Saturday, September 27, 2008

Volleyball team to take on national power WT; Soccer falls in opener

The ACU Wildcat volleyball team defeated Eastern New Mexico in three sets Thursday night and will need a solid performance to knock off the West Texas A&M Lady Buffs Saturday afternoon at Moody Coliseum. WTAMU has lost just eight Lone Star Conference matches in history and is 14-2 on the year with a No. 3 national ranking. ACU handed the Lady Buffs four of their eight conference losses over a four-match win streak in 2004 and 2005.

The ACU soccer team fell in its LSC opener Friday afternoon to Angelo State with the Rambelles scoring their only goal three minutes into the second half. The Wildcats will try and rebound in their final non-conference match of the season Thursday in Dallas when they face Dallas Baptist.

The football team will see a new "air raid" attack from Eastern New Mexico Saturday. After years under head coach Bud Elliott running the wishbone, Mark Ribuado (head coach at ENMU since 2005) has made the transition to the spread offense in an effort to keep up with the high-powered offenses in the LSC, like ACU, West Texas A&M, Tarleton and Midwestern State.

The Greyhounds have struggled so far in their new system averaging just under 270 yards of offense per contest and carry a 1-3 record into the game. The game will be the LSC South Division opener for both teams in Portales, N.M.

If you are a Wildcat Insider, you can go to to see the live audio and video feed for the game. However, the audio will be the ENMU broadcasters. If you want to listen locally to the game in Abilene, turn to KYYW at 5:40 p.m. for the pre-game show.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Volleyball hosts first LSC game tonight!

The Wildcat volleyball team will try to move to 2-1 against an Eastern New Mexico squad that has struggled as of late. The Zias are 5-11 in 2008 and had a 4-25 overall record in 2007 and an 0-12 mark in league play. This is only the second home game for ACU at Moody Coliseum this season and ENMU is the first conference opponent to come to Abilene this year. The match starts at 7 p.m. and the Wildcats will try to improve on their 11-2 overall record and 1-1 league play.

Below is a picture of the 2008 squad on the campus of Fort Lewis College earlier this month in Durango, Colo.

Pictured from left to right on the back row: Britni Golden, Shawna Hines, Ericka Dickinson, Jennie Hutt, Michelle Bacon, Amy Wilson, Jordan Schilling & Lauren Leone. Pictured from left to right on the front row: Aubree Vick, Erin Curry, Kelsie Edwards & Ijeoma Moronu.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Volleyball rebounds against Kingsville; no live blog for football

The ACU Wildcat volleyball team made quick work of Texas A&M-Kingsville on the road Saturday to move to 1-1 in conference. Two nights after falling 3-0 to Tarleton State, ACU won 3-0 against the Javelinas.

Grant Boone, ACU's new play-by-play announcer, will not be in the booth for Saturday's football game moving Brandon Stover to the booth and me to the sideline. So unfortunately, we will not be able to do a live blog this weekend.

We will get you information as soon as possible. Be sure and listen on KYYW 1470 AM in Abilene or use the Wildcat Insider on

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Zinger of a Captain

First off, if you’re hoping to see the U.S. reclaim the Ryder Cup this week, I regret to inform you that the early signs aren’t promising.

Start with Sunday when high winds blew through Louisville, Kentucky, rearranging some of Valhalla’s outdoor furniture and even toppling a TV tower. (Unfortunately for the U.S. team, NBC’s Johnny Miller wasn’t in it at the time.)

It got worse on Monday when the European Team plane touched down on Kentucky tarmac.

On to Plan B.

Lately, Europe’s had to do little more than simply show up at the biennial matches to keep the Cup in its clutches. And now they’re getting cocky. Europe’s Captain Nick Faldo brought only seven of his players on that London-to-Louisville express.

Perhaps they’ll give the U.S. a couple of strokes a side, too. Maybe let our boys drive the cart for a couple of holes or buy them a Jungle Juice to put in their sippy cups at the turn.

Okay, so the Euros weren’t actually planning to play shorthanded; the other five managed to find their way to Valhalla on their own. But there’s no disputing that when it comes to the Ryder Cup, Mother England and her continental cousins have been America’s Daddy.

And there’s no reason to believe they’ll lose custody this year. Europe has proven to be the better team for the last 20 years, and now – if you believe the world rankings – they have better individual players from top to bottom, too, especially with Tiger Woods in absentia. In fact, the Europeans are probably more favored to win this Ryder Cup than they’ve ever been going into any of the previous 36.

Not only have they won the last two by a combined score of 37-19, Europe has won five of the last six and had possession of the Cup for 17 of the last 24 years. The last time one side dominated that dramatically, they had to change the rules to keep it interesting. After the U.S. won each competition from 1959 to 1977, the Great Britain & Ireland team was permitted to add the rest of Europe to better balance the two sides. From 1985 to 1993, the Cup see-sawed in symmetry: two wins for Europe, then a tie, then two wins for the U.S.

Since then, there’s been about as much balance as Shaquille O’Neal teeter-tottering an Olsen twin. The U.S. has won just once since 1993 and even that one (1999) necessitated the greatest Sunday singles rally in Ryder Cup history.

