2012-13 Athletic Success
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,swimming, tennis, track and golf championships, as well as the NCAA basketball tournament twice in the last seven years.
While a member of the Sun Belt Conference, North Texas has captured 23 conference championships since 2001. Individually, 89 Mean Green student-athletes were named All-Sun Belt Conference during the 2012-13 school year. In its final year as a Sun Belt Conference member, the Mean Green won five conference championships, including four conference tournament titles. The five Sun Belt championships are the most that North Texas has ever won in a single season.
Many North Texas programs had their finest seasons ever in their last year with the Sun Belt.
Cross-country and track brought home the most hardware. Women's track won the indoor runner-up trophy and held on to the outdoor championship title for the second straight year, while the men's cross-country took second-place honors in the fall. Four Mean Green coaches took home conference coach of the year trophies, including Carl Sheffield who has won three in the last two years with the track program.
Two student-athletes capped their decorated careers at North Texas with All-America honors, and a basketball player was selected in the second round of the NBA Draft.
Steven White finished his career with a third-place finish in the men's 400-meter hurdles in a school record 49.32 at the NCAA Championships. White's third-place finish is the best for North Texas by an individual or relay team since Bill Schmidt finished second in the men's javelin at the championships in 1970.
White was named to the USTFCCCA All-America First Team after being named to the second team the previous year.
Rodolfo Cazaubon was named to Golfweek's All-America team as he was tabbed as an honorable mention pick after his record-breaking season. Cazaubon became the first North Texas golfer to be named an All-American since Mike McCaffrey in 1992 and is the 13th player in school history to earn the honor, picking up the Mean Green's 21st All-America award since 1958.
This past season, Cazaubon became the first North Texas golfer to qualify as an individual for the national title. He finished in a tie for 32nd place at the NCAA Championship and the Golfweek.com final rankings put him at No. 39.
Tony Mitchell spent two years with the Mean Green and became the first North Texas basketball player taken in the NBA Draft in close to 30 years.
Three Conference Championships In the Spring
North Texas had one of its most successful spring seasons. Tennis won its third conference championship in the last four years and made its third trip to the NCAA Tournament. The men's golf team won back-to-back conference titles for the first time since 1974-75 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in three straight seasons, the first time in 37 years the Mean Green has made three straight NCAA Appearances.
The women's outdoor track and field team won the conference title for the second straight year, while the men finished fourth. The teams sent a combined three athletes to the NCAA Championships. It was the first time three Mean Green athletes participating in individual events have gone to the NCAA Championships since 1983.
Shahaf Bareni's sixth-place finish at the NCAA West Prelims insured her a spot at the NCAA Championships. Bareni placed seventh at the championships with a record-breaking jump of 1.83 meters, leading her to the highest finish in school history.
The tennis team capped off one of best seasons in school history with a victory over Georgia State in the SBC Championship. The Mean Green assembled an 18-win season for the second consecutive season and recorded the second-best season in school history with a .780 winning percentage.
Coach Sujay Lama was named coach of the year, Ilona Serchenko and Valentina Starkova were named to the Sun Belt Championships All-Tournament Team and Barbora Vykydalova was named the Tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
After capturing the Sun Belt Conference men's golf title for a second straight year, Brad Stracke was named the Coach of the Year for the first time in his career. He became the first Mean Green coach to win the award since David Foster in 1999 picking up the fourth such honor in program history. Rodolfo Cazaubon, Carlos Ortiz and Jason Roets were named to the all-conference team.
Back-To-Back Regular Season Soccer Titles
The soccer team led things off in the fall with a second straight regular season championship. The Mean Green went on to win its third Sun Belt Conference Tournament title. North Texas won 11 games or more for the 18th straight season, and won its fifth regular season title, advancing to the NCAA Tournament.
The Mean Green has already established itself as a regional power, appearing in the NCAA Tournament in three of the last nine years. In 18 seasons of play, North Texas has never had a losing season. NT won three of the last eight Sun Belt Conference Tournament Championships as well as five regular season titles and played in the conference championship in a league record nine times.
