2007-08 Athletic Success
Individually, 63 Mean Green student-athletes were named All-Sun Belt Conference during the 2007-08 school year.
During the 2007-08 school year, the Mean Green fell just shy of a conference championship three times. Men’s cross-country, women’s soccer and the women’s track and field teams were runners-up in their respective championships.
The future looks bright, however, at North Texas. Five newcomers were named conference freshman of the year, including Alysha Adams who was named freshman of the year in in both indoor and outdoor track.
The Mean Green also received individual national attention. Wide receiver Casey Fitzgerald was named honorable mention All-American by Sports Illustrated after breaking every single-season receiving record at North Texas. He finished the season ranked No. 3 in the nation in receptions per game and No. 4 in yards per game.
Men’s basketball point guard Josh White also received All-America recognition. Following a season where he broke the school record for 3-point accuracy, White was selected to the CollegeInsider.com Freshmen Mid-Major All-America team. He was also named SBC Freshman of the Year.
The track and field team sent a student-athlete to the NCAA Championships for a fourth consecutive season. Not only did they send one, the Mean Green sent two. Toby Edwards and Ciara Smith both qualified for the 2008 outdoor championships. Smith and Edwards advancing, marks only the second time in school history that the Mean Green has had two athletes in separate events at the NCAA Championship.
The track and field team combined for nine individual conference championships at the 2008 indoor and outdoor meets. The Mean Green qualified for the NCAA Midwest Regionals in 16 different events; the second-most in school history.
Outside hitter Brooke Engel became the first volleyball player in the history of the NCAA to repeat as the national service ace champion. For her career, Engel leaves North Texas with every service ace record.
Second-year head coach Joe Dykstra continued to turn the swimming and diving team into an up-and-coming program. The Mean Green finished fourth at the Sun Belt Conference Championships, tallying its highest conference point total in school history. Dykstra was honored as the SBC Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year following a season in which the Mean Green set school records in all 19 swimming events.
Dykstra also helped two North Texas athletes become the first-ever Mean Green swimmers to post NCAA ‘B’ consideration cuts. In total, the Mean Green picked up all-conference performances in seven different events.
The women’s soccer team advanced to its eighth consecutive conference championship but fell to Denver in the finals for the second year in a row. The Mean Green finished with 15 wins, recording its 13th winning season, one for every year of the program’s existence.
Midfielder Janaye Woods was named the conference freshman of the year. She is the fourth North Texas soccer player to earn the Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year award. Woods was the only freshman in the conference to make the first-team all-conference soccer squad.
Another freshman sensation was Patrick Strong, who was named the 2007 Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year after his fourth-place finish in the cross-country conference championship.
Quarterback Giovanni Vizza rounded out the conference freshman of the year honorees for North Texas, picking up the award after a stellar season. His eight touchdown passes against Navy broke the NCAA single-game record for freshmen. His 2,388 passing yards in 2007 was the most ever by a North Texas freshman and the sixth-most by a quarterback of any classification.