Sports

SMU Basketball season opens Friday, Nov. 10, 2017

The Mustang men and women open their 2017-18 basketball seasons on Friday, Nov. 10 in Moody Coliseum.

First up will be the women’s team, working to build on a season that took the squad to both the third round of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (NIT) and to a record-high team G.PA. This year’s roster features returning senior starter Alicia Froling, recently named to the American Athletic Conference All-Preseason team. The first 400 SMU students, faculty and staff members (with SMU ID) at the 11:30 a.m. game against Nicholls State will receive a free lunch from Rudy’s Bar-B-Q, courtesy of Head Coach Travis Mays.

At 7 p.m., the men’s squad led by Head Coach Tim Jankovich begins the defense of its American Athletic Conference championships with the season opener against UMBC. Junior guard Shake Milton has made the watch lists for the 2018 Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award and the Lute Olson National Player of the Year. Milton was also named the 2017-18 preseason American Athletic Conference Player of the Year. Wear red for the first game of the season, which is also the Mustangs’ inaugural meeting with the Retrievers.

> Find more Mustang sports news at SMUMustangs.com

SMU remembers legendary swim coach George “Mac” McMillion

Known to most on the Hilltop as “Coach Mac,” legendary SMU swimming coach George McMillion has died. McMillion’s passing on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017 came just days after the dedication of the new Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center and Barr-McMillion Natatorium last week.

McMillion was the head coach of the SMU men’s swimming team from 1971-88 after a standout career as a student-athlete and 14 years as an assistant coach. His impact on the SMU swimming program helped inspire the construction of the new center and led to his name being attached to the facility.

“I will always be grateful to have had the opportunity to be involved with SMU swimming while attending SMU,” said former SMU swimmer and a lead donor to the Aquatics Center, Bruce Robson. “Coach Mac made an impact on my life and the lives of so many others. His influence will continue to be felt at SMU for years to come.”

Another lead donor, Steve Lindley, said, “I always admired Coach Mac’s commitment and dedication to and passion for SMU, its swimming and diving programs, and especially his swimmers. You can’t put a value on this. Not only was he a very successful coach, but he was truly interested in and positively impacted all the people he touched. I am also very thankful to all those that helped make the new Aquatic Center and Natatorium a reality. This was Coach Mac’s vision and it is certainly a very fitting legacy to him.”

SMU President R. Gerald Turner echoed Lindley’s sentiments.

“Coach Mac’s legacy as a student-athlete, mentor and coach will live on has an enduring legacy at SMU and in the world of swimming,” Turner said. “His accomplishments at SMU are legendary, but it’s the positive impact he had on those around him that will forever define his greatness.”

Former SMU swimmer and lead donor Dr. Jody Grant said McMillion built on a history of winning at SMU.

“Coach Mac added to the outstanding swimming tradition established by Coach Red Barr many years ago,” he said. “It’s been an honor to be associated with the program over the years. Coach Mac will be greatly missed by all of us in the swimming community, but what he helped build here at SMU will live on forever.”

SMU Director of Athletics Rick Hart said McMillion was revered by the SMU swimming community.

“The Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center is a reality because his commitment and love of SMU swimming and diving inspired others to give back,” Hart said. “While we are saddened by his passing, and I will personally miss visiting with him on Thursday mornings, we take solace in knowing that the Barr-McMillion Natatorium will serve as a fitting tribute and a legacy to his influence and impact on our program.”

SMU men’s swimming coach Eddie Sinnott said McMillion’s relationships spread far and wide.

“Coach Mac was a fixture on the SMU campus for over six decades, as a student, athlete, teacher, coach administrator and alum,” Sinnott said. “He impacted literally thousands of lives, both young and old, throughout his time on the Hilltop.”

As a student, McMillion was captain of the 1954 SMU team, winning seven Southwest Conference individual championships. McMillion also helped the Mustangs to team championships in 1953 and 1954. He returned to SMU to become an assistant coach for 14 years, then succeeded Coach A.R. Barr in 1971. That same year, McMillion was honored as the Collegiate and Scholastic Swimming Trophy recipient, which is presented annually to an individual or organization which, in the estimation of the recipient’s peers, has contributed in an outstanding way to swimming as a competitive sport and healthful recreational activity.

McMillion led the program to eight consecutive Southwest Conference Championships and was named SWC Coach of the Year four times. He coached 78 All-Americans and 15 NCAA Champions, while his teams earned 14 NCAA top-10 finishes.

“Coach Mac was a big influence on my life and coaching career,” said head women’s swimming coach Steve Collins. “I came to SMU in the fall of 1977 to work as a graduate assistant with the SMU men’s team to learn from George McMillion. During the course of my career, Coach Mac was a mentor and a friend whom I will miss dearly.”

