Steve Orsini

SMU joins the BIG EAST Conference

BIG EAST Conference logoSMU has accepted an invitation to join the BIG EAST Conference in all sports, President R. Gerald Turner announced Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011. The move fulfills the University’s goal to join a Bowl Championship Series Automatic Qualifier (BCS-AQ) conference, a standard of excellence in college athletics today.

SMU, Houston and the University of Central Florida have accepted full membership into the BIG EAST, while Boise State and San Diego State will compete as members in the sport of football. The BIG EAST Conference Board of Directors, by a unanimous vote of its Presidents, extended the invitations for membership.

SMU, Houston and UCF will begin competing in all BIG EAST‐sponsored sports in the 2013‐14 academic year, while Boise State and San Diego State will start competing in football in the 2013 season.

“Over the last 32 years, the BIG EAST Conference has constantly evolved along with the landscape of college athletics,” said BIG EAST Commissioner John Marinatto. “The inclusion of these five great universities, which bring a unique blend of premier academics, top markets, strong athletics brands and outstanding competitive quality, marks the beginning of a new chapter in that evolution. We are proud to welcome these schools to the BIG EAST family.

“Much like the conference as a whole, the BIG EAST name – though derived 32 years ago based on the geography of our founding members – has evolved into a highly respected brand that transcends borders, boundaries or regions. It’s national. Our membership makeup is now reflective of that.”

The five new schools join Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Rutgers and USF as the teams competing in football in the BIG EAST Conference. UCF, Houston and SMU join DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Notre Dame, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Villanova in all other sports.

With the addition of the five new schools, the BIG EAST will have the largest footprint of any college football conference in the nation, with a coast-to‐coast presence spanning eight states in five different regions of the country.

“This is a great day for SMU,” said Director of Athletics Steve Orsini. “This is a move that will impact all aspects of the collegiate experience at SMU. Our move to the BIG EAST will help us increase our exposure and visibility and will raise SMU’s profile on a national level. BIG EAST membership represents SMU’s return to the highest level of collegiate athletics.”

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By | 2011-12-08T12:25:33+00:00 December 8, 2011|Categories: News, Sports|Tags: , , , , |

Millers commit $10 million to Moody Coliseum renovation, expansion

David B. and Carolyn Lacy MillerDavid B. Miller, SMU alumnus and member of the Board of Trustees, and his wife, Carolyn Lacy Miller, have committed $10 million toward the expansion and renovation of Moody Coliseum.

“With this remarkable gift, David and Carolyn Miller move us closer to full funding for the renovation and expansion of this major resource for the campus and community,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “As a former Mustang basketball player, David has enjoyed the excitement of athletic success in this facility, and he and Carolyn have participated in numerous ceremonies in Moody. Now they are helping to ensure that others enjoy these communal experiences in a state-of-the-art version of this historic facility.”

The Millers’ announcement came just days after the Moody Foundation announced April 20 that it is committing $20 million toward the $40 million Moody expansion and renovation project. “With these lead gifts, we feel confident we have the momentum to attract other donors, and we look forward to working with them,” Turner added.

In commenting on their gift, David Miller said, “I had a wonderful academic and athletic experience at SMU. We are delighted to give something back to a University that has been so important to three generations of our family.”

Miller is co-founder and partner of EnCap Investments L.P., a private equity firm based in Houston and Dallas. He also is president of the David B. Miller Family Foundation, which he established in 2006. In addition to SMU, the foundation contributes to numerous charitable organizations. Carolyn Miller is vice president of the foundation.

Mr. Miller earned two degrees from SMU, a B.B.A. degree in finance in 1972 and an M.B.A. degree in 1973. As an undergraduate, he was a three-year starter and letterman on the varsity basketball team and a member of the 1971-1972 Southwest Conference Co-Championship team. Mr. Miller received the Distinguished Alumni Award from SMU’s Cox School of Business in 2000. In 2009 he received the Silver Anniversary Mustang Award from the SMU Lettermen’s Association.

“We are happy and honored that a former SMU student-athlete who has done so well professionally continues to support our student-athletes at such a significant level,” said Director of Athletics Steve Orsini. “David understands the importance of athletics to SMU, and this gift gives our programs an immediate and long-lasting boost, as well as dramatically improving the quality of experience all students will enjoy at Moody Coliseum events. The Millers’ generous gift will help make our legendary facility a state-of-the-art venue and help our teams meet the top-25 standard we have set for each of them.”

> Read more about the Millers’ gift from SMU News
> Also in the Forum: Moody Foundation $20 million gift will renovate namesake coliseum at SMU
> Visit Moody Coliseum Renovation Central

SMU tapped to host 2011 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl logoIn 2011, the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will return to SMU for the second straight year. The 9th edition of the nationally-televised postseason college football bowl game will take place Friday, Dec. 30, in SMU’s Gerald J. Ford Stadium. Kick-off time will be 11 a.m. CST, and ESPN will broadcast the game live.