America’s ignominy sunk to new depths shortly after Paul Azinger was picked to lead the U.S. team after the most recent drubbing in 2006. The PGA of America granted the new captain’s wish of amending his team’s qualification criteria to allow him four picks instead of two plus an extra three weeks to make those decisions in hopes that he could field the hottest team possible.

The changes themselves make perfect sense; that Azinger felt the need to change the rules was to tacitly concede defeat under the previous system. Just as it was for GB&I in 1979. It’s a concession Azinger never would’ve made as a player.

In some ways, the presence of Azinger and Faldo as captains hearkens back to a simpler time in Ryder Cup history.

A time when the two sides hated each other’s guts.

Back when those two were in their Ryder Cup primes, most players stuck to their own tours with the exception of the major championships and a handful of others. In that case, it was a lack of familiarity which bred contempt. The two sides barely knew each other and what they did know they didn’t like.

What was especially annoying about the European players was how often they began winning, both individually in the majors and as a team in the Ryder Cup. For three full decades – the 1950s through the 1970s – only three players from Europe won a Grand Slam event: England’s Max Faulkner and Tony Jacklin (two) and Spaniard Seve Ballesteros. That’s four majors out of a whopping 120 over the course of 30 years. Not surprisingly, the U.S. lost just one Ryder Cup during that time (1957).

But from 1983 through 1994, at least one European player won a major each year except 1986. Thus it’s also not surprising that Europe would assert its Ryder Cup dominance, led by Faldo, during that stretch. From that landmark triumph in 1985 which snapped a 28-year winless streak, Europe has gone 7-3-1.

As they were getting over that proverbial hump, the Europeans also managed to get under the skin of their American opponents with an in-your-face attitude borne out of all those decades of being biennially bludgeoned. It was during this time that Azinger cut his Ryder Cup bicuspids, playing in three straight from 1989 through 1993. There were years when it appeared some of those matches might come to blows, and Azinger often played a leading role in those melee-dramas.

Two of his assistant captains this week are men he played for, Raymond Floyd (1989) and Dave Stockton (1991). Floyd, with that legendary Death Stare, has never backed down from a fight; and Stockton was commander of the U.S. troops in the infamous War by the Shore at Kiawah Island when tension between the two teams was arguably at its height. Do you think it’s a coincidence that Azinger chose them as his lieutenants? (I’m giving you the Death Stare while you think about the answer.)

Azinger has a heavily infant infantry: six of his 12 players are Ryder Cup rookies, and he likes it that way. He’s embraced the role of underdog, colorfully noting earlier this year that the only experience a lot of U.S. players have is in getting their backsides beaten. That may explain why his rear infantry – the four captain’s picks – includes three first-timers (Steve Stricker, Hunter Mahan, and J.B. Holmes) and two (Mahan and Holmes) who have a little swagger and aren’t afraid to use it.

The PGA of America has put nearly every kind of personality in its captain’s chair in an attempt to reclaim the Cup. They’ve tried brash (Lanny Wadkins), defiant (Curtis Strange), emotional (Ben Crenshaw), contemplative (Tom Lehman), outspoken (Hal Sutton), and guys with big glasses (Tom Kite). Most of the time it hasn’t mattered who’s been at the helm. (Pep talks don’t usually work when you’re getting your hat handed to you as Sutton’s Stetson was handed his team four years ago in a nine-point loss at Oakland Hills.)

But it mattered in 1999 when that big believer in fate, Ben Crenshaw, had “a good feelin’ about this.” “This” was a four-point deficit his U.S. team had given itself going into the Sunday singles. You might recall how that story ended.

Azinger’s just as emotional but in a different way. Where Crenshaw would wait for fate to intervene, ‘Zinger would opt for storming destiny’s Bastille. You may remember that story, too. The Storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789 was the rallying point of the French Revolution, which kicked King Louis XVI of France off the throne and ended monarchy in that country as they’d known it. But not before a small town in an upstart nation could name itself in the king’s honor.

The town? Louisville, Kentucky.

Europe has ruled the Ryder Cup for a long time. But dynasties don’t last forever, and every dog has his day. Can Paul Azinger storm the Bastille with six rookies, no Tiger, and a three-Cup losing streak simply by the force of his personality? I don’t know for sure, but to quote America’s last winning captain on the eve of the Ryder Cup’s greatest rally:

I have a good feelin’ about this. That’s all I’m gonna tell ya.

Notes from around the Wildcat Den

Another great week in Wildcat Athletics. Men’s Cross Country is ranked No. 1 in the nation, and we told you earlier about new head coach Sam Burroughs and we thought we’d put a face with the name (see Burroughs pictured).

The Soccer team is off to a 4-2-1 start and is on a three-match win streak. The Wildcats are off until Monday when they face the other local team in town McMurry at 5 p.m. after defeating Hardin-Simmons Tuesday, 3-1.

Check out the photo gallery of the ACU vs. Hardin-Simmons game by clicking here!

