Hot Links: Special-teams coach Frank Gansz dies at age 70

Lauren Meisner

Hot Links: Special-teams coach Frank Gansz dies at age 70

Frank GanszSMU Assistant Coach Frank Gansz passed away on April 27, 2009. He was 70. Considered perhaps the top special-teams coach in NFL history, he was starting his second season on the Hilltop.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of my good friend,” said SMU Head Coach June Jones. “Frank has been a second father to me for the past 30 years and he has touched the lives of many, both at SMU and throughout the National Football League. I was lucky to have known Frank, and not only was he a wonderful person, but he was a father to everyone he has ever coached. He will live on with us.”

Gansz was a veteran of 38 seasons of coaching, 24 in the NFL and 14 in the collegiate ranks. “He was the guru of special teams,” former Kansas City Chiefs Vice President Lynn Stiles told the Kansas City Star. Gansz coached for the Chiefs throughout the 1980s and was special-teams coach for the St. Louis Rams during their Super Bowl-winning season in 1999. Read more.

Lauren Longbotham MeisnerThe No. 23 women’s tennis team will face No. 38 Texas A&M in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Championships at 11 a.m. May 9 at the Baylor Tennis Center in Waco. The Mustangs received an automatic bid for winning the Conference USA title. Head Coach Lauren Longbotham-Meisner (left) was named Conference USA Coach of the Year after leading SMU to its best season in program history First-year player Marta Lesniak was named Freshman of the Year and C-USA Singles Player of the Championship, as well as Outstanding Doubles Team of the Championship with freshman partner Aleksandra Malyarchikova. Read more.

Men’s golf team members Kelly Kraft and James Kwon have been selected as All-Conference USA performers for the 2008-09 season. Kraft was named to the first team for the second consecutive year, while Kwon was selected for the second team and the All-Freshman squad. The awards were voted on by the league’s 11 head coaches. Read more.

SMU punter Thomas MorsteadSenior punter Thomas Morstead (right) was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the 5th round of the 2009 NFL Draft April 26. Morstead becomes SMU’s first NFL draft pick since 2007, when Justin Rogers, now with the Dallas Cowboys, was chosen by the New England Patriots. As the 164th overall selection, Morstead is SMU’s highest draft pick since the Saints took SMU linebacker Chris Bordano 161st overall in 1998. Read more.

April 30, 2009|Sports|

Hot Links: Women’s tennis wins first C-USA championship

SMU Women's Tennis, 2009 Conference USA Champions

The women’s tennis team added a 17th game to its program-record winning streak with its 4-1 victory over top-seeded two-time defending champion Tulsa in the 2009 Conference USA Championship April 19 in Houston. Head Coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner led the 27-2 team to its first league title since becoming a member of C-USA and its first tournament title in program history. The team also received an automatic bid to the 2009 NCAA Tennis Championships. NCAA selection announcements will air at approximately 5:20 p.m. Eastern time April 28 on ESPNews. Read more.

The women’s golf team has been honored by the NCAA with a public recognition award for the team’s latest multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) score – marking the 3rd straight season in which the program has been so honored. Awards are given each year to teams with APRs in the top 10 percent in each sport. The Mustangs were among 11 squads from C-USA and 767 teams NCAA-wide that received the recognition – 11.9 percent of the approximately 6,484 Division I teams. Read more.

SMU Athletics will offer jerseys, polos, T-shirts, shorts, jackets and shoes from various Mustang sports teams in a public “garage sale” April 25 during SMU’s 2009 Red & Blue Scrimmage. The event takes place in the concourse of Gerald J. Ford Stadium starting at noon and ending at the conclusion of the scrimmage.

A special pre-sale will be open only to SMU students, faculty and staff with SMU ID from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 24 in the Hall of Champions, 3rd floor, Loyd All-Sports Center. Methods of payment are cash or check only. Read more.

April 23, 2009|Sports|

Hot Links: Lauren Meisner chosen to serve on ITA committee

Ilyssa PettigrewSenior Ilyssa Pettigrew (left) won the Ken Garland Invitational 5K at the University of North Texas Sept. 27, 2008. Her 18:18:5 finish was nearly 30 seconds faster than her nearest competitor. Read more.

Sophomore midfielder Lauren Shepherd shared Conference USA Player of the Week honors with Rice’s Shelley Wong after she scored the tying and winning goals in the women’s soccer team’s games against Colorado College (1-2) and UTEP (1-0). Read more.

Senior Kate Ackerson has been named Conference USA Golfer of the Week after finishing tied for fifth at the Badger Invitational in Wisconsin. Read more.

Head Women’s Tennis Coach Lauren Meisner has selected to serve a three-year term on the Southwest Regional Committee of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Read more.

Head Football Coach June Jones and Assistant Coach Jeff Reinebold were featured in the segment “Heart of a Warrior” on the Sept. 30, 2008 edition of ESPN’s news magazine program, “E:60.” The piece focused on Brian Kajiyama, who was born with cerebral palsy that confined him to a wheelchair and left him unable to speak, and the extraordinary relationship he developed with Jones and Reinebold. Read more.

October 2, 2008|Sports|
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