SMU hosted the 2010 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl due to renovations at TCU’s historic Amon G. Carter Stadium, the game’s traditional venue. A facility-record crowd of 36,742 watched at Ford as Army posted a 16-14 win over SMU. The 2011 edition currently features a matchup between schools from Conference USA and the Mountain West Conference.

“We are excited to serve as the host of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl for the second-straight year,” said Steve Orsini, SMU’s director of athletics. “We enjoyed our association with the bowl staff and committee in 2010 and look forward to working with the group again in 2011. As we stated when we signed the initial agreement last August, the patriotism that this game represents is something with which we are proud to be associated.

“In addition, the hosting of this game in our stadium last December showcased our school and campus before a national television audience, and we look forward to having that opportunity again in 2011.”

> Read more from SMU News

SMU to host 2010 Armed Forces Bowl Dec. 30

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl logoThe 2010 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will be played at SMU’s Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas due to the recently announced renovation of Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth. The game will be televised live at 11 a.m. CST Dec. 30 on ESPN.

The 8th edition of the bowl game also marks the first time it will be played anywhere other than Carter Stadium, located on TCU’s campus. The Carter renovation is scheduled to begin immediately following the Horned Frogs’ regular-season schedule this fall.

“Fort Worth certainly remains the home of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, and we are excited about the enhancements in store for Amon G. Carter Stadium,” said Brant B. Ringler, executive director of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. “In the meantime, we are looking forward to the opportunity to showcase our bowl in Dallas to those fans who may not have had a chance to experience our game before, and we truly appreciate SMU and its athletic department for providing a quality venue for our bowl game.”

“We are very excited to serve as the host of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl this December and help our friends at TCU and in Fort Worth,” said Steve Orsini, SMU’s director of athletics. “The patriotism that this game represents is something with which we are proud to be associated, and we are more than happy to host this game in our great stadium on our beautiful campus right in the heart of Dallas.”

> Read more from SMU News
> Learn more about the game from armedforcesbowl.com

University successfully completes NCAA certification

The Mustangs statue at Moody ColiseumThe NCAA Division I Committee on Athletics Certification has announced that SMU and 13 other colleges and universities have been certified as part of the NCAA‘s regularly-scheduled, ongoing athletics certification process.

The “certified” designation means that SMU operates its athletics program in substantial conformity with operating principles adopted by the Division I membership of the NCAA. Certification is meant to ensure integrity in the institution’s athletics program and to assist institutions in improving their athletics departments. The NCAA membership mandated athletics certification in 1993, and each of the NCAA’s 335 Division I institutions undergoes the self-study every 10 years. SMU is among the first schools to complete the process a third time.

The certification process involves a thorough self-study led by an institution’s president or chancellor. SMU’s began in March 2008, when President R. Gerald Turner appointed Marc Peterson, director of financial aid, to chair SMU’s Certification Committee. The self-study included a review of several primary issues, including governance and commitment to rules compliance; academic integrity; equity; and student-athlete well-being.

“The NCAA Certification process is very thorough and touches all the various parts of the university that interact with athletics,” said Dr. Turner. “The self-study identified many strengths and also established areas for improvement and growth. In the end, it was valuable for not only SMU Athletics, but for SMU as a whole.”

In May 2009, SMU submitted its initial report to the NCAA Certification Committee, which reviewed it and identified areas for clarification. In late September 2009, the committee sent a peer-review team to Dallas. The team filed a report with the Certification Committee, which announced the final certification decision in April.

“The NCAA’s recertification validates our ongoing efforts to deliver excellence in sports, in academics, and in the way we operate as a department and as a university,” said SMU Director of Athletics Steve Orsini. “We want to thank everyone involved in this certification process. I especially want to thank and recognize Marc Peterson for his excellent work. We are extremely grateful for his dedication.”

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By | 2010-04-27T12:58:22+00:00 April 27, 2010|Categories: News, Sports|Tags: , , , , |

Sports: Orsini appointed to NCAA men’s basketball committee

SMU swimmer Therese SvendsenTherese Svendsen (left) was named Conference USA Swimmer of the Week for her performance in the Missouri Grand Prix Feb. 12-14, 2010. She posted NCAA “B” qualifying times in the 100- and 200- LC meter backstrokes, and her time of 1:02.84 in the 100 was good for first-place honors. This is her first Swimmer of the Week honor of the season and second of her career. SMU returns to the pool Feb. 24 in Houston as part of the Conference USA Championships. The Mustangs have won all four previous C-USA titles since joining the league in 2005-06. Read more.

SMU tennis player Artem BaradachJunior tennis player Artem Baradach (right) received his first Conference USA Player of the Week honor for his performance against Southern Miss Feb. 13, 2010 – in which he earned a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory in the No. 1 singles slot against Patricio Alvarado, ranked No. 11 in the Southern Region. Currently ranked 71st in the nation, Baradach moved the Mustangs to a 5-3 overall record and 1-1 in the conference. SMU will return to action at 3 p.m. Feb. 20 against Cameron in SMU’s Turpin Tennis Center. Read more.

