for the sixth consecutive game Saturday night. Last season, he had a touchdown reception in the season finale and has at least one touchdown catch in each of McMurry’s five games in 2010. The last McMurry player to accomplish that feat was Rory Peacock who caught touchdown passes in seven consecutive games spanning from the last six games of the 1999 season to the first game of the 2000 season. Later, in the 2000 season, he also went on another 6-game streak with at least one touchdown catch. Peacock is also McMurry’s career receptions, receiving yards leader and touchdown receptions leader.
• Desmond Baker’s two blocked kicks Saturday night tied him with Gavan Bass for the most blocked kicks among McMurry players in the NCAA era with three. Baker also has the team lead with eight pass breakups through eight games
• Through five games, McMurry is the No. 1 defense in the ASC by an average of 141 yards. McMurry’s defensive unit has allowed just 208.2 yards per game through the first five contests; HPU is next at 349.2 yards per contest.
• McMurry has scored in 18 of 19 red zone attempts this year including five against Howard Payne Saturday night.
• Baker’s blocked field goal, which turned into a 53-yard touchdown return by D.J. Baiza, was the first blocked kick return for a touchdown since Oct. 21, 2006 when Joe Alexander returned a blocked punt against Sul Ross State 26 yards for a touchdown. It is the only blocked field goal returned for a touchdown in the NCAA era for McMurry.
• 132 team rushing yards for McMurry Saturday night was the second-highest total since Hal Mumme took over in 2009. McMurry ran for 143 yards against Mississippi College Sept. 19, 2009.
• Austin Brooks’ 1-yard touchdown was the first rushing score by a McMurry running back in 2010 and just the second overall. Jake Mullin has the only other rushing touchdown against Texas College earlier this season.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

McMurry featured on front page of

Check out the front page, and if you're a little late in getting there, here is the article written by Jason Bowen.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

McMurry vs. Bacone Highlights

We'll try to clean the audio up, we're working on some issues. We can't promise, but we will try to do this each week.

Catching You Up!

It's been a hectic three weeks getting ready for football's first home game and getting soccer started at home as well. We will continue to catch you up as we go, but enjoy the videos below, and keep checking back!

2010 McMurry Football Media Guides are on sale online! Fans can also view the digital version by clicking here! Fans can also purchase 2010 McMurry Football Schedule Posters for $5 online!

McMurry Football Press Conference Week Two - Featuring Jimmy Terrell and Offensive Coordinator Matt Mumme

Women's Soccer Highlights and Post-Match Interview vs. Huston-Tillotson

Men's Soccer Post-Match Interview vs. Wayland Baptist

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Soccer Photos for Sale

This is Gary Rhodes' first official game photo shoot with us this year. He shot the men's and women's soccer matches vs. LCU - check out the galleries on and photos are available for purchase. Or click here for the women's gallery or the men's gallery.

Stay tuned ...

Paul Tate - Post Match Interview - 09.01.10 - vs. LCU

Alan Riches - Post Match Interview - 09.01.10 vs. LCU

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Press Conference - Football - Take Two

We had eight minutes worth of footage from our first McMurry Football Press Conference of the year, which took place Monday at 2 p.m. However, we had a short in the wire in our microphone and Hal Mumme and wide receiver R.J. Long each were unable to be heard. Long was kind enough to come back and re-create the interview as McMurry gets ready for its season opener against Bacone College in Muskogee, Okla. at 6 p.m. Saturday night.

Please be sure and check for live stats links, and don't forget that we will be streaming live audio and video for all 10 football games for a subscription fee.

Stay tuned ...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Year Two in the Books ...

Our second year of Training Camp Coverage has come to a conclusion. I hope you enjoyed the updates and will keep checking back to all our major outlets throughout the year including this blog. Don't forget our Facebook Page, Twitter Page, YouTube Channel, and of course, our main and most official source of information:

The scheduling mis-communication from Friday where the team moved practice from 7:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. caused us to miss the "Packer Day" graduation ceremony of 15-straight minutes of up-downs for the defensive players. But if you really need to know what it's like, just take a look at last year's final practice video.

Also Thomas Beckham took the camera tonight for the last practice gallery - and also this is coach Mumme's playlist in the background below in the YouTube video for tonight.

This will be our final practice coverage of the year - we'll be back throughout the year with non-formal updates, and check for the game previews and press releases.

Ticket information for the 2010 season is coming next week!

Stay tuned ...

Soccer Teams dribble down memory lane

First-year men's soccer coach Paul Tate asked me to take a few pictures at both the women's and men's alumni games earlier today. When I walked out to Edwards Field, one of the first faces I saw, and was surprised to see was Steve Allan (pictured). Allan drove in from just south of Houston where he now coaches high school boys soccer. Allan coached both the most successful McMurry men's teams and women's team in history. He led the men to three-straight ASC Tournament appearances from 2002-04 including the ASC title game in 2003. His one season where he doubled as the men's and women's coach turned out to be the best season in women's history in 2006. The women finished 5-11-2 under Allan, however, considering the program had just four wins in its first five seasons in existence prior to his head-coaching tenure, coupled with the fact that the team went 4-3-1 in its final eight matches, it was a successful season. McMurry was sad to see Allan go following the 2006 season. His wife got a great job and the couple left Abilene.

However, today Allan was back to greet his former men's and women's players, and he even made an appearance in the men's game as a player. Although I'm not as up on my soccer history as I should be, several key players from past men's and women's teams were on hand today for the festivities, which also included a free barbecue courtesy of Aramark and Terry Juarez.

Some of the women's alumni that played today included Karla Alarcon, Leslie Otts, Marissa Beyelia and Kathy Alonso among others. On the men's side Aaron Foust, Eric Walker, Pedro Encarnacion, Kyle Kalin, Brandon Crawford and Logan Garza along with current assistant and former player Edward Ecupnobi played in the men's game. See the group photos below - apologies that I couldn't get the mixed photo with the men's, there were too many and I couldn't get them all in the shot - also be sure to look below the team pics for links to galleries for today's events.

Men's Alumni Game Gallery
| Women's Alumni Game Gallery
Stay tuned ...
-- KR

Friday, August 20, 2010

Making it up to you ...

When the football team practices at night. I usually arrive between Noon and 1 p.m. and stay at work until 11 p.m. or so. Today, I showed up with full anticipation of a 7:30 p.m. practice time. However, when I arrived today, the staff had switched tonight's practice to 3:30 p.m. so I was unable to take photos or get footage because of prior scheduled meetings. So, in order to make up for it McMurry fans, I have created the 2010 Football Desktop Wallpaper Schedule for download, but this time for defense. If you missed the offensive wallpaper, you can find both wallpapers by downloading here. Below is a preview image.