Soccer Tidbits:

Jackie Gentile overtook the ACU all-time lead for goals Tuesday when she scored 86 seconds into the match off a double assist from Alyson Thomas and Jordan Reese; Gentile’s teammate Lyndsey Womack scored 10 goals in 2007 to lead the first-year program, however, Gentile’s quick start with four goals in the first seven matches gives the senior 11 for her career … ACU has given up just four goals in the seven matches this season and has four shutouts on the year; other than a 2-1 loss to Missouri Southern and a 1-0 loss to Incarnate Word, The Wildcats have allowed just one goal in their four wins and tie with Drury … Courtney Wilson was fourth on the team in goals in 2007 with six and she posted a team-high six assists, in 2008 she was off to a slow start before scoring two goals in the win over Hardin-Simmons to give her eight for her career and tie her for third all-time with Reese.

Click Here to LISTEN to head volleyball coach Kellen Mock’s comments about the Wildcats’ hot start and entrance into LSC play (5:37)

The ACU volleyball team didn’t get the best start in school history like it was hoping. However, a 10-1 record headed into conference play isn’t bad momentum. In fact ACU plays Tarleton State tonight in Stephenville for the LSC opener for both squads at 7 p.m.

Volleyball Tidbits

Abilene Christian's 9-1 start through Friday's loss was the second best in school history behind the 1991 squad that began the season 12-0 … Freshman Jennie Hutt quickly reached the 100-kills mark in ACU's first 10 matches and has 111 through Tuesday night's win UTPB … Shawna Hines passed Kayla Fisher in Friday's loss to Incarnate Word on the all-time blocks list at ACU and has 162 for her career through Tuesday; Fisher (1988-91) posted 158 kills in her four-year career …. Ijeoma Moronu passed the 1,500-assist mark for her career Tuesday night and has 1,529 for her career in her second season … Saturday's loss to Incarnate Word marks the first time in school history that the Cardinals had beaten ACU; prior to the win, ACU had beaten UIW nine consecutive times

Oh yeah! We have a nationally-ranked football team. The Wildcats (2-0) remain at No. 4 in the nation in both the AFCA and polls. ACU heads to Durant, Okla. to face Southeastern Oklahoma Saturday in hopes of moving 3-0.

Fans don’t forget to vote Chris Thomsen for Liberty Mutual Coach of the year. Click on the banner above to do so.

The Jog for Heart run benefiting the daughter of former Wildcat basketball player Corey Stone was a success. The family was in town for the weekend for the run and they made an appearance at ACU's football game.

The 5K run saw over 100 runners and through registration fees, donations at the football game and from the social club Ko Jo Kai, the event raised over $3,000.

"We were extremely pleased with the turnout and it was exciting to see the interest within the community in helping us with the cause," said ACU head basketball coach Jason Copeland, who administered the event.

Combined Blog Post from Commerce Game

We decided to delete the individual posts that we did throughout Saturday's football game with Texas A&M-Commerce.

However, below is each individual post in descending order:

The gap is not closing

Is there any doubt that the gap between the top teams in the LSC North and the LSC South isn't closing, but getting larger?

Today's game at Shotwell Stadium featured the two teams picked to win their respective division titles in ACU (LSC South) and Commerce (LSC North). It was never a contest.

The Lions had played pretty well on defense in their first two games, but they faced an entirely different animal in the Wildcat offense. ACU could have scored almost 60 if not for two Billy Malone interceptions in the end zone.

In its first two games, the Wildcats have posted 516 yards (vs. NW Missouri State) and 560 yards (with 55 seconds left in the game), an average of 538 yards per game. The offense purred along today to the tune of 45 points with Bernard Scott topping the 100-yard mark both rushing and receiving.

Next up for the Wildcats: next Saturday night in Durant, Okla., against the Savage Storm of Southeastern Oklahoma State.

Everybody's in today

Lots of faces have gotten on the field for the Wildcats today, including Abilene native Lane Miller, former Graham standout Chance McCoy, all of the backups on the offensive line and redshirt freshman Austin Kessler at wide receiver.

Ryan Boles was in on a kickoff and Alan Jay Copeland from Sweetwater was in on a couple of offensive plays. When it's all said and done, almost every Wildcat that suited up today will have played.

Lions on the move again ...

Texas A&M-Commerce backup quarterback Trent Miller has the Lions on the move again ... and he just threw a touchdown pass to Willie Thornton from 11 yards out to cut the Wildcat lead to 45-14 with 5:51 left in the game. Miller has completed 10 of 13 passes for 88 yards and one touchdown in the second half. Nice outing by the backup, who came into the game with his team trailing 35-0 at the half.

Terry Mayo was hammered by Bryson Lewis on a sack near the end of the first half (the play resulted in a return touchdown for Aston Whiteside), and he never played in the second half.

Considering he was 7 for 19 for 78 yards and one interception, perhaps the Lions should re-think their quarterback depth chart.

Cooper High School native in at quarterback

It appears Billy Malone's day is done with 390 yards through the air. He finished 24-39 for 390 yards two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Zach Stewart, the former Cooper Cougar made his Wildcat debut late in the third quarter and completed his first collegiate pass to Taber Minner with 1:01 remaining.

