North Texas boasts a history of stellar athletes and teams that includes national champions, Olympic medalists and Hall of Famers.
North Texas greats such as Abner Haynes, Don January, "Mean" Joe Greene, Hayden Fry, and Elmer and Delmer Brown charted a course that has been navigated over recent years by standouts Marilyn Marin, Chris Davis, Patrick Cobbs, Jalie Mitchell, Jamario Thomas, Casey Fitzgerald and many others.
Since 2001, Mean Green teams have been a part of four bowl games and have participated in NCAA postseason soccer, tennis and golf championships, as well as the NCAA basketball tournament for the second time in the last four years.
The 2009-10 Season
A member of the Sun Belt Conference, North Texas has captured 14 conference championships since 2001. Individually, 69 Mean Green student-athletes were named All-Sun Belt Conference during the 2009-10 school year. This past season, the Mean Green won two conference championships and finished in the top three at conference championships in eight sports. Many of the teams posted their best seasons in program history.
In 2009-10, four Mean Green sports saw postseason play. The men's basketball team won the Sun Belt Conference tournament title and earned a berth to the NCAA Tournament. The women's tennis also won a conference championship, its first Sun Belt title in school history. Two Mean Green golfers, freshmen Rodolfo Cazaubon and Carlos Ortiz were selected to play in the NCAA Men's Golf Regional in Bremerton, Wash., in May, making North Texas the only team in the nation with two true freshmen individual players participating in an NCAA Regional.
Fifteen track & field athletes qualified for the NCAA Championship Preliminary Rounds in 12 different events in May, and four moved on in two events to the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., in June. At the championships, junior Alysha Adams finished 17th in the 100-meter hurdles, turning in a 13.38-second time and finishing sixth in the second of three heats. Adams also participated in the women's 4 x 100-meter relay at the championships. The team of Brittani Simmons, Adams, Missy Barnes and Brittany Blaylock finished 11th overall, three spots from qualifying for the final.
Men's basketball teams have won at least 20 games for four consecutive years, and the soccer team posted its 15th straight winning season in 2009. And, over the last seven years, five North Texas student-athletes have led the nation in a statistical category of their respective sports, with Brooke Engel topping the women's volleyball service ace charts for two consecutive years.
The future looks bright at North Texas. Two newcomers were named conference freshman of the year. Jasmine Godbolt received the honors in women's basketball, while Rodolfo Cazaubon was named freshman of the year in men's golf. It was only the second time in women's basketball and men's golf school history that a newcomer received freshman of the year honors.
Men's basketball had one of its best seasons in school history. The Mean Green won the Sun Belt Conference West Division Title, captured its second conference championship in the last four years and advanced to its third NCAA Tournament. The team won a school record 24 games, won 20-plus games for the fourth straight year and placed four players on the All-Sun Belt team.
Tennis also had a record-setting year. The team defeated No. 49 FIU to pick up its first Sun Belt Conference Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Sujay Lama was named conference coach of the year and the team received its highest national ranking (60th) in school history. Madura Ranganathan was named to the All-Sun Belt team, the first all-sun belt recognition in team history.
The softball team posted its first winning season in program history, recording the most overall wins and conference victories. The Mean Green secured its best conference finish (3rd) and then went on to post a third-place finish in the conference tournament. A record three student-athletes were named to the All-Sun Belt team. Mallory Cantler was named first-team All-Sun Belt for the third straight year.
The men's golf program has a storied history and the 2009-10 team made great strides towards returning to that time. Freshman Rodolfo Cazaubon and Carlos Ortiz both advanced to NCAA Regionals after recording record-setting seasons. Both freshmen were named to the All-Sun Belt team, and Cazaubon was named conference freshman of the year. Head coach Brad Stracke was named the Greater Denton Sports Commission Coach of the Year.
The cross country and track & field teams continued their success in 2009-10. The squads posted one runner-up finish in men's indoor track and three third-place finishes in team competition. Outdoor track advanced 15 athletes to the NCAA West Preliminary Round and four went on to the NCAA Outdoor Championship. For the third straight year, the track program sent multiple athletes to the NCAA championship.
Keyth Talley was named the Sun Belt Conference Indoor Track most Outstanding Male Athlete after receiving freshman of the year honors last year. He advanced to the NCAA Indoor Championships in the 60-meter dash.
Patrick Strong repeated his strong performance on the distance side. He finished fifth overall in the cross-country conference championship in 2009, picking up all-conference honors for the third straight year. The men finished fourth as a team, while the women were third. Ingrid Mollenkopf (12th), Sara Dietz (16th), Sallie Anderson (17th) and Amanda Kean (18th) had top-20 performances.
The swimming & diving team finished the 2009-10 season with a No. 16 final ranking in the CSCAA/CollegeSwimming.com Mid-Major poll. The Mean Green finished third at the Sun Belt Conference Championships, tying its highest conference finish and setting a new point total in school history. This wrapped up a season in which the Mean Green set a record for most dual meet wins in a season and won a record three gold medals at the conference championships.
The women's soccer team advanced to at least the semi-finals of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament for a 10th straight season. In its 15 years of existence, NT has never had a losing season. Kendall Juett was named first-team All-Sun Belt for the fourth straight year.