Champions Weekend To Honor UNT Legends
Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony To Highlight Events
DENTON - North Texas Athletics will host Champions Weekend in conjunction with the home football game against UAB Sept. 23. The weekend will be highlighted by the 2017 Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony and special recognition of the 1967 Missouri Valley Conference championship team, the 1987 team that played in the Division I-AA (now FCS) playoffs and the 2013 team that won the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
The Hall of Fame class is headlined by Darrell Dickey, whose 2002 team ended the longest bowl-victory drought in the nation; Josh White, the No. 4 scorer in Mean Green men's basketball history who led North Texas to the NCAA tournament in 2010; and Ramona Black, the No. 3 scorer in Mean Green women's basketball history who led North Texas to two conference titles.
The 2017 class includes Kendall Juett from soccer, Paul Draper from football and Don and Patty Lovelace, who will receive special recognition as the Fred McCain honorees. Tickets for the Friday night induction ceremony are available online here.
Alumni from the three historic teams of 1967, 1987 and 2013 will be special guests at the North Texas Letterwinners Association pregame tailgate party Saturday leading up to the game. The tailgate includes complimentary food and beverage, and members of the honored teams will be given two complimentary tickets to the game against UAB. There will also be special on-field recognition of each of the honored teams, and the 2013 team will receive bowl rings to honor their victory at the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 1 2014.
"We are really excited to start a tradition of honoring the great teams, individuals and championship performances across all of our Mean Green sports over one weekend," North Texas Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics and director of athletics Wren Baker said. "We feel that creating this weekend will allow us to provide appropriate recognition and celebration of those who have represented and upheld the highest of qualities that we aspire to live out every day."
Former letterwinners in all sports are encouraged to take part in the letterwinners tailgate. For more information and to sign up or renew your Letterwinners Association membership, former letterwinners should visit MeanGreenForLife.com.
The 1967 team finished 7-1-1 in the first year under head coach Rod Rust, including a 4-0 record in Missouri Valley Conference games. The team had 10 players named first or second team all-conference and four players were selected in the NFL draft the following spring. Rust was named the Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year. Led by junior defensive tackle Joe Greene, the 1967 Mean Green defense set a school record for total defense that is still intact today, allowing just 1,821 total yards.
The 1987 team, coached by Corky Nelson, finished 7-5 with a 5-1 record in the Southland Conference and qualified for the postseason playoffs. North Texas earned a final ranking of No. 16 in the Div. I-AA poll before losing to No. 3 Northeast Louisiana (Louisiana-Monroe) in the playoffs. There were 13 players on the 1987 team that earned first or second team all-conference, including freshman offensive lineman Scott Bowles, who earned All-America honors in 1990 and was later inducted into the North Texas Athletics Hall of Fame and elected to the North Texas All-Century Team.
The 2013 team is one of only three teams in school history to win a postseason bowl game, and one of only six teams to win nine games in a season. Head coach Dan McCarney led his team to a second place finish in Conference USA with a 6-2 league record and 15 players were honored with postseason all-conference recognition. The 2013 Mean Green offense racked up a school-record 5,336 yards and 31 rushing touchdowns while the defense allowed fewer points per game than any North Texas team in the last 15 years.