ACU 42 Commerce 7 0:15 in the third quarter

Another record for Malone

Billy Malone just hooked up with Bernard Scott on a 26 yard pass in the flat. That placed Malone over 300 yards for the day and gave him 15 for his career. That helped him pass former ACU quarterback Jim Lindsey (1968-70) for the most career games with at least 300 yards through the air.

Malone has only passed for 400 yards one other time in his career (Nov. 4, 2006 vs. Kingsville, 404).

Backup quarterback ends ACU's shutout

Bernard Scott scored again to open the second half for ACU and the Wildcats went up 42-0. With several substitutions on ACU's defensive end, the Lions marched 57 yards for their first touchdown of the game scored by backup quarterback Trent Miller who scored on a zone read, faking a handoff and running it in untouched from the 5-yard line.

At 42-7 with 7:05 left in the third quarter, the Wildcats could be on pace to break last year's largest margin of victory. ACU defeated Northeastern 58-7 last season at home.

Halftime Stat notes

Once again, Billy Malone will need just one touchdown pass to hurdle Rex Lamberti for the ACU and LSC all-time lead for career touchdown passes after he threw his 84th career touchdown strike to Chris Morris in the second quarter. Malone may play only a couple of series in the second half if the Wildcats continue their dominance.

Bernard Scott had never had a 100-yard receiving game in his career, however, in the first half he caught five passes for 105 yards and a touchdown whiile gaining 85 yards with a score on the ground.

Malone had 290 yards in the air with two touchdowns and one interception when a deflected pass was intercepted in the end zone.

ACU had 376 yards of offense compared to the Lions' 106.

Defense trying to keep up with offense

Bryson Lewis leveled Commerce's Terry Mayo from behind forcing another fumble in which Aston Whiteside picked up and ran in from 29-yards out. Since the score is 35-0 in favor of ACU, maybe we should keep the ACU offense and defensive score. So right now, it's ACU Offense 21 ACU Defense 14.

By the way, there were only 12 seconds on the clock when Mayo fumbled; a simple kneel down or run play could've left the Lions down just 28-0 at half, however, Commerce will have to settle for a 35-point deficit in the locker room.

Commerce broke double digits

Commerce is on a decent drive with 4:13 left on ACU's 33-yard line. The Lions just broke 100-yards of total offense for the day, and the Wildcats have 317 to this point. The home stands are basically full with the exception of the section to the north of the Big Purple band.

Brian Haywood just stuffed Maurice DuPont on a fourth-dwon and one from the Wildcat 28-yard line ending the threat of the Lions' first score...


I jinxed the offense in a good way. After three drives with empty handed results, Malone found Chris Morris who broke two tackles after catching the ball at the 12-yard line and scampered in for ACU's fourth touchdown of the day.

For Malone, it was his 84th career touchdown pass tying him with former ACU Wildcat quarterback Rex Lamberti for the school's all-time career lead in touchdown passes. More importantly, Lamberti was the Lone Star Conference career record holder, so all Malone has to do is throw one more to hlod both the school and LSC record for career touchdown passes.

at a stand still

After a quick start, ACU's luck going into the now 25 MPH in to the N wind, it's still 21-0. ACU's had two punts and a missed field goal. Luckily the defense hasn't alllowed any productivity from Commerce's offense ...

Pouring it on, Wildcats go up 21-0

Tony Metoyer forced a fumble and Mike Kearn scooped and scored from 35-yards out to help the Wildcats extend its first quarter lead to 21 points over nationally-ranked Texas A&M-Commerce.

ACU 21 Commerce 0 3:53 left in the first quarter

Great Scott! Wildcats up 14-0

Bernard Scott scored on a 45-yard run after a 3-and-out by TAMC's offense. 3-play 54 yard drive, 1:27 off the clock. ACU 14 Commerce 0 8:55 remaining in the first. Scott already has 94 yards of all-purpose offense. It began to rain shortly, however, the sun is peaking out of the clouds right now as Comerce takes the field on offense.

Four Minutes til Kickoff

It's hot in the press box but pleasant on the field ... NW wind around 15 MPH, 82 degrees and overcast ... the band just got through playing Grandioso, the fight song, the school song and the national anthem ... Captains are going for the coin toss at midfield. The home stands are about 60 percent full while Commerce has maybe 50 fans on the visitor's side ... ACU wins the toss and will defer to the second half. Commerce will receive and ACU will defend the north end of the field ... ACU in purple jerseys, black pants, purple helmets ... The Wildcats' coaching staff is wearing white polos, khaki pants and tennis shoes ... Commerce looks much like the old Los Angeles Rams on the road with white jerseys, navy numerals, gold pants, however, they're featuring a new helmet with Commerce's new Lions logo ... more later after the starting lineups


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Vote for Coach Thomsen as Coach of the Year

ACU head football coach Chris Thomsen is once again on the ballot for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year award, and you can help him win the award in 2008 by voting for him as many times as possible.

The Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year is awarded to the college football coach who best demonstrates sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility, and excellence on and off the field.

In 2008, a Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year will be named in each NCAA division: IA, I-AA, D-II, and D-III. The award process will take place over the course of the college football season, and fan votes will influence the outcome.

Vote here today.

Tickets on sale for track banquet

The ACU track and field program will host its annual awards banquet on Thursday, Oct. 23, to honor its top athletes from the 2007-08 season.