Also, PLEASE UNDERSTAND, the NCAA does not allow us to publicize scrimmages of any kind with photos, videos, press releases or updates. So, you will not hear from me on an update from training camp until the FINAL day, which is Sunday.

Stay tuned ...
-- KR

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I lied ... sort of ...

I did not cover football practice today. However, you football fans will be glad to know, that eight days later, with the help of Rob Davidson, I was able to uncover the lost media interviews with Will Morris and Hal Mumme from the first day of practice.

Enjoy, and we'll see you tomorrow ...

Stay tuned ...

Riches shooting for win No. 1 before talking about anything else

I had my first chance to have an extended visit with our new women's soccer coach Alan Riches. I was impressed with the fact that he doesn't expect a miracle in the first season. As you'll see in the interview, he wants his team to take the steps necessary to just win a match, something the program hasn't done since the last match of the 2006 season. He has seven players back and 11 new players to work with as we head towards the season opener Sept. 1. That match will be played at home at Edwards Field against NAIA Lubbock Christian.

Riches also mentions in the interview that he has family ties to Wilford Moore - whom the McMurry football stadium is named after.

Read the season preview and check out the PHOTO GALLERY from yesterday's practice.

Stay tuned ...
-- KR

Volleyball team starts practice - looking to be better than above average

When I interviewed Terah Brown and Cammie Petree (head coach) yesterday as the team started volleyball practice for the 2010 season, both were okay with their second-place vote in the 2010 ASC West Preseason poll. However, both echoed that they wanted more. Brown, a fourth-year player for McMurry is already the all-time leader in blocks at the school and has a chance to move up in the top five in career kills as well. She along with Mandie Moore and Sarah Anding are fourth-year seniors that have made the ASC Tournament in each of their seasons. As freshmen in 2007, they exited in the semi-finals round with a lost to HSU. In 2008, the team exited in the quarterfinals round with a loss to ETBU. Last season as juniors, they fell in the semi-finals round again to HSU. To set themselves up for success, Brown said in the YouTube interview above, that the team would be well off if it could finish first-place in the west during the regular season to give them a better shot at their goal: A conference title.

Read the season preview here. Look at yesterday's PHOTO GALLERY, and stay tuned for more volleyball news throughout the season on

Women's soccer is next!

Remember no football coverage today ... I'm catching up on office work. We'll be back Friday.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Long day, but fall sports are rolling

Four other fall teams started practice today, and our previous post gave you a preview of men's soccer. Tomorrow we'll follow with volleyball and women's soccer. On the gridiron it was another two-a-day for the team as they move closer to the end of Training Camp. Obviously the team will have two more weeks of practice once school starts, but academics takes more of a focus Monday when the players return to hitting the books. Tonight, there was a lot of excitement in the air. A lot of friendly chatter between the offense and defense, and to close camp with Packer Day, the offensive players ran over and participated in the last couple of minutes of the strenuous drill. We will not have coverage of practice tomorrow, but will return Friday night with updates. Here is tonight's PHOTO GALLERY for Wednesday's practice.

Stay tuned ...

Futbol is back ...

It's always a nice thing when an alum can come home to lead his former team as head coach. In Paul Tate's case, he didn't have to wait as long. Just three seasons after his final year as a player, Tate follows Tim Grove as head coach. Today the team had its first practice of the 2010 season. Motivation and tradition is Tate's goal with his team who struggled after three years under head coach Tim Grove. Tate is looking to return his team to old form - a team that went to the ASC Playoffs three seasons in a row from 2002-2004.

Read the official press release of McMurry's men's first practice. Click here to see a small gallery of the first practice today for the men's team. Women's coverage to follow tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

123 degrees - 'nuff said

Today's practice was at 2:30 p.m. Before I headed onto the field, we checked the temperature online in Greg Harrod's (director of football operations) office. He said it would be 99 degrees outside. So after I went up to the slightly air-conditioned press box for the first few minutes to do some roster work, I headed down to the field. Our athletic trainer for football this season, Jay Spencer, had his temperature gauge on the ground. The picture to your left is the number that it read on the turf at Wilford Moore Stadium.

Needless to say, late July and August always brings a pretty good heat wave to Abilene each year. Even at 8:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. when the majority of the practices take place for the McMurry team, it's hot, but today, it had heat at a different level. Practice was lighter than usual with a focus on special teams and just two round of Bandit Drill. And the defense caught a break when Mumme called practice after team drill and spared them the 15-minute Packer drill for the day.

Today's gallery is a lot of shots of players being hot and enjoying themselves. We'll be back at it tomorrow with the team's second two-a-day. Once again, we'll only cover the evening practice. CLICK HERE FOR THE DAY EIGHT PHOTO GALLERY.

Monday, August 16, 2010

First Two-A-Days Complete

I didn’t attend morning practice, but tonight was a solid practice on the first two-a-day of the year. Mumme allowed the guys to go a little shorter tonight, and the defensive guys were given a welcome surprise when lightning cut short Packer Day by about nine minutes. It was good to see Simeon Neal (leading receiver in ’08) and Marcus Franklin (leading receiver in ’09) on the field for the first time. Both had been held out of practice for administrative issues, but are good to go and will go through the progression of helmets only, to half pads to full pads just like the rest of the players had to go through.

In many cases at training camp the defense always looks a step ahead of the offense.
And while Joe Lee Dunn, Barris Grant and Kendall Roberson’s defense is continuing to impress, the offense is beginning to come around as well. It’s exciting to see the progression each day as we look towards Sept. 4.

Remember that we will be broadcasting all football games with audio / video. On rare occasions last year we were unable to bring a game; we’ve worked on some plan B and plan C’s to ensure we have a solid Internet connection this year, so hopefully we’ll be able to bring you all 10 regular season games. I will send out an official press release at some point this week about our live audio / video coverage of McMurry events.

Tomorrow’s practice is at 2:30 p.m. before a two-a-day practice resumes Wednesday.

Spread the word about the blog, and here is tonight’s PRACTICE #7 GALLERY.

Stay tuned ...

Introducing Gary Rhodes ...

As much as I love taking pictures and sorting through hundreds of them to give you around 30, it's always my pleasure to turn the job of action photos to the professionals. As I mentioned briefly last night, Brian Schmidt, our photographer from last year took a full-time job and is no longer with us. Let me be the first to say that I thought Brian did an excellent job of enhancing our athletics imagery last year on the web site and through publication. So now, we bring in some new blood, Gary Rhodes, an ACU grad like myself has agreed to come on board and shoot football and the other sports for us this season. Although these are a little belated, I think you'll be pleased with his work like I was. Here is a link to the DAY FIVE GALLERY and the shots as always, are available for purchase.

