Tune In: A Saint remembers Frank Gansz

Thomas Morstead with the George Halas TrophyFormer SMU kicker Thomas Morstead had an NFL rookie season to remember: As a breakout punter for the National Football Conference Champion New Orleans Saints, he will play in Super Bowl XLIV Feb. 7, 2010 in Miami. Cox Sports TV has created a video profile of Morstead in which he talks about his friendship with the late SMU Special Teams Coach Frank Gansz, who died a day after Morstead was drafted by the Saints. Watch the video. video

(Left, Morstead, holding a photo of Gansz, with the George Halas Trophy presented to the NFC championship team.)

Sports: SMU, Navy to battle for inaugural Gansz Trophy

Gansz TrophyThe SMU and Navy Athletic Departments have announced the creation of the Gansz Trophy (left), a traveling prize that honors the late coaching legend Frank Gansz. The trophy will be awarded to the winner of future SMU-Navy football games; the Mustangs and Midshipmen will battle for the trophy for the first time on Oct. 17 in Dallas.

Gansz, who was considered perhaps the top special teams coach in NFL history, spent time at both SMU and the U.S. Naval Academy. He was starting his second season as special teams coach on the Hilltop when he passed away on April 27, 2009. Gansz played center and linebacker for Navy from 1957 to 1959 and graduated in 1960. He also spent four seasons as a Navy assistant coach (1969-72). Read more.

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.