By Steven Bartolotta, February 14, 2010, 3:07 p.m.
I've got a question for all of you golfers out there. Why must all rounds of golf start before the sun wakes up? Maybe not all of them start that early, but too many for me to ever want to start playing the game seriously. Which brings me to my early morning visit with coach Brad Stracke.
It was very early when he stopped by my office the other day. I'd practically forgotten that golf season starts in less than one week until I saw him, but when I did it didn't take long to remember how this team finished and what lies in store for this team.
This is essentially the start of year two for Stracke who came in last winter to take over a program that was on life support. In his time he has revitalized the team with confidence, re-worked the schedule that has North Texas playing in some of the best tourney's in the nation, and most important started bringing in talent. Lots of talent.
Two of his biggest imports came from south of the border. Carlos Ortiz and Rodolfo Cazaubon both showed flashes of their skills in the fall and bigger things are in store for those two freshmen.
It won't stop there either. He was telling me about one of his commitments for next year.
(Quick disclaimer, all coaches in all sports claim that the kids they are signing are great, awesome, fantastic, and will come in and help immediately. We all know that's not the case.)
I decided to look this guy up, "I'll see if this dude is all hype from Stacke or the real deal" I said.
Mystery name entered into Google......waiting for results......my computer is slow.....its government issued....and bang. Holy #$^%#, THAT guy is coming HERE! Five-star recruit alert everyone. When signing day for golf gets here, (I might actually remember this year when it is), it won't take long for North Texas to be back on the collegiate golf map.
What about this year you say? Well Stracke is going to rolling out a lot of youth with some veteran leadership. In the "win now" mentality of sports, expectations need to kept in check but there are a lot of reasons to be excited about the upcoming spring season.
Stracke has put together a pretty tough schedule that will keep his team busy for this first month of the spring. It also gives him time to gear his team up for the ultimate goal of the SBC Tournament and going after the conference title.
The 2010 spring season begins in San Antonio on Monday. The lineup will be full of young faces, four freshman to be exact, mixed with an old veteran like all-conference performer Dustin Thompson.
For now, North Texas is still looking for respect again, but with Stracke's vision in place, it shouldn't have to wait long.
That's something I might even get up early for.