You'll be stuck with my inferior eye and camera tonight, but we'll make do. Thanks to all of you who have supported us this season by buying photos. It helps pay for the annual fees and bells and whistles of

We'll see you tonight!
Stay tuned ...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Full-Contact Football underway

Progression in training camp provides new excitement all the time for college football. There's reporting day, there's the first practice, then there's half-pads, and finally full pads. From there, though you have to wait for the first game when the real excitement begins, but at the same time Sunday night's first full-contact practice draws a lot of excitement from players, staff and fans.

McMurry conducted just over a two-hour practice Sunday night with full pads and the team is beginning to piece together the offense, defense and special teams before its first game Sept. 4 in Muskogee, Okla. against NAIA Bacone College.

Hal Mumme did say he wanted to see a better effort out of the players in tonight's official press release of the practice, but he did admit that some of the flaws are to be expected on the first night in full pads. No rest for the weary though as they head straight into two-a-days tomorrow.

Brian Schmidt was our professional photographer last season for all things McMurry Sports and did a great job. He took a job outside of Abilene and we welcome Gary Rhodes to the crew. He came and shot the practice tonight, and he's going to do some editing (probably much better work than mine) and then I'll upload his gallery tomorrow so fans can purchase the action shots. For tonight, the YouTube video will have to do - hopefully you'll enjoy our individual interviews with the players, we'll try to keep that up through the last six days of camp.

I will not be covering the morning practice tomorrow, but it will be business as usual tomorrow night.

Thanks for reading and watching.
Stay tuned ...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day Four - Time and Time again

Less than 10 hours after the last person left the field last night, or less than nine hours after the SID left the press box, the McMurry Football team is at it again with its last half-pads practice before full-contact, full-pads Sunday night. Today's practice has very little deviation from last night. The warmups, which could be considered more like drills always stay the same at practice throughout the year with Mumme and crew and it takes about 30 minutes before they move on.

There was a lot of chatter today on the one-on-one drills between receivers and defensive backs. These kids love to compete and it's easy to get excited when everyone is trying make names for themselves. Right now, they've begun Bandit drill again with Jake Mullin under center for the offense and the "ones." I've seen the defense "sack" Mullin now twice in the first five plays. Stephen Warren ran with the second team last night, and then led a drive with the "ones," I expect the same again.

The players will go through meetings following practice, but won't be active again until tomorrow night's full-pads practice at 7:30 p.m. That is always a big night for any collegiate football team, and we'll be back with videos and photos once again.

Hope you've enjoyed the coverage thus far, and here is the link to the DAY FOUR PHOTO GALLERY.

Stay tuned ...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Half Pads - Half way to fun

Let's face it, half pads is much better to watch than just helmets, however, it's still about half as fun as watching the full-pads practice and everything starts to come together. But, just 48 hours from now we'll have completed our first full-pads practice, and there was some contact tonight. The position drills at the beginning of practice were geared up a notch and the defensive conclusion of the infamous Packer Day Drill was a little tougher on the defensive players with half pads. Tonight also marked the first times that the team ran "Bandit" drill. It's an 11-on-11 drill where the offense runs 44 plays in 25 minutes. This drill is the essence of the Air Raid Offense and does a good job of preparing the defense for a no-huddle style offense. The quarterbacks and receivers get plays on the fly from the O.C. Matt Mumme - no matter the result of the play, the ball is moved forward to the next 10-yard line. Tonight Coach Mumme told the team that they were "far from perfect" but once again, he was pleased with the effort.

To speculate for a second - there is already a difference between 2009 and 2010 in a couple of areas. To the average fan, which I consider myself when it comes to knowledge, the offense and defense is already much more fluid with the amount of returnees back. The other noticeable thing is the amount of size, speed and strength that the newcomers have added, not to mention the physical improvements of the returning players after an off-season with the Mumme staff.

Tonight's practice ran a little late, so we didn't have as much time to edit video as we did before, but we hope you enjoy what you see. Here is the link to the DAY THREE PHOTO GALLERY.

I'll be at practice at 8:30 a.m. - but will only be taking a few stills and then preparing for the first full-pads practice Sunday night.
Stay tuned ...

Day 3 Schedule

Not much going on to film or take pictures of until tonight for our second night practice and third overall. A little more contact tonight as the team gets in half pads for the next two practices before the first full-pads practice Sunday night. If you noticed the first night, I generally have some sort of video up by around 10:30 - 11 p.m. - so you night owls will be able to see it while the rest of you will have to catch it the next day. Once again, we've had a great following for training camp - we had over 300 visits yesterday, and we hope you continue checking back. Spread the word to your friends, family, teammates, etc. The best page to send them to is - that will take them to all the different outlets. Some of you have begun to follow us on Twitter - you might also consider following does a great job of following the 300+ D3 teams with football.

Be sure to follow our Twitter Page, Facebook Page, and check regularly. Also don't forget our online store with McMurry Athletics hats and t-shirts for sale.

Aug. 13 - Training Camp Schedule
8:30 a.m. - meetings
11:30 a.m. - lunch
1:00 - 2:30 p.m. - Offensive/Defensive Meetings
5 p.m. - Dinner
7:30 p.m. - Practice #3 - Half Pads

We'll see you tonight ...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day 2 Gallery: ARN covers McMurry's Wednesday practice

I'm sitting up in the press box at Wilford Moore Stadium for day two of practice, which began at 8:30 a.m. Today is much more offense/defense oriented. The new backs and receivers are starting to run the Air Raid Offense, and the veterans are looking to improve on what they know. According to the coaches, the entire offense can be installed in three days, but takes weeks, months, and years to perfect. On the defensive side Kendall Roberson (secondary coach) and Barris Grant (line coach) have been working on fundamentals while defensive coordinator Joe Lee Dunn is working with linebackers. The practice should close with a little bit of 7-on-7.

Here are 35 more photos for this morning's practice. Be sure and check out the gallery and remember that you can purchase prints of all our pictures this year for all sports. Also remember t-shirts and hats are on sale at our online store with training camp specials.