The dinner will be at 6 p.m. at Hillcrest Church of Christ.  Tickets to the banquet are $15 and can be purchased by calling head coach Don D. Hood at (325) 674-2711.

The guest speaker this year will be Bob Fraley, the director of track and field at Fresno State University and the founder of the Pole Vault Summit.  Fraley's role in the 1989 creation of the summit helped rejuvenate the pole vault in the United States, and it annually attracts more than 2,000 male and female athletes from teenagers to Olympic gold medalists.

As a result of his contributions, Fraley was recently inducted into the Pole Vault Hall of Fame.  Credited nationwide with spearheading the development of the pole vault, Fraley joined Dave Roberts (former world-record holder) and Mike Tulley (silver medalist at the 1984 Olympic Games) as Hall of Fame inductees at the 2006 Pole Vault Summit.

Catching up with Chris Thomsen

Click on the link below for a podcast with head football coach Chris Thomsen:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Volleyball, soccer teams win home-openers

Both the ACU volleyball and women's soccer teams won their home-openers on Tuesday with the volleyball team beating Texas-Permian Basin, 3-0, and the soccer team beating Hardin-Simmons, 3-1.

Both teams played in front of nice home crowds as the volleyball team improved to 10-1 on the season, while the soccer team moved its record to 4-2-1. The volleyball team won't be back at home until it hosts Eastern New Mexico at 7 p.m. on Sept. 25. The soccer team isn't playing at home Monday, but it is playing in Abilene as the Wildcats play at McMurry at 5 p.m.

If you didn't take the chance to see either team Tuesday, don't miss the chance to see them in Abilene at some point this season.

ACU's third-year volleyball coach, Kellen Mock, has the Wildcats playing well in the early going, although the competition will get a little bit tougher starting Thursday when the Wildcats open Lone Star Conference play in Stephenville against Tarleton State. ACU then goes to Kingsville on Saturday to take on Texas A&M-Kingsville.

The Wildcats have a solid young nucleus in Jordan Schilling, Shawna Hines, Michelle Bacon, Ijeoma Moronu, Jennie Hutt and Britni Golden, one that could push the Wildcats back to the elite level in the region. Don't forget, it was just three seasons ago (2005) that the Wildcats were one win away from going to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight, but lost to No. 1-ranked Nebraska-Kearney on its home floor in the regional tournament championship match.

With another solid recruiting year, another year of experience -- and the expected 2009 return of middle blocker Lauren Leone, who is out this season with a knee injury -- don't think the Wildcats aren't thinking that next year could be the year they make a serious run at that berth in the national tournament. Not that they don't have post-season goals this year. This year's team could put the Wildcats back in the regional tournament after missing last year, but defending regional champion West Texas A&M will be a tough out in any tournament.

Should be a lot of fun to watch this team over the next two or three seasons.

On the soccer pitch, head coach Casey Wilson and assistant coach Thomas Pertuit went out during the off-season and brought in several transfers who have paid immediate dividends. One of their goals in recruiting was to find players who would make the Wildcats tougher on defense.

Consider that done as the Wildcats have allowed just four goals in seven matches, and two of those came in the first match of the season, a 2-1 loss at Missouri Southern. In their last six matches, ACU has allowed two goals and pitched four shutouts.

Like the volleyball team, the soccer team is full of players who will be around for at least two more seasons, including goalkeeper Crissy Lawson, defender Anastasia Nelson and midfielder Alyse Ritchie, along with Courtney Wilson, Jordan Reese and Lyndsey Womack.

After Monday's match at McMurry, the Wildcats will return to the ACU Soccer Field next Friday (Sept. 26) to open LSC play against Angelo State at 4 p.m. Make sure you get by to see the Wildcats; you won't be sorry you spent your afternoon watching the Wildcats.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A chance for some interactivity at Saturday's football game; more fall guides, other notes

We're going to try something new tomorrow at the football game with Texas A&M-Commerce. For the few of you that won't be at Shotwell Stadium at 2 p.m. tomorrow, we're going to allow fans to write questions they want answered by Grant Boone and Chuck Statler on the air. Of course, Abilenians can listen to ACU's football games on 1470 AM KYYW, or out-of-towners can subscribe to the Wildcat Insider and get the game streaming on the Internet.

If you have a question or comment, submit your entry to We can't promise every comment will be read or that every question will be answered, but we'll try to work a few in. Saturday will serve as the guinea pig for future road games where this likely will be a more interactive experience for those unable to travel. So, try it out ...

Other notes:

• ACU's volleyball team lost its first match Friday to Incarnate Word in four sets dropping the Wildcats to 9-1. However, the 2008 squad had the second-best start in school history, so kudos to head coach Kellen Mock, assistant coach Lindsey Campbell and the rest of the team!
• Don't forget the Jog For Heart Benefit Run that is scheduled for 8 a.m. Saturday morning in front of Powell Fitness Center (right next to Elmer Gray Stadium). The run is to benefit the daughter of former ACU Wildcat basketball player Corey Stone, Lia Kate. Lia was born with heart defects and the event was scheduled to help offset medical costs and raise awareness.

