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 five years.
The 2010-11 Season
A member of the Sun Belt Conference, North Texas has captured 14 conference championships since 2001. Individually, 58 Mean Green student-athletes were named All-Sun Belt Conference during the 2010-11 school year. This past season, the Mean Green finished in the top three at conference championships in six sports, including three third-place finishes for the Mean Green track & field teams. The volleyball team won a share of the West Division title, while the men's basketball team advanced to the conference championship game for the second straight year.
In 2010-11, both golf teams saw postseason play. The men's and women's golf teams received at-large bids to the NCAA Regional Tournament after posting record-breaking seasons. The men finished in a tie for second at the conference tournament and finished in the top 5 in nine of their 10 regular season tournaments. The women finished fourth in the conference tournament and won four regular-season tournaments.
The men's basketball teams have won at least 20 games for five consecutive years, and the soccer program continued its winning tradition by posting its 16th straight winning season in 2010. The swimming and diving team posted its third straight third-place finish at the conference tournament.
Individually, numerous North Texas student-athletes had stand-out seasons. Lance Dunbar finished fifth in the nation in rushing and led the conference in scoring with 16 touchdowns. Dunbar's 1,553 yards rushing was the third-highest total in North Texas history and the fifth-highest in Sun Belt Conference history.
Catia Weickgenant had four podium finishes and set school records in three events during the swimming conference championship. Catherine Johnson finished second in both the one meter and three meter diving competitions, and set a school record on the one-meter board while qualifying for the NCAA Zone Meet. Three North Texas divers competed in the NCAA Zone D Diving Championships in 2011.
Carlos Ortiz won the Sun Belt Conference Men's Golf Championship with a 7-under par score. Ortiz is the first individual champion for North Texas since 2003. He is only the ninth individual conference tournament champion in school history.
Track & field sent 10 athletes and two relay teams to the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds. Senior Patrick Strong recorded the second fastest 10,000 meter run in school history. Strong, who came into competition ranked 48th in the region, finished 28th overall in the national semifinal with a time of 30:02.82, just 42 seconds out of a berth at the NCAA Championships.
Alysha Adams earned the Sun Belt Conference Most Outstanding Women's track Athlete and the Top Meet Scorer Awards at the SBC Outdoor Championships where she won gold in the 100 and 200 meter dash, the 100-meter hurdles and the 4x100 meter relay.
At the indoor conference championship, Jordan Wehr was named the Sun Belt Conference Field Performer of the Year for placing in two events. The senior claimed first place in the heptathlon, second in the open pole vault and sixth in the high jump.
Redshirt freshman pitcher Ashley Kirk won tournament MVP honors after going 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA at the 2011 Courtyard Classic. She struck out 22 batters in 16 innings of work. In the 9-0 win against Wichita State, she set a single-game school record with 14 strikeouts. She went on to set the single-season strikeout record at North Texas.
Coach of the Year
On the coaching side, women's golf coach Jeff Mitchell was named conference coach of the year after winning four tournaments and placing four players on the all-conference team. The Mean Green made their first NCAA Tournament appearance in school history and achieved its highest ranking ever by cracking the top-50 nationally.
Chandra Alexander, Jacey Chun, Kelse Kipp, and Addison Long were all named to the all-conference team as North Texas never finished below fifth place in all 10 tournaments they competed in. The four players are the most in school history to ever be named all-conference.
On the men's side, the Mean Green returned to its storied past when it received an at-large bid to the NCAA Regional Tournament. It was the first bid to the NCAA Tournament for North Texas since 2003 and the 29th overall appearance for the Mean Green. The at large selection is the first for North Texas in the modern era and only the second in school history.
The Mean Green finished in the top-five in nine of their 10 regular season tournaments this past year, including a 20-stroke victory at the UTA/Waterchase Invitational. Carlos Ortiz and Rodolfo Cazaubon were both named all-conference this year and Ortiz won the Sun Belt Conference Championship with a 7-under par score.
The 2010-11 season was another great year of North Texas basketball. The NT men made a second-consecutive appearance in the Sun Belt Conference title game and posted a fifth straight 20-win campaign.
The Mean Green's seniors became the winningest players in North Texas basketball history, Josh White and Tristan Thompson led the way with 86 career victories in a Mean Green uniform.
Mean Green volleyball team posted one of the best seasons in school history in
2010. The Mean Green won a share of the Sun Belt West Division title and
finished the season with a record of 20-13, which is just the fifth 20-win
campaign ever for a North Texas squad.
The cross country and track & field teams continued their success in 2010-11. The squads posted three third-place finishes in the conference championships. Outdoor track advanced 12 athletes to the NCAA West Preliminary Round.
Patrick Strong repeated his strong performance on the distance side. He finished eighth overall in the cross-country conference championship in 2010, picking up all-conference honors for the fourth straight year. Ingrid Mollenkopf (7th) and Sara Dietz (10th) had top-10 performances and were named all-conference. Five runners competed in the NCAA South Regional.
The swimming & diving team finished the 2010-11 season with a No. 20 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 posting the second-highest point total in school history. This wrapped up a season in which the Mean Green set eight school records during the season and won two gold medals at the conference championships.
North Texas swimmers Rosa Gentile and Catia Weickgenant were named Honorable Mention Mid-Major All-Americans by CollegeSwimming.com. Weickgenant recieved all-conference honors in four events and set three school records at the Sun Belt Championships. Gentile was a member of two all-conference relay teams, one of which set a North Texas record at the Sun Belt Championships in Rockwall, Texas.
North Texas has had a banner year in diving. Three North Texas divers competed in the NCAA Zone D Diving Championships. Mary Beth Geeze, Delia Covo and Catherine Johnson were the first North Texas divers to qualify for the meet since Melissa Whitaker qualified in 2001 and 2003.
The soccer team had an eight-game unbeaten streak, and spent seven weeks ranked in the top 10 of the south region. Ellen Scarfone was named second-team all-region, the first time a North Texas player has received the award since 2008. Mandy Hall broke the career saves and shutout records as a senior in 2011.
After winning seven of its last 11 matches, the tennis team lost in the semifinals of the conference tournament. After defeating FIU to win the conference tournament last year, the Mean Green came up short to the top-ranked Panthers in 2011.