Other Notes:

• We are keeping a running roster, this is definitely, NOT a final roster, but rather a running list as we go through camp. If a player has a jersey number, it is because he played last year, it does NOT mean that players without numbers are not on the team, etc. Be patient with us as we get it together. If a player is at camp, and not on the list, it is because he has not turned in his publicity questionnaire to me. Check the tentative 2010 roster here.
• The Abilene Reporter News wrote a brief article on the first day of practice and the renovations to the locker room provided by the fund-raising efforts of Hal Mumme. Check that story here. -- by Sam Waller
• Waller and the ARN also featured red-shirt freshman transfer quarterback Stephen Warren who returns to Abilene after playing his high school ball for Abilene High. Read that feature here.
• No practice tonight, I'll try to post yesterday's press interviews with Will Morris and Hal Mumme this afternoon if I can get my cord situation worked out. Otherwise, we'll be back with more tomorrow night at our second night practice.
Stay tuned ...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mullin makes his entrance, McMurry works on special teams in day one

Last year Hal Mumme and I played the name game throughout training camp to add some spice to our videos. This year, quarterback Jake Mullin set the theme and Mumme will update us with some of the interesting characters on the team. He says we'll have plenty, and take a look at how Mullin tried to loosen up his team heading into camp in 2010.

We also had more "official" interviews with Hal Mumme and junior free safety Will Morris. I ran into a couple of camera issues, but all I need is a cord, and I will provide those tomorrow. Go ahead and check out the official press release for day one and the PHOTO GALLERY.

It's here

Year two of McMurry Football Training Camp Central is here. Now, we have set up an official landing page:, but we'll pretty much be using the blog as the most updated form of communication. Keep in mind our Twitter page, you can follow us and actually get cell phone updates all season long with scores and story lines. If there are enough of you who want to do this, but aren't quite sure how to do so, send me an email at and I'll try to help you out as best I can. I will embed all our YouTube videos on the blog - but if you want to go to our official YouTube Channel, click here. Official press releases can still be found at

Last year, we didn't have a practice on the first day, so we created a little film of how our players went through all the registration lines. If you want to see last year's video (because we won't be doing a check-in video this year), it's pretty much the same song and dance this year, click here.

Also, be aware that we will be uploading photo galleries to and you can purchase photos this year, that will also include games as the season goes on.

Today's schedule is as follows:
11 a.m. - Dorm Check-in
3 p.m. - Dorm Check-in ends
3:30 p.m. - Compliance, Sports Information and first meeting with all players
5 p.m. - Medical Staff Meeting
6 p.m. - Dinner
7 p.m. - Team Meeting
8 p.m. - Practice #1

Friday, August 6, 2010

Just around the corner

McMurry football training camp starts Wednesday, and it's hard to believe that it's already here. I just saw all the assistant coaches making preparations in the weight room for players to arrive and the excitement is picking up around there in a big way. Many McMurry fans will be eager to see how Hal Mumme and company build on the 4-6 season from 2009 after just two wins from 2007-2008 combined.

A strong core of returnees will be back on both sides of the ball, and in case you missed it, we were voted to finish fifth out of nine teams. While McMurry's staff is expecting better, it's still a huge step up from the projected ninth-place finish that the 2009 preseason poll brought. McMurry was 4-4 in conference play.

If you'll remember last year, this blog became popular among McMurry fans because of our coverage and daily videos during training camp. This year we will try to repeat that coverage and bring McMurry fans the training camp experience. Keep checking back in the next couple of days, but obviously, Wednesday is reporting day and Thomas and I will be at work bringing you all the action.

Stay tuned ...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

2010 McMurry Football Desktop Wallpaper Schedule available; photo store now active!

Hello McMurry fans, I wish at this point there was a whole lot of information to share with you, but for another couple of weeks, the news reel isn't hopping. However, in the meantime, here are a couple of goodies in preparation for the football season. Click here to download your copy of the 2010 McMurry Football Desktop Wallpaper Schedule. Also, you can download the 2010 McMurry Football Preseason Prospectus by clicking here.

In addition, our so-called "Photo Store" on is now actually a photo store. Well, at least with the latest gallery we just added. This compilation of 175 photos from the 2009-10 school year will be our guinea pig gallery to sell photos. The galleries uploaded previously will not be available to buy, however, all photo galleries uploaded for the 2010-11 school year will be available for purchase. So happy buying fans! Click here for more information.

Fall Report Days are as follows:
Football - Aug. 11
Volleyball - Aug. 15
Cross Country - Aug. 15
Men's Soccer - Aug. 15
Women's Soccer - Aug. 15

All McMurry Freshmen - Aug. 18

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A tremendous award for the ever-fading dual-sport athlete

Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders were much more known for their accomplishments on the football field. However, most know that in addition to their successful NFL careers, each played in the major leagues. Jackson played with the Kansas City Royals and Sanders with the Atlanta Braves. Who can you name since then that has really made an impact in more than one sport? Certainly you could name a few who have excelled in one sport and put effort into another sport, but didn't quite live up. See Michael Jordan's minor league experience with the Birmingham Barons. Or check Terrell Owens' or Roy Jones, Jr.'s brief semi-professional basketball careers. Popular "X-Gamer" Shaun White excels with skateboards and snowboards at the professional level.

At the college level, we've seen it a little more often, but generally speaking, those who can perform at a high level in more than one sport are becoming more and more of a rarity. Division I and II athletes at the NCAA level are sometimes kept from doing two sports by the sport offering the scholarship, or we might see more. At the Division III level, it is more common since no student is bound by an athletic scholarship, however, it is seldom seen, much less done at a high level.

Jake Mullin became the first non-track athlete at McMurry to win the American Southwest Conference Male Athlete of the Year Friday. Read the official press release here. He received honorable mention for his play at quarterback for McMurry, but that award didn't do justice to his accomplishments on the gridiron. He hadn't taken a snap in three years prior to the season, the last coming in a run-heavy Wing-T offense at Burleson High. He proceeded in his first collegiate game in 2009 to break McMurry's single-game record for passing yardage with 479 setting up a season where he tossed 25 touchdowns and just nine interceptions in nine games to accompany 2,749 yards passing. He also helped a McMurry team with a winless 2008 an a two-win 2007 take four games in a row in 2009. With his rare combination of accuracy, arm strength and mobility, Mullin will likely turn a few more heads in the 2010 season.

On the baseball field, he earned national recognition as an all-American by where he hit .462, hit 11 home runs, 19 doubles and 44 RBI's to go along with an on-base percentage that pushed .600. On a team that suffered some offensively challenged spurts throughout the season, Mullin was the main-stay. And, his quarterback arm in right field is rarely challenged.

Since he sat out of football and played two seasons of baseball, he lost one year as quarterback, so the upcoming 2010 season will mark his junior year on the field while the 2011 baseball season in the spring will mark his last on the diamond.

Enjoy the YouTube Video of McMurry football coach Hal Mumme and baseball coach John Byington reacting to the news of the award.