Fall Media Guides in PDF Format

2008 Volleyball Covers

2008 Volleyball Media Guide

2008 Soccer Covers
2008 Soccer Media Guide

Thursday, September 11, 2008

ACU game time changed

ACU's 2008 home-opener has been changed to a 2 p.m. start on Saturday.  Administrators and coaches from ACU and Texas A&M-Commerce decided to make the move ahead of the impending landfall of Hurricane Ike, a powerful storm that could affect West Texas with high winds and heavy rain.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Another busy week in Wildcat athletics. While most teams are on the road, the No. 4-ranked ACU football team will play host to No. 24-ranked Texas A&M-Commerce to open Lone Star Conference play Saturday at 6 p.m. at Shotwell Stadium.

Weather could be an issue, though forecasts show just a 30 percent chance of rain, others have said that the Abilene area has the possibility to experience torrential downpour. Forecast

We could see remnants of the 1993 football movie, “The Program,” when Joe Kane’s team gets pounded in the middle of a hurricane. Or… it could end up looking like this:

… too bad Shotwell has field turf.

With as liberal a passing game that ACU has, it will be interesting to see how weather affects the play calling. Luckily for the Wildcats, ACU’s run game is pretty solid too with perhaps the best running back in NCAA Division II in Bernard Scott.

Check out the ACU vs. NW Missouri State Photo Gallery here
Click here for ACU’s Football Notes for week 2


The volleyball team, off to an 8-0 start and was scheduled to play three matches in San Antonio this weekend. However, due to Hurricane Ike, the tournament will be moved up a day causing ACU to cancel its match with St. Edward’s. However, the Wildcats will play Thursday against St. Mary’s at St. Mary’s at 7:30 p.m. Then Friday, ACU will face Incarnate Word at Incarnate Word 12:30 p.m. at UIW’s gym.

Freshman Jennie Hutt was named the Lone Star Conference’s co-Offensive Player of the Week for her performance at the Skyhawk Classic in Durango, Colo. while Ijeoma Moronu was named the tournament’s MVP. Read about that here …

Click here for ACU’s Volleyball Notes for week 3


ACU’s golf team kicks off its non-traditional fall season this weekend in Abilene at the Diamondback Golf Club. The Charles Coody West Texas Intercollegiate Tournament will feature 15 teams including head coach Mike Campbell’s Wildcats who finished fifth in last year’s tournament.

The Lone Star Conference will be well represented in the tournament with Cameron, Midwestern State, Southwestern Oklahoma and Southeastern joining the competition. St. Edward’s, the No. 2-ranked team in the NCAA Division II by Golf World / Nike in the pre-season will also be present.

ACU finished second at the 2008 Lone Star Conference Championships and were second at the NCAA Division II South Central Region championships. Among Campbell’s returnees are sophomore Cyril Bounoil (4th at LSC C-Ships; 18th at NCAA Reg.) and senior Patrick Hanauer (12th at LSC C-Ships; 14th at NCAA Reg.).

Click Here for ACU's Men's Golf Notes

On an un-related but related note: Campbell’s brother, Chad Campbell, was recently selected to compete in the PGA Tour’s Ryder Cup as a representative of the United States team. Chad will join Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk among others Sept. 16-21 in Louisville, Ky.

Read about Chad and the Ryder Cup from by clicking here


The women’s soccer team has shown a solid defensive effort in its first four matches this season allowing just three goals. However, on the offensive side, the Wildcats have just three goals in four matches as well, which reflects in the 1-2-1 start. Head coach Casey Wilson and ACU are still trying to figure out the offensive kinks after ranking third in the conference in goals scored last year with 42.

The team is going for a milestone win this weekend against a couple of NAIA schools in Cedar Hill. The Wildcats need just one win to reach 10 in the program’s infancy. John Brown and ACU square off Friday; JBU was ranked No. 20 in the nation among NAIA schools in the preseason. Our Lady of the Lake and ACU will play Saturday; OLL is a first-year program but has begun the season at 3-1-1.

Listen to head coach Casey Wilson’s comments on upcoming matches and the season thus far (4:10)

Click here to see ACU Soccer’s Notes for Week 3


In case you missed it, the cross-country program hired a new head coach: Sam Burroughs.

Click here for the release:

Here are head track and field coach Don D. Hood’s quotes on Burroughs:

"Hiring a coach of his quality and with his credentials is tremendous for this program and for our runners," Hood said. "Our goal was to find a coach that would be an excellent role model and mentor for our athletes while continuing to win national championships, and Sam Burroughs is that coach."

"Our athletes will continue to receive top quality instruction and will be able to know that the training they are receiving will allow them the opportunity to compete to their maximum capability," Don D. Hood said. " Coach Burroughs' athletes have risen to higher levels at every school he has worked with. I believe that our runners will be fortunate to work with him.

"Coach Burroughs is a proven recruiter as well," he said. "The athletes he recruited to Iona and coached raised that program to a 2nd place finish at the NCAA I men's Championships and the women to a top 20 finish. I think our program will be in very good hands.”

