SMU Athletics

Tune In: University dedicates new Payne Stewart SMU Golf Training Center

SMU Athletics dedicated a state-of-the-art golf training facility at Trinity Forest Golf Club on Friday, Oct. 13, 2017. The Payne Stewart SMU Golf Training Center is named in honor of the 1979 alumnus who became the 1989 PGA Champion, two-time U.S. Open Champion and a member of five U.S. Ryder Cup teams.

Myles Taylor of SMU News attended the dedication and has created a video exploration of the new center. Tap the YouTube screen to watch it, or click here to watch the video in a new windowvideo

The 6,700-square foot facility features team locker rooms, coaches’ offices, a conference room, a workout center and kitchen. The center also houses a hitting bay featuring premier equipment, including the Swing Catalyst, which tracks weight shift throughout the swing as well as four video motion-capture cameras and monitors to show swings. A TrackMan system uses dual radar technology to track both club movement and the ball at the moment of impact.  This equipment provides the perfect foundation for analysis, enabling the Mustang golfers to use real-time data to improve their games.

The Payne Stewart SMU Golf Training Center also includes 70,000 square feet of teeing ground, a 45,000 square-foot putting and chipping green and a challenging nine-hole short course.

“Facilities like the Payne Stewart SMU Golf Training Center, the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center, the new SMU Tennis Center, the renovated Moody Coliseum and the planned Indoor Performance Center are examples of the University’s commitment to compete at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.

“Our commitment to competing for championships and enhancing the student experience requires continued investment in our infrastructure,” said SMU Director of Athletics Rick Hart. “This great facility is just another sign of that commitment by our donors and our university. SMU, its donors and fans have made significant investments in athletics in recent years, and we thank them for their support.”

— Written by Nancy George

> Read the full story from SMU News

Jody and Sheila Grant pledge $1.5 million to SMU’s Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center

Robson and Lindley Aquatics Center, artist's rendering

Former varsity swimmer Joseph M. “Jody” Grant ’60 met his wife, Sheila Peterson Grant, while they were both SMU students. Now they have provided $1.5 million to help fund the University’s new Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center.

With their gift, they’ve also created the Sheila and Jody Grant Challenge, which encourages other donors to give the remaining $1.5 million to complete the Center’s $22 million funding goal. The 42,000-square-foot facility, soon to be home to the University’s internationally recognized men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams, will be dedicated Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, during SMU Homecoming.

Jody and Sheila Grant

Jody and Sheila Grant

“As community business and philanthropic leaders, Jody and Sheila Grant know the importance of reaching the finish line and completing worthy goals,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Their generosity is inspirational and helps get us closer to completing funding for the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center and providing a place where our student athletes can continue the championship legacy of SMU swimming and diving.”

Jody Grant attended SMU on a swimming scholarship. He earned four individual Southwest Conference swimming championships and was twice named to the All-America team.

“SMU’s swimming program has been near and dear to my heart since Coach Red Barr recruited me many years ago to swim for the Mustangs,” said Dr. Grant. “I am honored to support this new facility, which will be home for the swimming program that was so meaningful to me.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

SMU Women’s Basketball takes on Indiana in WNIT third round Thursday, March 23, 3017

SMU WNIT 2017 header

The SMU women’s basketball team extended an impressive 2016-17 season by advancing to the third round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) for the first time since 1993. They will face Indiana tonight (Thursday, March 23) in Bloomington at 6 p.m. Central time.

The Mustangs have won multiple games in a postseason tournament for just the second time in program history; they played in the WNIT championship game in 1993. Fans can watch the game on the Big Ten Network Plus, or listen to the game in the Dallas area on KAAM 770 AM. Tournament notes are available at www.WomensNIT.com.

> Visit SMU Gameday for TV, radio and live stats information: SMUMustangs.com/gameday

The team earned its 19th victory of the season 59-52 over Abilene Christian Monday night in Moody Coliseum. Senior Morgan Bolton led the Mustangs with 15 points, shooting 3-for-5 from the three-point line and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line. She also recorded three assists and three rebounds. Red-shirt junior McKenzie Adams finished with 12 points and five rebounds, her 24th game of the season scoring in double figures and the fifth consecutive. Red-shirt junior Kiara Perry added 11 points and six rebounds, while junior Stephanie Collins finished with seven points and five rebounds.

> Read the full story from SMU-Abilene Christian at SMUMustangs.com

Travis Mays Named Head Women’s Basketball Coach at SMU

travismaysTravis Mays has been named the new Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Director of Athletics Rick Hart announced last week. Mays previously served as an assistant coach for 14 years at various schools, serving under three hall of fame coaches. He has also played 11 years of professional basketball both domestically and abroad.

> SMU Forum: Rhonda Rompola announces retirement after 35 years with SMU women’s basketball.

“After meeting with Travis, I immediately knew that he was ready to be a head coach,” said Hart. “He has a tremendous coaching pedigree, having learned from some of the best in the business. Everyone spoke so highly of Travis — even those outside his immediate coaching circle, like Geno Auriemma. Travis displays strong character and a will to succeed. In short, he is a winner.”

