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May 2008 Archives

2007 Soccer Media Guide Places 2nd Nationally

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The 2007 University of Memphis soccer media guide placed second nationally in the 2007-08 CoSIDA Men's Soccer Publications Contest. Among 38 Division I entries, the guide finished behind Indiana.

The Tiger publication finished first in District 4, which is comprised of DI schools in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama.

The 76 page guide was designed by Assistant Media Relations Director, Brandon Kolditz and edited by Media Relations Assistants Evan Elliott and Denise Thompson.

UNLV came in third followed by Wake Forest, Connecticut and Saint Louis. UNLV's publication was selected for the best cover.

This is the second consecutive year the soccer guide has been honored. The 2006 edition was named Best in the Nation in the multi-sport category.

Summer Update #2

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May is almost over and Coach McFerrin has been on staff for just over a month now. Speaking of staff, she rounded out her staff with the addition of Tempie Brown (Northwestern) and Danielle O'Banion (Minnesota) in the past week and now has just one spot remaining to fill -- the team's Director of Basketball Operations spot.

Since a lot of folks ask me this question, the Director of Basketball Operations (DBO) for the women's basketball team is kind of our team's traveling secretary. He/she makes sure that Lou Strasberg with Travelennium gets our schedule prior to each season. From there, Lou books hotels and flights and it becomes the DBO's job to make sure the team gets to the airport/gym on time and to get the team checked in and out of hotels once we arrive. On the road, the DBO also coordinates all the meals, whether it's finding a restaurant to eat out at or arranging for pre-game meals in the hotels we stay at...it's a busy, busy job. He/she also has to make sure that we pack everything that the coaching staff may need during the game (wipeboards, markers, water bottles, cough drops, gum, it's an endless list sometimes).

The DBO also oversees our student managers, of which we currently have three great managers -- John Nunnery, Ashley Snyder and Cornelius Sullivan. In pre-season, that foursome handles everything from uniforms and shoes getting ordered and logged in to the inventory to doing the team's laundry (both at home and on the road...we have some student managers who can probably tell you the location of laundrymats in a variety of cities across the country!). Once the team is in town and practicing, the DBO and the student managers arrive early to set the gym up for practice, run the clock during practice and keep any stats/video required, then break down practice in order for the Tiger volleyball team to get ready for their respective practices. The Elma Roane Fieldhouse is a pretty busy place from about noon to 6 p.m. on non-game days.

So, that's the short list on what the final piece of the coaching staff puzzle will possibly be doing. With each coaching staff, the duties vary a little, but in general, that's how that position has worked in the past. So the next time you meet the team's Director of Basketball Operations, be sure to thank them for keeping our travel party in line. We are a group of about 25 folks when we are on the road and keeping us all moving in one direction is quite the challenge!

P.S. -- Speaking of student managers...congratulations to former student manager Toby Bush. Toby was a student manager with women's basketball during his undergraduate and graduate career before joining former assistant coach Brenda Welch-Nichols staff at Mercer. Last year, he was the head coach at Neosho Community College in Kansas, but will be back closer to home after getting the women's head coaching job at Pearl River Community College a couple of weeks ago. Congrats!

Football Fan Fest

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Tiger Football fans should mark their calendars for Saturday, August 23rd, for FanFest. The event will again take place on football practice field 1 at the Murphy Athletic Complex located on the U of M's Park Avenue Campus (located off Getwell). The time has been set for 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. Players and coaches will be available for photos and autographs and there will be events for the kids. More info will come at a later date regarding parking since construction has begun in the area on the Tiger golf facility.

Brightwell's Blog #25

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Well, it's over and the baseball team, despite a disappointing year, went out on a good note, beating 30th ranked ECU Saturday afternoon. It was great to see the seniors have a big day in their final day.

In all, we said good bye to five seniors Phillip Utley, Chris Kirkland, Alex Fennell (Southaven), Neil Schenk (Briarcrest), and KK Chalmers (Southaven). Fennell, Schenk, and Chalmers represented the first four year senior class to leave under Coach Rock, I'm sure it was a special day for him as well. Schenk earned his first collegiate win of his career four years ago at East Carolina, and finished his career with the win on Saturday. KK Chalmers, from Southaven, has been the heart and soul of the Shoenrock era thus far. All the seniors will be missed.

It may have also been the last game we played at the park known as Nat Buring, It has been the Tigers home since they opened it with a win over Mississippi State on March 14th, 1972. It hosted 5 conference tournaments, was home to 5 NCAA Regional teams, 4 conference Champions, 9 All Americans, 94 All Conference players, and 57 Tigers who played pro baseball. Even though it has seen it's better days, It was kind of sad leaving the park on Saturday.

Just because the season is over, doesn't mean I won't be checking in. I'll be giving updates on how our baseball players are doing with their summer league teams and updating our pro players as well. I'll also update any info I have on the Lady Tigers.

Conference Champion

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So, this weekend turned out like it should have, but it could have still been even better. I don't mean to sound all selfish and greedy, but I saw something in myself this weekend that I've never had a chance to see. I was not surprised that my time in the 110m hurdles had dropped so drastically as it did in the prelims on Friday. Though I was reaching for an even lower time, I was still somewhat satisfied with my performance. Just as I did in the indoor championships I got out to a terrible start in the finals of the 110m hurdles. It was so bad that I was looking at the backs of two of the other runners for at least 50m; then I started to think about my family, friends, and everyone who had been so proud of me for winning last years championship. Even with the lead Kris Bell from ECU had on me, I was able to power up and zoom past him for the win. I tried to stress to my younger teammates afterwards that I won that race not with speed, not with talent, but with "heart". It would have been so easy to give up and just let him have it and settle for the second place again, but who wants to be runner-up? Not me!