SMU Athletics Director Steve Orsini has been appointed to the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, as announced by the NCAA. Orsini and Scott Barnes, A.D. at Utah State, both received 5-year appointments that begin Sept. 1, 2010.

The 10-member committee consists of athletics directors and commissioners of Division I member institutions and conferences and oversees administration of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, including the selection, seeding and bracketing of teams for the tournament. The committee is the primary NCAA contact with CBS Sports, the National Association of Basketball Coaches, and other key organizations. Members also serve as stewards for the good of the game, monitoring and taking action as appropriate regarding issues affecting college basketball. Read more.

Mustangs accept Sheraton Hawaii Bowl invitation

President Turner, Steve Orsini and June Jones at the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl announcementSMU has accepted an invitation to play in the 2009 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, Sheraton Hawaii Bowl Executive Director David A. K. Matlin announced today.

The Mustangs, who have posted the biggest turnaround in the nation this season, will snap a 25-year bowl drought with this berth. The 2009 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl will be played on Christmas Eve (Thursday, Dec. 24) at 7 p.m. CST/3 p.m. HST and will be telecast by ESPN from Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.

“We are very excited with the return of June Jones to Hawaii to participate in his fifth Sheraton Hawaii Bowl as a coach,” Matlin said. “Spending the Christmas season in Hawaii will be a well deserved reward for the players, coaches and the loyal Mustang fans.”

“Having had the opportunity to participate in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl in 2005, I can say with confidence that it is truly one of the best postseason experiences in college football,” said Steve Orsini, SMU athletics director. “This is a trip of a lifetime and an excellent reward for our student-athletes, coaches and staff. We are excited to represent SMU and Conference USA in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.”

“We set this bowl as a goal before the season started and I am so happy that our players will be able to have this experience,” said June Jones, head football coach. “Reaching our first bowl game in 25 years is special – not only for our current student-athletes, but also for the guys who came before them and our student body, staff and fans. This bowl has special meaning for me personally, as eight years ago, I was part of the original vision ESPN and Sheraton had for Hawaii and the nation. It is exciting to be a part of one of the best bowl experiences in college football.”

SMU (7-5) will be making its 11th bowl appearance and its first since 1984, when it played in the Aloha Bowl in Honolulu. The Mustangs tied for first place with Houston in the Conference-USA West Division with identical 6-2 league records.

Above, left to right, SMU President R. Gerald Turner, Athletics Director Steve Orsini and Head Football Coach June Jones announce SMU’s invitation to play in the 2009 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.

Read more from SMU News
Find tickets and travel packages at Bowl Game Central on the SMU Athletics website

By | 2009-12-01T14:50:15+00:00 December 1, 2009|Categories: News, Sports|Tags: , , , , , , |

SMU inducts class of 2009 into its Athletics Hall of Fame

SMU's Athletics Hall of Fame class of 2009The Department of Athletics, in conjunction with the SMU Lettermen’s Association, inducted 4 new former Mustangs into its Athletics Hall of Fame during formal ceremonies May 1 – football player Eric Dickerson, basketball player Jim Krebs, swimmer Steve Lundquist and golfer Kyle O’Brien Stevens.

“As a department, we want to continue to recognize the contributions and successes of our former student-athletes,” said SMU’s Director of Athletics Steve Orsini. “Last year we reconstituted our Athletic Hall of Fame, and this year we honor another outstanding group for their accomplishments.”

The inductees and their achievements:

Eric Dickerson (’83) – former All-American Mustang football player, member of the famed Pony Express; led SMU to back-to-back Southwest Conference titles; member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Jim Krebs (’57) – former All-American SMU basketball player; led the Mustangs to three SWC titles and the 1956 Final Four; former NBA player for the Los Angeles Lakers; member of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. He died in an accident in 1965.

Steve Lundquist (’83) – former All-American SMU swimmer; two-time Olympic gold medalist; member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame; 1982 United States Swimmer of the Year.

Kyle O’Brien Stevens (’80) – former All-American SMU women’s golf player, claimed medalist honors and led SMU to the team title at the 1979 AIAW National Championships; 2003 inductee into the National Golf Coaches Association Player Hall of Fame.

(Above, left to right: Jane Krebs, widow of Jim Krebs, Eric Dickerson, Kyle O’Brien Stevens and Steve Lundquist.)

Dallas Mavericks to hold 2008 training camp on campus

Crum Basketball CenterThe Dallas Mavericks have announced the details of their 2008 training camp, which will be held on the Hilltop. The Mavs will kick off training camp with their annual Media Day at 3 p.m. Sept. 29 at American Airlines Center.

The team will practice at SMU daily beginning at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 30. All practice sessions will be held in the Crum Basketball Center.

“We are excited to hold this year’s training camp at one of the nation’s best collegiate athletic facilities,” President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Donnie Nelson said. “We look forward to working with Steve Orsini, Matt Doherty and the rest of our friends at SMU. Over the last few years, President (R. Gerald) Turner has developed a world-class facility that is nothing short of extraordinary, and the Mavericks are proud to hold our camp there.”

Read Coach Doherty’s response at the SMU Athletics website

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