Stay tuned ...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New Facebook Page and Staff Shuffling at McMurry

Summer brings a lot of things for college athletic departments, and one thing that is almost always constant is that people come and go. This holds true at McMurry this summer, and if you haven't caught up on what's going on, here's a release on the new men's and women's basketball coaching assistants, and here's a release on a change within the baseball and sports information departments. We will also be announcing very soon a new women's soccer coach as well as some minor shuffling within the football staff, so keep checking back for that.

In addition, we added social networking as an emphasis at the beginning of last school year, adding this blog, the Twitter page and the YouTube channel. Well, now you can add our athletics Facebook page to the list. It's another avenue for us to get information out and it will help us also with the student body as we are able to send out invitations to events and games through Facebook. Check it out, and also take advantage of the discussion board to voice your opinions and thoughts.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

No vuvuzelas for McMurry soccer; alum Rich gets a job in sports information; other notes and what's going on this summer

BREAKING NEWS: Good news from the soccer arena at McMurry. New men’s coach Paul Tate has assured me that absolutely no vuvuzelas (pictured) will be passed out to McMurry soccer fans for the upcoming season. The horns, which make the 2010 World Cup in South Africa sound like a giant behive hovers over the top of each stadium, will not be making appearances at Edwards Field.


Often people ask me “What do you do in the summer?” “Do you have to work in the summer?” Much like many coaches will say that your in-season is made in the off-season, the summer time is crucial for me to get ahead for the fall, so that when it comes, I don’t get snowed under. Last year, I took this job in July for the second time after returning from a year of full-time graduate school at ACU. I didn’t have much of a summer, and dealt with the transition of picking up where my predecessor left off.

So, this summer, I’m especially excited to have a summer where I can “work.” Now, yes, the summer time hours are more lax than that 70-80 hour weeks that August and September bring, or the 60+ hour weeks when basketball concludes and baseball begins. However, Thomas Beckham and I are about to go into full swing in preparation for fall sports. First, I am completing a recruiting guide for the track and field program who had another successful season, and then we’ll turn our focus to the 2010-11 school year. Speaking of Thomas Beckham (McMurry alum and baseball-ex), we are lucky enough to keep him around for another year. He has been promoted to assistant sports information director and he will also serve as an assistant coach on the baseball team for the 2011 season.

Also, through Facebook, I learned that McMurry alum and former football player Coby Rich (pictured) has joined the business. The business of sports information that is. I’m extremely happy for Coby for a lot of reasons. Obviously, it’s great to see former McMurry players excelling in the business, but also, without a journalism department or a communications department at McMurry, it is very impressive that Coby was able to crack in to the field. He was recently named the graduate assistant at NCAA Division II Delta State University in Mississippi. He will serve as the primary media contact for a couple of sports there and will also be involved with video and broadcasting production. Congratulations to Coby.


• If you missed the article on Jeremie Hart and Jonathan Walker and their experiences playing basketball in Ecuador together, check it here. Walker was the ASC West Division Newcomer of the Year in 2008-09 and Hart earned the same award in 2009-2010. They didn’t play together on the floor at Kimbrell Arena, but they have joined the Naval club team in Guayaquil, Ecuador. They are preparing for an eight-team tournament that begins June 25 and both hope to catch on professionally in South America or in the European leagues.

• Former all-American Symbri Tuttle entered her Allen High School junior varsity team into McMurry head coach Veronica Snow’s team camp this week. I spoke briefly to Tuttle who is entering into her second year as the varsity assistant for the girls’ basketball team at Allen High School. She said that she will be taking over the JV team for the first time and she said she was “extremely fired up” about it.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Underclassmen have much to look forward to after eighth place finish

A No. 1-ranked team finishes eighth, and yes, there was some disappointment. Disappointment for both our coaches and out athletes. But, there are 400+ other NCAA Division III schools that have men's track programs that can't say they finished in the top eight, and McMurry did it, almost exclusively with non-seniors.

Cory Altenberg and Thomas Dimitri were the two seniors on the men's team that saw 10 all-America awards this weekend at the national meet including Dimitri. A young core of sprinters along with Terry Smith who will come back next year as a senior. Two pole vaulters have eligibility remaining on the men's side, and then of course, there's the recruiting season that always seems to bring in new talent that is ready to compete at the national level.

In retrospect, yes McMurry would have loved to bring home its second outdoor championship in three seasons, but McMurry and head coach Barbara Crousen will continue to build on their juggernaut for the 2011 season.

I enjoyed my time covering this year's national meet and enjoyed the successes of our athletes and coaches. I hope our McMurry fans, who've followed this blog and have enjoyed the coverage as well.

This will officially wrap up the 2009-2010 school year and its athletics calendar. For you blog followers, I apologize for my inconsistency this year, but I hope you'll continue to come back to this page for tidbits and insight on McMurry's athletics programs. I blame some of my sporadic blogging on finishing my master's degree, and my goal next school year is to be more dedicated to what I believe to be a very valuable outlet.

I will update some in the summer on little bits and pieces when I can, but we'll heat it up again for football training camp beginning in August.

Stay tuned ...

Headed towards the final stretch

There is exactly one hour before McMurry's last event, the 4X400-meter dash. We've scored a few points today, and the goal for head coach Barbara Crousen is to finish in the top four teams, which ensures bring home an NCAA trophy.

Through the 400-meter finals, with the high jump, discus, 200-meter dash, the 5,0000-meter run and the 4X400-meter relay to go, McMurry is in seventh place with 17.5 points needing nine points to pass Springfield College for fourth. In addition, they'll have to pass Amherst (sixth) and Wisconsin-La Crosse (fifth). Both Springfield (26.0 points) and Amherst (18.0 points) are finished scoring, however, La Crosse has 23 points and has the 4X400-meter race to go.

McMurry's last event will also be the 4X400-meter race and will need to win the national title to take fourth place while La Crosse will have to finish in seventh or eighth place out of eight teams.

Stryker Pena (pictured) cleared the first bar at 6-6 in the high jump, but failed to advance on the 6-8 height. Although the final results are not in, it's unlikely the Pena finished in the top eight to score points.

McMurry scored points today with Kevin Cunningham finishing fourth in the 400-meter hurdles where Terry Smith finished eighth; both earned all-America status. The men's 4X100-meter relay team placed fourth with a time of 41.38 (0.35 seconds slower than their qualifying time). That team consisting of Kenneth Turner, Trevon Odom, Gavan Bass and Josh Zu-Bolton earned all-America status for their performance.