So, I went on to win the 110m hurdles again, which was actually expected. The biggest shocker of this weekend was in the finals of the 400m hurdles. Since I've been running the 400m hurdles I've been known to run the first 200m very well and struggle for the last 150m at least. Saturday, I was a whole different person. One thing I knew going into the race was that I had a big advantage over the other runners...wind resistance. I already knew that most of the other guys would not be able to run against the strong wind on the first backstretch, so I knew that I would have to make my move there and early. Within the first 200m I had broken the stagger on the race, even passing the expected vector Jason Perez. Some things that were different about this race were one- I had never caught that many people in this race, and two- I was not even getting tired like I usually did around that distance. That was until...I CRASHED over that one bad hurdle that always messes me up every race. Just like that, victory evaporates in the air as the other runners zoom on past me as I slide across the track on my belly. Even though I was very frustrated afterwards, I was till proud of myself for pulling off what I did and looking as good as I did. I am sure that everyone else was proud too, so it was easy to leave the whole thing at peace.

Summer Update

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Well the Lady Tigers are all back in their respective homes for a couple of weeks for the summer now that exams are done and books are turned back in, but the women's basketball office is still hoppin' over in the Athletic Office Building. Memphis will be adding one more assistant coach in the coming days as Northwestern's Tempie Brown starting logging some hours in the office last week. Coach Brown will serve as one of Coach McFerrin's assistants for the upcoming year, meaning there will be one more assistant coaching hire and a Director of Basketball Operations hire still coming up. Coach Wholey is working on putting together a session for women's basketball camp, so watch for that on www.gotigersgo.com as well in the upcoming weeks.

Memphis added two more signees in the late signing period (see their release on www.gotigersgo.com on the women's basketball main page), bringing a northeastern flavor to the roster. One signee from Brooklyn will be just the fifth Lady Tiger ever from the state of New York if my research so far is correct. The last New Yorker on the roster was Annquinnette Burkes from Buffalo from 1996-1998. Prior to that, the 1979-80 team had three New York residents: Nancy Lemp (Islip Terrace), Marcia Monk (Warwick) and Mary Ann Scheirmeyer (Averill Park).

The Tigers are also getting their first-ever player from the country of Cameroon and the second from the continent of Africa if research so far holds up. If anyone knows of any other athletes who have played for the Lady Tigers that hail from outside the United States, please let me know at tdegroff@memphis.edu...Here's what I have so far:

Aroha Jennings, New Zealand, 2006-08 Charity Egenti, Lagos, Nigeria, 2002-2004 Jordie Soso, Australia, 2002-2004 Kalara McFadyen, New Zealand, 2000-2002

Some of the team will roll back in to town for summer classes next month. The full summer session begins on June 9th and will give incoming student-athletes a chance to earn some credits before the regular academic session gets going, allowing them to carry a more manageable course load during the academic year when the team is traveling and missing class time. The full summer session ends August 15th. For those who drive by the university daily, you'll still notice some traffic. That is the pre-summer session, which runs May 12th-May 30th. In total, the university has four summer sessions (pre-summer, full summer, 1st half and 2nd half).

Brightwell's Blog #24

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Last chance for the baseball team to get into the CUSA tournament next week in New Orleans. The Tigers must win one more game than UAB does this weekend. UAB host Southern Miss while the Tigers host ECU at Nat Buring beginning tonight. If we qualify, it will be the first time since 1997-1999 that the baseball program has made three straight Conference Tournaments.

Tomorrow we'll honor five seniors and Saturday may very well be the last game played at the Park known as Nat Buring Stadium. I'll talk about the seniors Tomorrow as well as memories of Nat Buring.

Hope to see you at the park beginning tonight at 6:30, or you can email me at MEMPHISRADIO@HOTMAIL.COM

Conference Time

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Well, the end is finally here. This weekend I along with the rest of the U of M track team will be going to compete in the C-USA Championship at UTEP. In terms of doing a do-over and winning the whole thing again, it doesn't look too good, but we are going to do our best. With this being such a young team and with all of the injures of important athletes we've picked up over the season, a second win almost seems impossible. But even with that said, we will still excel in a handful of events. With all the weight already on my shoulders, I will have to defend my crown as 110 hurdle champ and fight to get top three in the 400 hurdles. Overall, this has not been a good season for both me and the rest of the team, but I feel that everyone will pull it together and do what they have to do come crunch time. Since this will be my last conference championship, what better way for me to go out than with a BANG. I've always been known to show out and impress at Conference and plan to do that this year x's 2.

Brightwell's Blog #23

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Well, just 7 remaining games in the regular season and today we bus down to my favorite place to go in the Conference for baseball, Southern Mississippi. Although our conference is filled with top notch ballparks and great fans, I think the best environment is Pete Taylor Park.

I will miss the old press box though. The old radio booth was located on the top of the grand-stands in the box-seat section. Fans would often turn around to talk with me between innings and I've always found that the Eagle fans had a very high baseball IQ. The right-field roost is also one of the best tail-gating areas you will find. It's a berm that runs from the right-field corner to almost center-field. This is where numerous fans pull into the park with their RV's, trucks, and other various set-ups.

The Tigers have had success over the last two seasons, winning 6 of the last 8 including a sweep in Memphis last year.

If you're ever wanting to go watch the Tigers on the road during a Conference weekend, this is the place you should start.

Hope to hear from you all this weekend during the broadcast at MEMPHISRADIO@HOTMAIL.COM

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