On the international level, McMillion mentored 10 Olympians, including five Olympic medalists – Steve Lundquist, Ricardo Prado, Rich Saeger, Jerry Heidenreich and Ronnie Mills. His Mustang swimmers earned a combined six gold, two silver and two bronze medals.

McMillion was inducted into the SMU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011, the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame in 2014 and the Texas Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame in 2009.

The Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center and Barr-McMillion Natatorium honors SMU swimming and diving’s tradition of excellence.

“Our dream of building an Aquatics Center has been realized, and I am so grateful that he was able to see the finished product shortly before his death,” Collins added. “His legacy will live on and be honored in the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center and Barr-McMillion Natatorium, and through the lives of the many people touched as a teacher, swim coach and friend. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the McMillion family.”

Memorial gifts may be made to The Coach George McMillion Men’s Swimming Endowment Fund at SMU, online at www.smu.edu/giving or by mail to SMU Gift Administration; PO Box 402; Dallas, TX  75275-0402.

“From the Learn to Swim Program to the Olympic gold medal, he helped young men and women reach their goals, while helping them develop into the people they ultimately became. His legacy will forever be remembered in the hearts of those he touched. He has run his race, and he has won,” Sinnott concluded.

SMU to dedicate Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center at 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, 2017

Robson and Lindley Aquatics Center, SMUSMU will dedicate the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center, the new home of SMU’s international championship swimming and diving programs, at 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. The 42,000 square foot center, located on the East Campus at 5550 SMU Boulevard, makes a big splash in Division I swimming and diving with facilities, coaching and training technology designed to prepare men’s and women’s swimmers and divers for the highest level of competition.

“For more than 70 years, SMU swimming and diving has produced Olympians, All Americans and NCAA champions,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “The completion of the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center affirms SMU’s commitment to providing first-rate facilities to support our student-athletes.”

The Aquatics Center natatorium, named for legendary Mustang swim coaches A.R. “Red” Barr and George “Mac” McMillion ’55, features an indoor Olympic-sized pool configured for eight 50-meter competition lanes or twenty-two 25-yard lanes. Its diving area boasts a 10-meter diving tower with four springboards. Just like cupolas on campus and the Mustang on Expressway Tower, the diving tower will be lit in red when Mustang swimming is victorious.

The natatorium also features seating for 800 spectators on the mezzanine level. Three large high-definition video boards across from the seating area display swimming times, live video or graphics and swimming and diving scores.

As a practice facility, the center features the SwimPro video system, with underwater and above-water cameras to analyze swimmers’ performances. Video can be viewed on the pool deck or downloaded for review by coaches and student-athletes. The diving well also features cameras to capture 1-meter, 3-meter and platform diving.

“The video can be shown on mounted TVs on the deck so the coaches can review technique with the swimmers while practice is going on,” said Steve Collins, head coach of Mustang women’s swimming. “Video can also be viewed in the conference room for more detailed study with the swimmers or divers. The U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs is setting up a similar system.”

The pool deck also includes men’s and women’s varsity and visitor locker rooms, a student lounge and classroom, and coaches’ and administrative offices. Public locker rooms are also available for community events, such as competitions and swim lessons.

“Recruits will see SMU’s commitment to swimming and diving the minute they walk in the door of the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center,” said Eddie Sinnott ’76, head coach of Mustang men’s swimming. “Combined with SMU’s outstanding academic reputation and the great city of Dallas, SMU swimming and diving will offer a great opportunity to student-athletes for many years to come.”

“I will always be grateful to have had the opportunity to be involved with SMU swimming while attending SMU,” said donor Bruce Robson. “My family and I are honored to be part of helping honor the legacy of Coach Barr and Coach Mac and the swimmers and divers who built this incredible program. This new aquatics center will do its part in helping the current and future coaches at SMU to attract the top swimming and diving talent to SMU for years to come.”

— Written by Nancy George

> Read the full story from SMU News

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

NCAA, Olympic diving coach Jim Stillson to retire after 33 years at SMU

Jim Stillson, AAC Diving Coach of the Year 2017

SMU’s Jim Stillson with the American Athletic Conference’s 2017 Diving Coach of the Year Award. Stillson has announced his retirement after 33 years with SMU.

SMU Diving Coach Jim Stillson, a three-time NCAA Coach of the Year and 16-time conference Coach of the Year, has announced his retirement after 33 seasons on the Hilltop.

As head of the Mustang men’s and women’s programs, Stillson coached four individuals to eight NCAA Championships and 20 student-athletes to 71 All-America honors. He has also mentored three NCAA Divers of the Year and 10 U.S. National Champions. Overall, 21 of Stillson’s SMU divers have won 89 conference championships.

“We want to thank Coach Stillson for his years of service and his outstanding contributions to the successes of our student-athletes,” said Director of Athletics Rick Hart. “He is a legend in his field and has set the standard for SMU Diving. He has positioned us to compete for championships for years to come. We look forward to having him back on campus this fall when we open our new natatorium and having him join us to celebrate the future championships our divers will win because of the foundation he has laid.”