The 4X400-meter relay team consists of Kevin Cunningham, Terry Smith, Marcus Thompson and Kolby Barnhill. McMurry enters the finals with the sixth-best qualifying time, running in lane seven; the event begins at 4:55 p.m. EST.

We'll wrap it up later tonight

Friday, May 28, 2010

0 for 3 on day two - McMurry needs a big day tomorrow

So far, it hasn't turned out like McMurry University's No. 1-ranked men's track team wanted it to at the outdoor national track meet. On day two, Terry Smith missed qualifying in the 110-meter hurdles while Gavan Bass and Josh Zu-Bolton were kept out of the 100-meter dash finals by fractions of a second.

Yesterday, I was at the stadium for just over seven hours, while today, it only took an hour for all three athletes to be done today. This sets up a very big day three for McMurry if they want to compete for a trophy (top four finish). Kevin Cunningham and Terry Smith have guaranteed points in tomorrow's 400-meter hurdles as they are already guaranteed all-America status with just eight places remaining for the final run tomorrow. In addition, Stryker Pena will try and crack into the top eight in the high jump. And of course, McMurry will need a strong showing in both the 4X100-meter and 4X400-meter relays.

McMurry has 6.5 points after day two. Read the official release from today's events by clicking here.

For the rest of the track team, coach Holmes and I along with volunteer assistant track coaches Jason Reeves and Randy Willis went to down town Cleveland and explored for a while and made a trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Another long day in store tomorrow, and McMurry is due for some success.

Stay tuned ...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Reflections on Day 1

In case you missed today's official recap, click here. In case you missed EITHER of the two photo galleries, click here and here. If you didn't see the YouTube Video of our men's 4X100-meter relay race, click here.

Now, on to more business. There's good news and bad news. The bad news is, overall, in my humble opinion, we underachieved a little bit today. The positives included what is to come with both relays qualifying and with Smith and Cunningham advancing to the finals in the 400-meter finals. On the women's side, Breana outperformed her seeding, which is all you can ask four.

In the men's pole vault, Cory dropped to ninth, but Thomas was able to jump up to a tie for seventh with Stephen finishing fourth. At the end of the day, we were seeded to have two athletes score points in the men's pole vault, and they did.

The long jump and the 200-meter race hurt us as none of our athletes were able to reach the finals. With North Central College already at 23 points, McMurry will have their work cut out for them in the next 48 hours.

That brings us to the good news. Along with the aforementioned relay teams and 400-meter hurdle athletes advancing, there is still a chance for Stryker Pena, Gavan Bass, Josh Zu-Bolton and Terry Smith to qualify in individual events. There's much potential for McMurry to score points and make a run at the title, now we'll have to wait and see.

I thought Breana's story was a great one; already a three-time all-American between indoor and outdoor - she battles an ankle injury all year, and jumps nine spots from her No. 15 seed to earn all-America status for the third-straight year in the outdoor long jump. Congratulations and kudos to her!

Also, there have always been pole vaulters on both the men's and women's side at McMurry, and in large part because of six-time national champion Brad Parris as the assistant coach. I know that Brad was proud to see Thomas Dimitri (pictured) close out his senior season and career with another all-America finish. Dimitri finishes his career with two-straight all-America finishes in the top eight at outdoor nationals and was a key part in four-straight ASC titles for the men. Congratulations to Thomas and it looks like the three teammates he competed alongside today will help carry on the McMurry pole vault legacy.

The McMurry men have 6.5 points heading into tomorrow, it was 92 degrees in Berea today and felt an awful lot like home. Tomorrow calls for 79-degree weather, that will be a welcome change, and maybe momentum can swing back in McMurry's favor on the men's side as well.

It's been a long day, but I'm looking forward to two more ...

Stay tuned ...

Thursday Update No. 1

Day one Part One PHOTO GALLERY

McMurry is busy today, leaving me very little time to provide updates, but I'm going to give at least one today (right now) before I go out and get the rest. Holly Rollins' (pictured) junior season came to a disappointing end earlier this afternoon. Two weeks ago, she jumped 12-09, however her knee, which she's had surgery on twice since winning the national title as a freshman in 2008 - flared up today and she was unable to clear 11-10 to advance. Head coach Barbara Crousen said she battled her knee warming up and gave her best effort.

Meanwhile it appears that Breana Anderson-Burton will reach the finals later this afternoon. She jumped 5.61 meters, and the second flight of athletes is still competing, but she is sitting fourth, and she must finish in the top nine.

With the men's pole vault, 400-meter hurdles (prelims), and men's 4X400-meter relay (prelims) to go today, the 4X100-meter relay team won their heat, and finished fifth to advance to the finals, which is scheduled for Saturday at 1:10 p.m. Gavan Bass, Josh Zu-Bolton, Trevon Odom and Kenneth Turner competed today in the 4X100. Below is the video of their preliminary run with Turner starting out and Zu-Bolton finishing. There is no zoom on my Flip cam, but you get the idea:

Stay tuned ...

What to expect for Thursday

For the McMurry men to win their second outdoor national title in three years, Thursday could prove to be a very crucial day. While much of McMurry’s participation today will be in the preliminary rounds of the 4X100 and 4X400-meter relays as well as the 400-meter hurdles and 200-meter dash preliminaries, six athletes have a chance to begin scoring points today in the pole vault and the long jump.

The tandem of Stephen Toler, Cory Altenburg, Thomas Dimitri and Brock Steinbock all qualified for the pole vault. If all four, or even three of the four McMurry athletes could place in the top eight, not only would they receive all-America status, but they would score team points for McMurry. The event begins at 5 p.m. EST.

Based upon each of the athletes’ top jumps this season, two of the four athletes (Toler and Altenburg) are projected to finish in the top eight while Dimitri is on the bubble at ninth and Steinbock ranks 13th. Toler had the second-best jump in the nation at the last-chance meet in Abilene May 20 with a jump of 17-00.75 while Altenberg has the fourth-best jump this season when he jumped 16-08.00 April 1. McMurry could use Toler and Altenberg staying put or moving up a spot, and then the senior Dimitri will look to break into the top ten along with the freshman Steinbock.

In addition, two McMurry men will participate in the long jump (6 p.m. EST) with the top two marks in the nation coming in. If Stryker Pena and Gavan Bass can hold these top positions, it would mean key points for McMurry heading into the final two days.

On the women’s side, both competitors will be done after today. Holly Rollins competes in the pole vault and Breana Anderson-Burton competes in the long jump.

Rollins will actually be the first McMurry athlete we see in action as she attempts to complete her come back after two knee surgeries and return as national champion. The women’s pole vault begins at 1 p.m. and Rollins, the 2008 outdoor champion, enters as the No. 5 seed with a season’s best jump of 12-09.00. She jumped 12-10.25 as a freshman in 2008 to win the title, so she is just behind the pace of her career best.