The Cross Country teams are idle this week after playing host to the ACU Classic Saturday. The Wildcats will run again Sept. 19 at the Jackrabbit Open in Lubbock.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

ACU is 8-0 after 3-1 win over hosts, Ft. Lewis

Game Story

Wildcats silence MSU-Billings, 3-0

Game Story from

Quick Notes:

Shawna Hines moved to 11th all-time on ACU's career blocks list. She passed Leah Boerstler (85-87), who had 150 in her career. Hines, who has 151 total blocks through Saturday morning's match with MSU-Billings, needs just eight more to move to 10th.
• The 7-0 start ties the 2008 squad with the 1987 team for the second-best start in school history; The 1987 team began 7-0 before losing its first match.

Set 3:

ACU began witha n 8-0 start, let MSU-Billings creep back in, but as has been the trend, turned in on in the late stages of the set to win the Wildcats' seventh-straight match. ACU is officially tied for the second-best start in recorded history with the win. Wes Kittley's 1987 team began the season at 7-0 before its first loss.

Set 2:

It took a couple of extra points this time, but ACU prevailed in set two 28-26 in probably the closes and most exciting match of the tournament thus far. The lead changed several times thoughout the set, but the Wildcats continued its hot run.

MSU-Billings is definitely the most athletic team ACU has faced so far this weekend, the team has many weapons on offense and defense and have great size ...

Set 1:

Not only have the Wildcats won six straight matches, with a 25-18 score in set one, ACU has increased its sets-won streak to 10. Among the rule changes in 2008, what used to be called "games" are now called "sets."

A team must win the best of five sets to take a match win. Last Saturday in a 3-1 victory over Findlay, the Wildcats lost the first set before taking three straight to take the match. Two 3-0 sweeps yesterday of Dixie STate and Palm Beach Atlantic, along with the first set over MSU-Billings - the Wildcats now have won 10-straight sets.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Six in a row: Wildcats take care of Palm Beach Atlantic in 52 minutes

Game Story
Box Score

LISTEN to head coach Kellen Mock's comments (6:26)

Abilene Christian's volleyball team extended its win streak to six matches with a quick 3-0 sweep over Palm Beach Atlantic (Fla.) More details and an audio blog from head coach Kellen Mock later this evening ...

ACU sweeps Dixie State to move to 5-0

Game Story
Game Box Score

Quick Notes:
• The 2007 squad didn't string together five wins all of last season. Just five games into 2008, ACU's win over Dixie State helped them do just that.
• Shawna Hines added six more assisted blocks to give her 24 for the season, 144 for her career, and leaves her seven shy of moving to 11th on ACU's all-time list

Wildcats trying to stay undefeated in Durango, Colo.

The altitude is 6,512 feet in Durango, Colo. so the Wildcat volleyball team will make an attempt at an 8-0 start more than a mile above sea level Friday and Saturday. Sitting here at Whalen Gymnasium on the campus of Fort Lewis College, ACU isn’t even the farthest traveling visitor. In fact, five states are represented in the round-robin tournament including Dixie State (Utah), Palm Beach Atlantic (Fla.), Montana State-Billings, and of course the hosts, Fort Lewis College.

An undefeated start, like last weekend for ACU (4-0) always gets people tracking best starts in school history. Well, 4-0 in the best start since 1994 under head coach Kent Wieb; that year the team went 6-0 before losing so the 2008 squad will need to win its first three matches to achieve a better start than the ’94 team. If the Wildcats were to go 7-0, it would tie them for the second-best start in history next to Wes Kittley’s 1987 team.

If ACU sweeps once again and leaves the tournament with an 8-0 record, the only team with a better start in the Wildcats’ recorded history would be Wieb’s 1991 team, which began 12-0.

The team arrived Thursday, walked around Durango for a couple of hours, and practiced at 5 p.m. in an effort to shake off the 700-mile bus trip.

One thing head coach Kellen Mock stressed to the team yesterday was the affect of the altitude on the ball and the way it may “float.” That will be something to watch as the Wildcats’ serves and passes may carry unlike they’re used to.

Senior middle blocker Lauren Leone (the team’s only four-year player) will indeed miss 2008 with a knee injury for which she will undergo surgery. Though nothing is set in stone, Leone isn’t scheduled to graduate until December of 2009, which would allow her time to play next fall with a medical redshirt if she opted to do so.

The Durango, Colo. trip will be a homecoming of sorts for a couple of Wildcats. Sophomore middle blocker Shawna Hines comes from Aurora, Colo. Though it is still a 338-mile trip, it’s much closer than road trips to Abilene for the Hines family, and Shawna’s parents and grandparents are sitting just below me in the stands as I write this post.

Freshman Kelsie Edwards is from Highlands Ranch, Colo., which is also 330+ miles away, however, her parents and sister are in the stands to cheer on the first-year player as well.

First up for ACU is Dixie State at 10 a.m. (RMT). The Wildcats will serve as the home team and face the visitors who enter with a 2-2 record. Dixie State comes from St. George, Utah, which is 500 miles from Durango, Colo.

Match is underway, more later …

Willard Tate honored with "Wildcat Den"

There might not be a more beloved figure among our current coaching and athletics administrative staff than former men's basketball coach Willard Tate. He's always right there – after a win or a loss – with an encouraging word for the coach and the players. And always, always with his signature "thumbs-up."

