Thursday, July 16, 2009

LSC Roundup 7-16

Finalists revealed for opening
EDINBURG — The University of Texas-Pan American has narrowed the search for its next women’s basketball coach to three finalists.

Through information requested under the Freedom of Information Act, The Monitor has learned that Stephen F. Austin assistant Taqueta Braxton, Division II University of West Georgia women’s coach John Craig Roden and Division II Texas A&M-Commerce coach Denny Downing were invited for on-campus interviews this week.

Downing has spent the last seven years as head coach of Commerce and this past season one of his players — Britney Jordan — was drafted by the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks.

“For me it’s a move up,” Downing said about the possibility of being UTPA’s next coach. “I’m going form Division II to Division I. Them being in a league really makes it attractive to me. It really changes things up when you are in a league. It really gives a reason to play and is a tremendous boost to recruiting.”

Miami Dolphins WR Anthony Armstrong has taken hard road to NFL
Players with Arena Football League roots have made NFL rosters. Players make NFL rosters off practice squads every year. But you don't find too many players making NFL rosters a few years after being on an Arena Football League practice squad -- while selling jewelry.

That's the deep route that slight, swift wide receiver Anthony Armstrong is running toward a Dolphins roster spot.

UIW 'strength' coach driven by memory of parents' advice about ...
As he neared graduation at Texas Tech last year, Caesar Martinez found himself in a quandary. Majoring in exercise and sports science, Martinez couldn’t decide whether he wanted to coach a sport or be a strength-and-conditioning coach.

Looking back now, Martinez said, it wasn’t a tough decision.

“I like to work out, so I thought I would like training athletes and helping them get stronger, bigger and faster,” he said. “So I decided to become a strength-and-conditioning coach.”

Martinez, who made the Tech football team as a junior walk-on in 2004, was a student assistant under Tech strength-and-conditioning coach Bennie Wylie for nearly three years before getting hired by Incarnate Word football coach Mike Santiago last summer.

W. Basketball. Women's Basketball Recognized For Academic Achievement
CANYON, Texas - The 2008-09 West Texas A&M Women's Basketball team has been recognized with 2008-09 Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll status, as announced by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). This award, given in NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA, and Junior College/Community College, awards teams throughout the nation that carry the highest grade-point averages for the entire season, based on the nomination submitted by the WBCA-member head coaches.

"It is always an honor for the WBCA to recognize these teams for putting together outstanding cumulative grade point averages," WBCA CEA Beth Bass said. "We want to congratulate each and every one of these teams for their efforts in the classroom and want them to know that we celebrate their hard work. My thanks go out to the teams for setting a benchmark of success academically among their peers in the sport."

The Lady Buffs compiled a team grade point average of 3.371 to earn the 24th spot on the prestigious list.

"Being recognized in the academic top 25 is always an honor, but this year particularly is extra sweet," said head coach Krista Gerlich. "Advancing to the Elite Eight means missing a great amount of class while enduring the time constraints of preparation and the stress that comes along with competing at a high level. With that being said, for our girls to still maintain a 3.371 is an extraordinary achievement."

The grade point averages were calculated by dividing the total number of quality points earned by each student-athlete on an institution's roster in the given academic terms by the total number of hours earned by the team. The GPAs are rounded to the nearest thousandth of a point. Teams making the list of Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll must obtain at least a 3.000 overall GPA.

Texans add Juco pitcher
Just over a year after taking over the program he once played for, Tarleton Head Baseball Coach Bryan Conger must feel as if hes light years further ahead than he was at this time in 2008.

Stockton added to Texan Baseball roster
STEPHENVILLE - Tarleton head baseball coach Bryan Conger has announced the signing of Keith Stockton to a national letter-of-intent to play with the Texans next season.

“We are truly excited to get Kenneth committed to our program for this upcoming year," Conger said. "We feel like he was going to be one of the better pitching prospects in the region next year, so to get him committed before his sophomore year is something we are very pleased with. Kenneth is a big, strong young man who is very athletic and he just goes out and attacks the strike zone. He has a very bright future.”

Stockton, a 6-2 right-handed pitcher, transfers to Tarleton from Cisco Junior College where he went 6-1 with a 4.35 earned run average this past spring. He attended Pflugerville High School where he lettered in both baseball and football. Stockton was a starter for the Panthers and helped lead his team to a trip to the 2007 class 5-A state championship game. He was named to the 14-5A All-District Second Team as a senior in 2008.

Stockton will join the Texans in August to participate in the fall baseball program.

Former TexAnn Ortiz hired as assistant softball coach
STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton head softball coach Julie Mata has announced the hiring of former TexAnn Leslee Ortiz as the program’s assistant softball coach.

Ortiz, who lettered for the TexAnns in 1998-99, comes to the TexAnns after serving as a head coach for the last seven seasons at Bruceville-Eddy. She was the head coach at China Spring for one year prior to her stint at BEHS.

“Coming back to Tarleton is something I have always wanted to do,” Ortiz, who played for the TexAnns prior to getting married as Leslee Drummond, said. “To have the opportunity to play for Coach Mata was wonderful, but to get to come back and coach under her is very exciting. I am glad to be back at Tarleton.”

Ortiz was a Second Team All-Lone Star Conference catcher in 1998 before being selected as an honorable mention catcher for the TexAnns her senior season. She was on Tarleton’s first and second South Division Championship teams, and she helped the TexAnns to back-to-back LSC Postseason Tournament appearances.

In her two seasons with the program, Ortiz helped the squad to a combined 61-30-2 overall record and a 22-10 South Division record. She played in 40 games as a junior, starting 38. As a senior, Ortiz started 35 of 38 games played from behind the plate. A graduate of Groesbeck High School, Ortiz was a first team all-district selection in high school.

“We are so fortunate to have Leslee Ortiz joining us as our new assistant coach,” Mata said. “She brings a great deal of experience to the position, having been a high school head coach for eight years and having played softball collegiately. She was an outstanding catcher for us here at Tarleton and our battery is going to benefit greatly with her knowledge and coaching expertise in their area in particular.

Mata also believes the new assistant coach will help the team in recruiting.

“Leslee is well-connected for recruiting and has a great eye for talent, having been such a successful college player herself,” Mata said. “She is smart, has a great work ethic and loves softball. We couldn't ask for better!”

Ortiz is married to former Texan baseball letterman Robert Ortiz. The couple has a 15-month-old, Rylee.

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Lone Star Conference

Angelo State University

Cameron University

Eastern New Mexico University

Texas A&M-Commerce

Tarleton State University

Texas A&M-Kingsville

Texas Woman's College

University of Texas of the Permian Basin

West Texas A&M University

Western New Mexico