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GRATEFUL TO SERVE
I would like to open this Wildcat Wednesday email with a note of gratitude to the entire Wildcat family. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to serve this flagship university and be part of the incredible Southern Arizona community. Arizona Athletics is a nationally recognized premier athletic department with a rich history and a storied legacy of which I am privileged to be a part. We have achieved tremendous milestones and accomplishments as a team in my five years as Athletic Director and the future certainly looks bright. We are looking to add many exciting new chapters for this athletic program and this university. I want to thank our student-athletes, alumni, fans, supporters and Wildcats around the world for making our athletics program a special place that epitomizes championship excellence. To push!
SPRING GAME RECAP
The Arizona Football Spring Game turned out to be another memorable afternoon for our student-athletes, alumni and fans at Arizona Stadium. The fun and energetic atmosphere on Saturday was centered around seeing our football student-athletes take to the field and put on a show. The excitement on the field was a nice preview of Saturdays in the fall when Coach Fisch and the Wildcats enter their 2022 season. I want to thank our colleagues at the Pac-12 networks for streaming the game as well as capturing exceptional content that showcases our entire athletics department. You can watch reruns of the spring game on Pac-12 networks throughout the summer.
Over 200 alumni returned to campus for the weekend, which is an important part of our Wildcat Way student-athlete experience. Letter winners reconnected with teammates and made new connections with current football student-athletes at our Friday night Scheme & Eat event. We continued the celebration and encouraged our teammates and special guest coaches Lance Briggs (’01) and Tedy Bruschi (’95) in the spring game Saturday afternoon. We are focused on developing exceptional men and women in all of our programs to become academic, athletic, and lifelong champions. They stay connected to the program, which is close to their hearts, after graduation. Alumni reunions and celebrations are lasting memories that continue this heartfelt connection to the program.
Saturday was the official end of spring training for our football program as they wrapped up the semester. With just under a month to go before our membership renewal deadline, now is the perfect time to secure your seats for the football, basketball, volleyball and soccer seasons. Click here to renew your subscriptions. You can also purchase new subscriptions here to use some of our subscriber benefits.
TITLE IX ANNIVERSARY EVENT
Arizona Athletics honors 50and Title IX anniversary will culminate with a special celebration on Thursday, June 23, which is the same day this landmark legislation was enacted. Our athletics department is excited to welcome the Southern Arizona community to campus for the day, starting with a field day for youth in kindergarten through eighth grade to participate in athletic activities. and meet Arizona student-athletes inside the Cole and Jeannie Davis Sports Center. .
After lunch, we’ll begin an informative and inspiring panel of Wildcat trailblazers and icons to discuss the impact Title IX has had on their lives, sports in the United States, and the Arizona Athletics. The panel will include figures from the department’s history with an educational discussion of the impact Title IX has had 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 free meal will be offered at lunch for those who make a reservation.
The CATSYs, our annual student-athlete awards, return to the McKale Center on Monday, April 18. The event is free as our athletics department awards a host of student-athlete awards with Wildcat host alum Alex Flanagan. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. (MST) and the show is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. (MST). Fans are encouraged to sit in the McKale Center bowl above ground to enjoy the evening of programming as we honor our athletic, academic and life champions who live the Wildcat Way.
HOME MEETS SUCCESS FOR ATHLETICS
Last weekend’s Jim Click Shootout and Multis saw our women’s track and field team win the event with the men’s team in second place. Among the winning performances from our student-athletes, Samantha Noennig won another title in the shot put while Jared O’Riley won his first event of his season with a win in the javelin. We also saw another Wildcat sweep the podium in the women’s high jump as Lillian Lowe edged out her teammates, Talie Bonds and Alexa Porpaczy, for the win.
Congratulations to all of our Track and Field Wildcats on a terrific home game over the weekend. The program started the outdoor season on a good note, and we hope to see more excellence at the Mount Sac relays this week in California.
ARIZONA DIVING CLEANS PAC-12 AWARDS
A week after Delaney Schnell won the Pac-12 Female Diver of the Year award and Dwight Dumais won Pac-12 Women’s Diving Coach of the Year, Arizona Swimming & Diving topped the men’s side of all-conference awards in diving.
Bjorn Markentin was named Pac-12 Men’s Diver of the Year after an All-American campaign. Bjorn is no stranger to conference diving awards after being named the 2020 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year. Dwight completed the Diving Coach of the Year awards sweep by also winning the men’s team.
A SPECIAL THANK YOU
Monday night, 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 the premier showcase of our student-athletes, coaches and administrators from across sports and the department. All of our Wildcats have the opportunity to meet and thank their supporters and Arizona Athletics. Diamond and Platinum donors are Wildcat Club members 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 enables our department to provide opportunities for our student-athletes to become academic, athletic, and lifelong champions.
This event truly reflects our goal of a commitment to Total Athlete Success (CATS); 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 not only for attending this event, but also for your continued generous support of our nearly 500 student-athletes.
THIS WEEK AT BEAR DOWN BEACH
Arizona Beach Volleyball will host its final regular season games at Bear Down Beach this week with the Arizona Invitational as the program hosts Southern Mississippi, CSU Bakersfield, Long Beach State and Grand Canyon. The Sand Cats will play doubleheaders Friday and Saturday, starting at 11 a.m. (MST) and 3 p.m. (MST) on Friday, April 15.
Coach Walker and the Wildcats have won 80% of their home games this season because Bear Down Beach is a great environment to catch a game and enjoy Southern Arizona’s great weather. Admission is free for all games, so come to campus and cheer on the Wildcats this week.
We are also pleased 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 starting Wednesday, April 27 with Pac-12 networks airing the action.
SOFTBALL GOES HOME
Arizona Softball is back in action at Mike Candrea Ground 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 take place Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with playtimes at 5 p.m., 5 p.m., and 12 p.m. (MST).
The Wildcats have won 17 games this season at our historic facility, which features the best fans in the country. Home game days are a special occasion for our student-athletes, coaches, staff and loyal supporters. If you don’t have your Oregon Series tickets, click here. See you at the stadium this week.
IN SEARCH OF A CHAMPIONSHIP
On behalf of the entire Wildcat family, I wish Arizona men’s tennis well as they close out the regular season this week. The team sits atop the Pac-12 standings with games in Oregon on Friday and Washington on Sunday as the program seeks its first-ever Pac-12 championship. Winning a regular season title would be another historic achievement for Coach Shields and the Wildcats who have enjoyed a meteoric rise under Clancy’s leadership.
Our student-athletes and men’s tennis coaches are great ambassadors for our athletics department, our university and our community and represent Block A with pride. Bear Down, come on cats, and we’ll be cheering you all on this week.
WEAR THE COLORS – SHARE THE PHOTOS
Send us your photos of you wearing the colors while being careful!
Thank you for wearing the colors and sharing your Arizona pride! Be sure to take a picture the next time you wear the colors and send it to us, we might include it in next week’s Wildcat Wednesday! And even if your photo submission isn’t part of next week’s edition, please check out our “Wear the Colors” album on facebook.com/ArizonaAthletics on Fridays.
NOTE: Please submit photos for Wildcat Wednesday with an original email to [email protected] using the subject line ‘Wildcat photo Wednesday.’ Also ensure that all submissions are clear and properly lit. We also ask that you identify everyone in the photo so that we can highlight them accordingly.
Shoot down and go cats!
Vice President and Sports Director
University of Arizona