Thursday afternoon almost 75 of his family and friends gathered outside the men's basketball locker room for a ceremony in which Tate was honored for almost 35 years of service to ACU as a coach, teacher and cheerleader. The men's lockerroom has been re-furbished and re-named the "Willard Tate Wildcat Den" in honor of the former coach. The men's program has 16 brand-new lockers in the room, along with a new video room where the coaches can watch film.

"This is such a great thing for our program, and I'm so glad we could honor Coach Tate in this way," ACU head coach Jason Copeland said. "I've got to give credit to (track and field coach) Don D. Hood, who came to me a few months ago with this idea about honoring Coach Tate. It didn't take long to raise the money we needed to get this done, and that's because of the love and respect the people on this campus and in this community have for Coach Tate."

ACU director of athletics Jared Mosley spoke movingly about how when he was a young coach and a young administrator Coach Tate was always in his office with the right words, "no matter how badly I had messed up."

ACU director of athletics emeritus Wally Bullington spoke as well, telling the story of how he came to hire Tate away from Alabama Christian University (now Faulkner University) in 1974.

"I called my brother and told him we were looking for a basketball coach, and asked if he knew anyone," Bullington said. "He told me they had a good one at Alabama Christian, but that he didn't want me to get him. Well, after talking to Willard I decided he was the right fit for this job, and for the next 35 years he's touched thousands of lives on this campus and abroad.

"Most of you know that Willard has preached and taught all over this country and the world, and he's done so with great passion for ACU," Bullington said. "In fact, one of the things that (ACU president) Dr. Royce Money has always said is that his goal is to go and preach somewhere where Willard Tate hasn't been before."

Tate -- who has been battling cancer for more than a year -- then spoke in his own humorous way, mixing jokes with sometimes serious talk. He talked about how blessed he and his family had been to be at ACU since the mid-1970s and how it had changed his life from a spiritual standpoint, a financial standpoint and a professional standpoint.

Randy Scott -- who at 6-8 played in the middle for some of Tate's best teams -- was in attendance, and Tate said he told Randy to pretend there was a circle in the lane and to not let anyone inside it. "I think that worked out pretty well."

Coach Tate concluded his remarks by thanking his long-time friend, Bullington and the late Dr. John Stevens, for taking a chance "on a country boy from Alabama. I hope that when I'm gone people will know that I was here for a short time."

Don't worry about that, Coach. None of us will forget.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Help a former Wildcat at the "Jog for Heart Run"

The Abilene Christian University Athletics Department will be hosting a 5K run to benefit the Cory and Lisa Stone family. Cory, a former Wildcat basketball player, and his wife have two sons and a daughter, Lia. When Lia was born, she was born with two major heart defects, known as Tricuspid Atresia and Transposition of the Great Vessels.

Lia’s road to recovery will require operation and constant medical attention. The run, held Sept. 13, and its proceeds will go directly to the Stone family to help off set the medical costs and help Lia get the care she needs.

ACU hopes that the community will come together and
participate in the 5K run to aide in this great effort. All questions and comments can be directed to ACU’s men’s
basketball coach, Jason Copeland. Copeland can be
contacted at 325.674.2913 or

Interested individuals should fill out the registration form below and return to the athletics office in Moody Coliseum or the address on the form.

Download the Form!

Volleyball and Soccer Match Notes Week 2

Download the PDF versions of this week's ACU soccer and volleyball match notes:

Week 2 - Wildcat Soccer
Week 2 - Wildcat Volleyball

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hines named Defensive Player of the Week; Other volleyball tidbits

Shawna Hines picked up the first LSC Player of the Week of her young career Tuesday. She had 18 blocks and 31 kills with a .307 hitting percentage as ACU began the season at 4-0 for the first time since the 1994 season.

Read Hines' release here

Friday’s 2-0 start for ACU was the first time since 1999 that the Wildcats had begun a season with two consecutive wins...After Saturday’s 4-0 start, a Wildcat Volleyball team hadn’t had such a quick start since the 1994 season under head coach Kent Wieb when the team began the year 6-0...Friday’s win over Texas A&M-International gave ACU head coach Kellen Mock her 35th career victory since taking over in 2006... Ijeoma Moronu passed the 1,200-assist mark for her career over the weekend; if she duplicates her freshman total (1,146) in 2008, she’ll move to sixth all-time on ACU’s career list in just her second season with the team...Freshman Jennie Hutt had a solid collegiate debut for the Wildcats. The Papillion, Neb. native combined for 38 kills in her first four matches as a college player and added seven service aces as well...Moronu and Shawna Hines were each named to the Lady Buffs Classic all-tournament team in Canyon this weekend... Ijeoma Moronu picked up where she left off after the 2007 season. The all-region honoree from a year ago and tallied 133 assists in four matches helping the Wildcats move to 4-0 to start the year. Moronu posted 36 assists apiece in wins over Fort Hays State and Texas A&M-International Friday. Saturday she combined for 61 assists in victories over Findlay and New Mexico Highlands. The sophomore also recorded 29 digs and posted 16 kills.