Not only is Travis a gifted floor coach but he is also a recruiter with Texas roots. He graduated from the University of Texas, playing as a guard from 1986-90,  later going on to serve a three-year stint for the women’s basketball program from 2004-07 and then returning in 2012 to serve as Assistant Head Coach. He comes to SMU from Texas where he spent the past four seasons. His duties at Texas included recruiting, preparing opponent scouting reports, instructing guards on the court and public speaking at various community service and campus events.

“I think as a former player at Texas, Travis has name recognition and the ability to recruit that will make him a tremendous hire at SMU,” said Van Chancellor, a Hall of Fame Coach. “Sometimes during a hire, the Athletic Director is trying to hit a home run, and I think SMU has hit a grand slam.”

> Find more information on Coach Mays’ extensive background on the SMU Athletics page

SMU celebrates Founders’ Day Weekend 2016 April 15-16

Peruna mascot at SMU Founders Day 2015SMU Founders’ Day Weekend will kick-start the University’s second century April 15-16, 2016 with a celebration of renovated library facilities, a new book on SMU history, the dedication of a new campus walkway, and a Mustang-sized finale to the Second Century Campaign.

Saturday’s community activities will include faculty talks at Inside SMU, opportunities to explore and create at the Meadows Museum, and an afternoon of fandom and Mustang football.

> Read the full story from SMU News

“We look forward to celebrating our beginnings at Founders Day each year, but in 2016 we also celebrate a very happy ending – the April 15 finale of the $1.15 billion fundraising campaign that has changed the trajectory of SMU,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “All of the opportunities the campaign has opened for SMU ultimately become community assets that we want to share.  We hope our North Texas neighbors will come explore the Hilltop and enjoy Community Day with us on April 16.”

FRIDAY, APRIL 15

• SMU will celebrate the renovation of Fondren Library, including the Fondren Foundation Centennial Reading Room, at 12:30 p.m. Friday.

• A 1 p.m. open house will honor the release of the new book from SMU historian Darwin Payne ’68One Hundred Years on the Hilltop: The Centennial History of Southern Methodist University.  Signed copies are available for order online and will be shipped to purchasers after Founders’ Day Weekend.

• At 6 p.m., the University will celebrate the campaign finale on the South Plaza of the Hughes-Trigg Student Center with a salute to the campaign’s major and leadership donors, the dedication of the Crain Family Centennial Promenade and the unveiling of a campaign major donor monument, including plaques listing major donors to the Second Century Campaign. During the reception that follows, guests can stroll the promenade and view their engraved pavers.

Read some of the stories behind the Crain Family Centennial Promenade bricks

• The day ends with Sing Song, the annual musical theater performance competition for SMU students hosted by SMU Program Council.  Scheduled for 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium, the performances are centered on this year’s theme of “Twisted Tales.”  Tickets are available online.

> Celebrate Peruna’s Birthday during Founders’ Day Weekend 2016, Friday, April 15

SATURDAY, APRIL 16 – SMU COMMUNITY DAY

All SMU Community day activities are open to the public.

Guitarist in Meadows Museum, SMU Founders' Day 2015Inside SMU, scheduled for 8:30 a.m.-noon in Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall, is a full morning of topical discussions delivered by SMU faculty and students. The plenary session at 9 a.m. features Darwin Payne ’68, SMU historian and professor emeritus of communications, sharing “Ten Stories You Should Know about SMU.”

Community Day at the Meadows Museum is from 10-1 p.m. and will enable visitors to explore its Salvador Dali exhibit, as well as participate in special activities for children.

SMU Athletics hosts afternoon events at Gerald J. Ford Stadium: Mustang Fan Fair begins at noon with inflatables and food trucks, followed by the SMU Spring Football Game at 1 p.m.

See the full schedule and register for activities

— Kimberly Cobb

SMU Athletics reveals new Moody Coliseum court design

With the $47 million renovation and expansion of Moody Coliseum moving closer to completion, SMU Athletics has revealed the new floor design for the historic facility.

> Watch this PonyUpTV video in a new window video

The court will have a blue border to contrast with the red seating and accents of the arena’s lower section. White lines will mark the lanes, three-point arcs and mid-court stripe. To keep the design clean, classic and simple, there will be no paint inside the lanes.

The center-court logo includes the blue SMU word mark and red pony. In addition, web and social media markings have been added to the sidelines (SMUMustangs.com and @SMUMustangs).

“Our goal was simple: create a nationally-recognized floor design that complements the Moody Coliseum renovation while maintaining the heritage and tradition of SMU basketball,” said Erik Herskind ’87, principal at Greenlight, the firm that created the design.

Learn more about the renovation at NewMoody.com

The new design also focuses on branding the University and SMU Athletics as the Mustangs’ exposure reaches unprecedented levels. All 18 men’s basketball conference games will be nationally televised during SMU’s inaugural season in the American Athletic Conference.

“We’re proud of where the design landed,” Herskind said. “It was a highly collaborative process between the design team at Greenlight and the staff at SMU. As an SMU alum, and father of an SMU sophomore, it was a particularly rewarding project for me. To be able to give back to the school this way feels great.”

The new court design will be ready for the opening home doubleheader on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014. The new Moody will open to Mustang fans with the men hosting Connecticut at 1 p.m. and the women facing South Florida at 3:30 p.m.

> Read the full story from SMU News