Anderson-Burton’s longest mark of the season in the long jump is 18-09.75 and she ranks 15th out of 19 entrants headed into the national meet. She’ll have her work cut out if she wants to break in the top eight to earn her fourth career all-America award between indoor and outdoor track. The women’s long jump begins at 3 p.m. EST.

The men’s 4X100-meter relay preliminaries begin at 4 p.m. EST, the men’s 400-meter hurdle preliminaries begin at 5:20 p.m. EST, the men’s 200-meter dash preliminaries begin at 6:15 p.m. EST and the 4X400-meter relay preliminaries begin at 7:25 p.m.

Coach Holmes and I will head to the meet around Noon and will try to catch up with Rollins and the rest of the McMurry track team.

Stay tuned …

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

National Outdoor Track Coverage is HERE

Even having worked in sports information for now nearly eight years, I have been to only a handful of college track meets. However, this year I'm headed to Barea, Ohio for the 2010 NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships to give McMurry University some very much deserved publicity. Considering the amount of athletes that come out of this region to the national meets, McMurry is a minority. In Division III, track has been consistently dominated by midwest and northeastern schools. However, head coach Barbara Crousen (2010 South/Southeast Region Coach of the Year) has made the track program a mainstay in the division, highlighted by the men's national outdoor championship in 2008. Not only was it track's first ever team national championship, it was McMurry University's first team national championship of any kind since the school opened its doors in 1923.

So, this year, the first without McMurry phenom Hann Ollison, the men's team hasn't missed a beat and was a perfect 8 for 8 this season as the No. 1-ranked team in NCAA Division III by the weekly USTFCCA polls beginning in April.

I, along with athletics director Ron Holmes, will be soaking in three days of track and field action. While will have all the "official" information, our true track fans should check this blog for constant updates. We will hopefully be bringing you videos, photos and mini-feature stories as well as general updates throughout the day with official recaps on the main athletics page in the evenings.

I will depart from the Abilene Regional Airport tomorrow (Wednesday) and will be there Thursday ready for action. In the mean time, here are some key links in case you've missed them:

Release about the 15 athletes headed to Barea, Ohio for the national meet
Baldwin-Wallace College's official host page of the meet
Full List of Men's entrants
Full List of Women's entrants
McMurry's career list of record and all-Americans through 2009

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Baseball season starting to turnaround

After McMurry just completed a 3-game sweep of Schreiner this afternoon and went 4-0 for the week (also taking a game from nationally-ranked Trinity Tuesday), the grim 1-6 start for the team has started to distance itself from the improvement the team has made over the past 18 games. The struggling Schreiner team came to Abilene at a good time for McMurry's sake as the team was able to reach nearly .500 overall at 12-13 and moved to 5-4 in the American Southwest Conference West Division. Below are some notes that I listed after the Schreiner series and pitcured to the left is Zack Hewitt who threw the only complete nine-inning game since Dakota Smith's complete game victory in 2008 in the ASC Tournament Championship game.

Here are the tidbits:

Jeff Jackson's three combined RBI in the series Saturday gives the senior catcher 71 for his career and puts him at 17th place all-time passing Hank Casey's mark of 70.
• The McMurry pitching staff did not walk a single hitter in all 25 innings of work on the mound against Schreiner.
Greg Erickson has the McMurry school record for strikeouts with 14 against the University of Dallas March 4, 2003. Erickson accomplished the feat in 7.1 innings in an 11-7 win over the University of Dallas. The ASC record is 15 strikeouts for a pitcher in a single game. Chris Semchenko struck out 13 in seven innings Saturday.
• Several players for McMurry are stringing together hitting streaks; among the players on the list are: Jake Mullin (9), Derek Saltzgaber (7), Andrew Bell (6), and Matt Thompson (5). Saltzgaber has also recorded at least one RBI in six consecutive games.
• Since McMurry's 1-6 start, the team is 10-8 in its last 18 games and has raised it's team batting average from .250 to .292. Also, the team's ERA during the 18-game span has been lowered from 9.40 to 6.21.
• Friday night's start by Zack Hewitt, which the sophomore turned into a complete game was the first nine-inning complete game thrown by a McMurry pitcher since Dakota Smith had done so in the 2008 ASC Tournament Championship game May 4, 2008.

Friday, March 26, 2010

A few updates ...

* The big news of the day for McMurry fans in Abilene is the big change in the radio station that carries our sporting events locally. A couple of years ago we were excited to know that Radio Abilene brought the nationally-syndicated ESPN Radio shows to KZQQ 1560 AM. In bigger markets like Dallas where ESPN Radio is carried on 103.3 FM, there is a mix between the national shows, DFW focused shows and live broadcasts for TCU Basketball and Dallas Mavericks basketball. For Abilene, McMurry got to be a part of the "regional" focus of ESPN Radio in Abilene through our 60+ broadcasts per school year between football, basketball, and baseball. Then, last year Ben Dobson began a weekly, hour-long radio show and I continued that this fall before halting the show this spring. Al Pickett also carried his daily show on 1560 AM, which had some local focus to it and of course, Abilene High School football and Texas Rangers baseball professionally was carried on the show.

However, that all came to an end Wednesday when Radio Abilene dropped ESPN programming and changed to classic-rock programming. Parker Cannan, the Radio Abilene President, said that ESPN had forced the smaller markets that carried the nationally-syndicated sports-talk programming to begin paying monthly fees to air the programming. In the past, in an exchange for air time to air ESPN's coporate sponsors' commercials, the programming was free of charge. You can read more about the reasoning on McMurry's athletics web site or the Abilene Reporter News.

Initial plans are to continue our relationship with KZQQ as it has been successful in the past. However, we will not ignore the growing demand for Internet broadcasting, which in our first full year of audio / video broadcasting on, has been extremely successful.


Marc David continues to write the weekly college notebook for the Abilene Reporter News and Josh Lee was the former McMurry athlete featured this week. Check out Marc's article here which also has tidbits from news around Abilene College athletics at ACU, HSU and McMurry. Lee, the former four-year player for McMurry and coached three seasons at his alma mater, moved to NCAA Division I UT-San Antonio in the offseason as an assistant coach.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Big Day for McMurry Basketball in Thursday's Abilene Reporter News

Wednesday was a historical, monumental day for McMurry basketball and the athletics department as a whole with Ron Holmes stepping down after 20 seasons and Matt Garnett chosen as the successor. My press release was 1,500 words trying to harness the impact of the day, and I know I still couldn't do it justice. I went to buy an Abilene Reporter News paper this morning to see what the coverage was like of the event after watching the local television newscasts last night. The Holmes / Garnett story was at the top of the sports page with a good jump to page three and written by Sam Waller. Check Waller's article here.