The football continued its climb back to the top of the conference with four wins in 2012. Since the opening of Apogee Stadium in 2011 and the start of the Dan McCarney era, North Texas has a home record of 7-4 in two seasons, a stark improvement since 2005. In the previous six seasons dating back to 2005, the Mean Green had won only five home games in six years.
The North Texas offensive line gave up the fewest sacks in the nation last season with six. In nine of 12 games, the Mean Green did not allow a sack. Starting junior right guard Cyril Lemon is the only player in the nation to start 24 straight games as a freshman and sophomore and earn back-to-back all-conference honors.
The men's cross-country team finished the 2012 season with a second-place finish at the Sun Belt Cross Country Championships. As a freshman, Troy Taylor led the way for the Mean Green, crossing the line sixth, earning Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year honors. Matt Russ was named to the All-SBC third team after a 14th-place finish.
Jo Adams was the first to finish for the women's team, crossing the line at second place, just seven seconds behind the first-place runner. Adams earned All-SBC first team honors. Adams went to run at the NCAA South Central Regional Championship and was named to the all-region team for finishing in the top 25 for the women.
Volleyball Team Wins SBC West Division Title
In what can only be described as one of the finest seasons in school history, the volleyball team tied the school record for wins at 26, advanced to the Sun Belt Tournament finals for the first time and claimed its second SBC West Division title in three years.
The Mean Green had a pair of players, Carnae Dillard and Courtney Windham, earn first-team all-conference selection for the first time in NT history, and the duo also earned All-Sun Belt Tournament honors - also a program first.
Mike Petersen began his first year as head coach of the women's basketball team. In his first year, Petersen won 10 conference games in the team's final year of play in the Sun Belt Conference, marking only the third time the Mean Green has reached the 10-win plateau in SBC play and the first time since 2001-02.
Freshman Alexis Hyder led the team in scoring with 14.2 points per game, while also setting the freshman double-double record with 10. The Mean Green also set the school record in 3-pointers made with 168.
The men's basketball team also had a new head coach in Tony Benford. In 2012-13, North Texas broke the school record for blocked shots with 153, and the squad's defensive field goal percentage inside the 3-point arc of 44.3 was the lowest in the Sun Belt.
Tony Mitchell rewrote the North Texas shot-blocking records and became the Mean Green's highest NBA Draft pick in the process. Mitchell was taken by the Detroit Pistons with the seventh pick of the second round on June 27, 2013.
The Mean Green swimming and diving team entered unchartered waters as it sent its first swimmer to the NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships after sophomore Kimmy Phillips's conference record-breaking time earned an invitation to the elite meet.
Led by Sun Belt Coach of the Year Joe Dykstra, the squad reached new heights, setting school records in 14 of 22 events and recorded a program-best second-place finish at the final Sun Belt Conference Swimming & Diving Championships.
Two divers (Catherine Johnson and Rebecca Taylor) achieved NCAA Zone Scores and competed at the Zone 'D' Diving Meet, It was the third straight year that multiple Mean Green divers qualified for the NCAA Zone Meet. Rebecca Taylor became the first North Texas diver to advance to the finals of the NCAA Zone, placing 15th in the 3-meter dive. Taylor also competed in the platform dive at Zones, becoming only the second North Texas diver to do so. Catherine Johnson joined Taylor at the NCAA Zone meet after placing third in both the one-and three-meter dives at the Sun Belt Conference Championships.
The women's golf team placed in the top five in two tournaments during the 2012-13 season. True freshman Georgina Mundy captured the UALR Women's Golf Classic title. She was the first freshman to capture an individual title since 2001 and only the third overall in school history.
The 2013 Mean Green softball team won nine of its last 12 regular season games to record its third winning season in school history at 29-24. North Texas also tied a school record for most wins in a single season with 29.
Tying a school record, three players were named to the all-conference team. Pitcher Ashley Kirk was named second-team all-conference, while Brooke Foster and freshman Taylor Schoblocher were named to the second-team at-large team.