On the international level, Stillson has coached three Olympians to four appearances, including SMU alumnus Scott Donie (USA), who competed at the 1992 and 1996 Games, winning silver in 1992. Stillson also mentored 1996 Olympians Ali Al-Hasan (Kuwait) and Tony Iglesias (Bolivia).

In 1989, Stillson was named the NCAA Men’s Diving Coach of the Year and, in 1990 and 1995, the NCAA Women’s Diving Coach of the Year. Stillson served as one of the U.S. Diving National Team coaches from 1987-91 and again in 1997, leading the team at events in countries such as Europe, Australia, China and the Soviet Union. In addition, he was selected as a team leader for the USA Diving team at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Stillson’s honors include the 1999 U.S. Olympic Committee Diving Coach of the Year award and the 1992 Mike Malone Memorial Award, given for outstanding contributions to diving by the national governing body of the sport. In 2015, he was honored by the International Swimming Hall of Fame with the Paragon Award, which is presented annually to individuals or organizations for outstanding contributions to aquatics.

> Read the full story from SMU Athletics

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

No. 14 SMU men’s basketball team clinches share of 2016-17 AAC title with 93-70 win over Tulsa

The No. 14 SMU men’s basketball team locked up at least a share of the 2016-17 American Athletic Conference regular-season championship with a decisive 93-70 victory over Tulsa on Thursday, March 2 in Moody Coliseum.

Redshirt junior psychology major Semi Ojeleye, who earlier in the day had been named to the CoSIDA 2016-17 Academic All-America second team, was perfect from the field. Yet he was more impressed with a play from a sitting position by sophomore Shake Milton that set up a Mustang goal and made highlight reels throughout sports media. (See a video profile of Ojeleye by SMU News’ Myles Taylor in the video link above.)

Milton maintained control of the ball after tripping just past midcourt, even dribbling between his legs, before passing to senior sport management major Sterling Brown, who delivered the alley-oop to Ojeleye. Milton racked up his first career double-double with 15 points and 10 assists, even without getting any stats for the highlight play.

Ojeleye made all nine of his field goal attempts, including three 3-pointers, and all five starters scored in double figures for the Mustangs (26-4, 16-1). Sophomore Jarrey Foster added 18 points on 9-of-11 shooting, while Brown scored 19 points and senior English major Ben Moore netted 12 .

The Mustangs have a 12-game winning streak and a one-game lead in the AAC standings over No. 18 Cincinnati (26-4, 15-2), which won its home finale 65-47 over Houston earlier Thursday night. They can take sole possession of the league title with a win at home Saturday over Memphis.

> Read the full story from SMU Athletics

Mustang Football announces 2017 schedule

SMU FootballSMU Football has announced its 2017 schedule, which will include seven home games. The Mustangs will open the season with their annual Whiteout in Ford Stadium on Sept. 2 against Stephen F. Austin. They will remain at home the following week, hosting 2016 bowl team North Texas on Sept. 9.

Visiting teams during the 2017 season will include 2016 bowl teams Tulsa, UCF and Arkansas State, as well as American Athletic Conference rivals Tulane and UConn.

Highlights include:

  • TCU, The Battle for the Iron Skillet, Sept. 16 in Fort Worth
  • Arkansas State, Sept. 23 (Family Weekend)
  • UConn, Sept. 30 (conference game)
  • UCF, Nov. 4 (Homecoming)
  • Tulane, Nov. 25 (Senior Day, conference game)

> Find the full 2017 Mustang football schedule at SMUMustangs.com

Sports: Rescheduled SMU Football Fan Day includes scrimmage Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

SMU Football red chrome helmetAfter a postponement for inclement weather, the rescheduled SMU Football Fan Day will take place Saturday, Aug. 27 in Ford Stadium. Gates will open at 5:30 p.m., and all activities are free and open to the public.

Posters, schedule cards and #GetHereForGameday yard signs will be available at the event. In addition, fans will be able to come onto the field after the intersquad scrimmage for autographs and photos with the Mustangs.

SMU will play Liberty University in the 2016 home opener Saturday, Sept. 17. Other home games include five opponents who were ranked in 2015, including Houston, USF, Navy, Memphis and TCU, who come to Dallas xxx for the 2016 Battle For the Iron Skillet.

The team’s 2016 season begins Saturday, Sept. 3 at the University of North Texas. The Mustangs take on the Mean Green at 6 p.m. in Apogee Stadium, Denton.

Season tickets are still available. For information on faculty-staff discounts, call the Athletics Department Ticket Office at 214-768-4263 (214-SMU-GAME) or visit GetHereForGameday.com.

By | 2016-08-25T16:02:32+00:00 August 25, 2016|Categories: Calendar Highlights, Sports|Tags: , , , |
Load More Posts