But I also noticed two other articles in the sports section that also gave McMurry a lot of press. We honored Kit Kimbrell and Leon Rawlings, Jr. Saturday between the men's and women's games against Howard Payne. We invited the ARN sports editor, Greg Jaklewicz, to the dinner at Lytle Land & Cattle Saturday night to write a piece on the duo that has been calling McMurry basketball, football and baseball games for 15 seasons. We wanted to honor them for 15 years of service, but the ceremonies also included an announcement that Leon would be retiring following the conclusion of basketball season. Jaklewicz's article on Kit and Leon also appeared in the paper Thursday morning. Please check that article here. The picture above was during the women's game Saturday against Howard Payne. Note that not only will it be Holmes' last two games as head coach at Kimbrell Arena tonight and Saturday, but also, it will be Leon's last two games as well, and the last two times that Kit and Leon will call together.

If that wasn't enough, we've mentioned to you before about the "Thursday College Notebook" in the ARN written by former McMurry beat writer Marc David. He rotates between Hardin-Simmons, McMurry, Abilene Christian and Tarleton State to catch up with former athletes still working in the sports industry. You'll also remember that Jan. 30, Holmes held a reunion for three of his squads spanning from 1998-2001 and 14 members of those three teams returned to be recognized. Thursday, to lead off the College Notebook, David caught up with Daniel Martinez who still holds career school and ASC records for assists and steals. Check that article here.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Kiwanis Club Shootout Photos

The McMurry vs. Hardin-Simmons basketball rivalry has been one of intensity for both the men's and the women's teams over the years. But as important as the basketball games are to each school, there's always a reminder for both programs every year that it's just a game. February 1 marked the 13th season that McMurry and HSU have teamed up with the Kiwanis Club of Abilene to bring awareness to the Hendrick Children's Miracle Network and the Meek Children's Hospital.

Please check out the photo gallery link below, and then see an excerpt from David Jones, the backbone behind the Kiwanis Club Shootout in an email he sent following the event to the participants.

Photo Gallery Link

Thank you, thank you, thank you...for making the 13th Annual - Kiwanis Club of Abilene - Basketball Shoot Out a big success. Attached are just a few of the photographs from the Shoot Out so you can see the fun we had.

With your help, this years Shoot Out raised $4,005.07 for children in need. This makes the total amount we have donated in the last 13 years to the Children's Miracle Network and Hendrick Children's Hospital ... $43,377.06.

The Change Bandits did a great job again this year in robbing people for a good cause. We really appreciate the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Boy Scout Troop #206, First Financial Bank and of course the women's and men's basketball teams from McMurry and Hardin-Simmons for their efforts. Thanks especially to First Financial Bank, who was not only our corporate sponsor, but the fine folks at the River Oaks Branch also counted all of the money in the "Bandit Bags" that were turned in, which is quite an undertaking.

The ceremonial ball toss and half-time Change Bandit donations went great. Thank you coaches, players and universities for making our Miracle Kids, Keegan Vowell and Ryan Courvelle, feel extra special. I'm not sure we have ever had anyone ham it up quite as much as Ryan did during the second half-time. He was having a great time.

Of course, we really appreciate Melinda Blay and Megan Clifton and all the folks at Children's Miracle Network who helped with a lot of the details of putting the Shoot Out on and making it a grand success this year.

-- David Jones, Shootout Chairman

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Baseball gallery, football recruiting update

Baseball season was welcomed Sunday with mid-30's degree weather and a loss to NCAA Division II West Texas A&M. McMurry will try and rebound with a win Friday at noon against New Mexico Highlands and then will play another game Saturday at noon against the University of the Southwest. Our talented contact photographer, Brian Schmidt, took some photos of the baseball game Sunday and I posted 12 of them on the web site. Check them here.


The NCAA Division III rules don't allow high school students or transfers to sign national letters of intent. So on the big day when players declare where they are going to college, while it is binding for D1 and D2 schools, a high school athlete who declares they are going to a D3 school can change their minds at any point.

That being said, there were a few football players from around the area that said they would be continuing their playing careers at McMurry, see some of the posts below.

Abilene Cooper's QB Heslep to McMurry (ARN)
Albany's RB Hudson considering several D2 and D3 schools (ARN)
Abilene High's Mosley, Gorman and Brooks plan to attend McMurry (ARN)
Abilene Cooper's Beck, Lowry and Beall plan to go to McMurry (ARN)
Huntsville's Collier and Smith speak well of McMurry in decision (Huntsville Item)

Stay tuned ...

Monday, February 1, 2010

First-Half highlights from McMurry vs. Hardin-Simmons - MBB

First-Half highlights from McMurry vs. Hardin-Simmons - WBB

Men's Basketball Reunion story; McMurry vs. Hardin-Simmons

I'm sitting court-side at Hardin-Simmons' Mabee Complex in preparation for the McMurry vs. Hardin-Simmons women's and men's basketball matchups. I still contend after living here for nearly 20 years that it provides the best college-sports atmosphere that Abilene has. It particularly is good when both teams are highly successful and the student sections from each school give a strong showing. But nonetheless, there have been some great battles in both men's and women's games over the past few years here. The women's game should provide a strong matchup tonight because HSU is fighting to get back in the postseason tournament race. McMurry is fourth in the ASC West while Hardin-Simmons is just behind at fifth and needs to move to fourth to make the tournament in late February.

The other special thing about this matchup is the annual "Kiwanis Club of Abilene Shootout" which benefits the Hendrick Children's Miracle Network. Over the years, the Kiwanis Club in association with both Hardin-Simmons and McMurry has raised over $20,000 to aide the Meek Children's Hospital.

Below are some pictures of the McMurry men's and women's teams making a visit to the hospital. Thanks to women's head coach Veronica Snow for the pictures.


The McMurry men's basketball reunion featuring teams from the 1998-2001 seasons that combined for a 73-9 record and two-straight NCAA Tournament appearances was a success. Head coach Ron Holmes welcomed back nearly 20 players from that era. They were honored at halftime of the men's game vs. Concordia-Texas Saturday and a meal was held in their honor at the Wingate Hotel following the game.

Sam Waller, McMurry's beat writer for the Abilene Reporter News, was able to catch up with a few players, Holmes and Gerald Coppedge a former assistant. Check his article here.

Stay tuned ...