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, track and golf championships, as well as the NCAA basketball tournament twice in the last six years.
A member of the Sun Belt Conference, North Texas has captured 18 conference championships since 2001. Individually, 83 Mean Green student-athletes were named All-Sun Belt Conference during the 2011-12 school year. This past season, the Mean Green won four conference championships, including one regular season championship.
Cross-country and track brought home the most hardware. Women's track won the outdoor title and the indoor runner-up trophy, while the women'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 received the honor for indoor and outdoor track.
Steven White was one of the most decorated Mean Green student-athletes. He was named an USTFCAA Second-Team All-American after finishing 14th in the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 400-meter hurdles. White also participated in the U.S. Olympic Trials in June in Eugene, Ore.
Successful Spring Campaign
North Texas had one of its most successful spring seasons. Tennis won its second conference championship in the last three years and made its second trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Mean Green won 18 matches for the first time since 1984-85 and finished the year ranked No. 55. Sujay Lama was named coach of the year, and he also became the all-time winningest tennis coach at North Texas in 2012. Senior Paula Dinuta was awarded the Sun Belt Tournament's Most Outstanding Player at the conference tournament.
In 2012, the men's golf team won its first conference title since 2003 and the 28th in school history. Ty Spinella won the individual title, giving North Texas back-to-back individual conference champions for only the second time in school history and the first time since 1965-66. Rodolfo Cazaubon and Carlos Ortiz made their third consecutive All-Sun Belt teams, becoming just the fifth and sixth players to make it to three all-conference teams in school history.
The No. 26 North Texas men's golf team earned the No. 5 seed in the regional tournament, making its 30th appearance in the NCAA tournament and first back-to-back appearances since 1974-75. North Texas shot a 2-under par 286 in the final round, but missed out on the top-5 and advancing to the NCAA Championships by four shots.
Track & field sent nine athletes to the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds. Steven White advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships after finishing 11th in the 400-meter hurdles. White, who came into the meet with the sixth fastest time in the NCAA, crossed the line in 50.64 seconds. North Texas has sent at least one athlete to the NCAA Championships in seven out of the last eight years.
North Texas women's outdoor track & field captured its first Sun Belt Conference Championship since 2005 in thrilling fashion, winning the final event of the night to seal the victory. After losing the 2012 SBC Indoor Championship in the final race, the NT team of Jamila Cartwright, Ashley Harrison, Chastity Stewart and Kendria Burton won the 4x400-meter relay by almost two seconds over second place finisher FAU and almost five seconds over the second overall team, Western Kentucky for the 121-117 win.
Senior Sara Dietz received the Outstanding Track Performer Award at the indoor championship. Dietz won three gold medals, broke her own school record in the 800-meter run and set a Sun Belt Championship as well. Dietz won the 1500-meter race at the outdoor championship and came in second in the 800.
Soccer Wins Regular Season Championship
The soccer team led things off in the fall with a regular season championship. Head coach John Hedlund was named coach of the year after leading the Mean Green to its fourth regular season title. North Texas recorded its 17th straight winning season and advanced to the semi-finals of the conference tournament for the 11th time.
Under football head coach Dan McCarney, North Texas set the all-time total attendance record in school history in 2011. McCarney himself recorded the most wins by a first-year head coach at North Texas since 1994 and the sixth most by a first-year head coach at North Texas.
Running back Lance Dunbar rushed for a single-game school record and Sun Belt Conference record 313 yards as he became the all-time leading rusher at North Texas. Dunbar also became just the sixth player in NCAA history with over 4,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving.
The Mean Green women's cross country team finished the 2011 season with a second-place finish at the Sun Belt Cross Country Championships. Head coach Sam Burroughs was named the Sun Belt Conference's Women's Coach of the Year. Dietz received All-SBC honors for her top-10 finish at the meet along with Ingrid Mollenkopf. Dietz went on to net All-South Central Regional honors for her finish at the NCAA South Central Regional meet.
The North Texas volleyball team followed up one of the best seasons in school history in 2010 with another stellar campaign in 2011, giving the Mean Green its first back-to-back .500 seasons in 35 years. Eboni Godfrey earned All-Sun Belt Conference, becoming the first Mean Green freshman to earn an all-league selection since Hall-of-Famer Corina Marginas in 2000. The Mean Green advanced to the semi-finals of the conference tournament for the second straight year.
Mitchell Named Conference Freshman of the Year
The 2011-12 season was another great year of North Texas basketball. The NT men made a third-consecutive appearance in the Sun Belt Conference title game, and Tony Mitchell was named Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year.
The women's team had one of the biggest turnarounds in college basketball. Under first-year head coach Karen Aston, the Mean Green won 15 games, an improvement of 10 games from the previous season. Jasmine Godbolt was named third-team All-Sun Belt.
The swimming & diving team finished the 2011-12 season with a No. 9 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 third-highest point total in school history. This wrapped up a season in which the Mean Green set school records in 18 of 22 events during the season and won four gold medals at the conference championships.
Divers Compete At NCAA Zones
Two divers (Catherine Johnson and Rebecca Taylor) achieved NCAA Zone Scores and competed at the Zone 'D' Diving Meet. Nine swimmers and divers were named All-Sun Belt Conference and two set Sun Belt Conference records. Catia Weickgenant set a 500 free conference and conference meet record and Krista Rossum broke a 100 breast conference meet record.
The women's golf team placed in the top five in three tournaments during the 2011-12 season. Jacey Chun was named All-Sun Belt after finishing sixth at the conference tournament.
The 2012 Mean Green softball team won eight of its last 10 games to record its second winning season in school history at 28-26-1. The 28 wins were the second-most victories compiled in a single-season in school history and the 26 losses the second fewest. In conference play, North Texas set a program record with 13 wins and went on to tie a program-best with a third-place finish at the conference tournament.
Maddelyn Fraley produced one of the top single-season performances at North Texas. She capped her season by receiving first-team All-Sun Belt honors at designated player. She finished her senior season by leading the team with a .322 batting average, 13 home runs and 47 RBI. Fraley knocked in the second-most RBI in school history and third most home runs.