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2018 Alumni April 2018

Congratulations to the SMU Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2018

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Former student-athletes Janielle Dodds ’07, Denny Holman ’67, Wes Hopkins ’83, Hank Kuehne ’99, Cheril Santini ’95 and the late Clyde Carter ’35 have been named to the SMU Athletics Hall of Fame by the University and SMU Athletics, in conjunction with the SMU Lettermen’s Association. The outstanding former student-athletes will be recognized at the annual Hall of Fame Banquet and Induction Ceremony on Friday, May 4 at Moody Coliseum.

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An SMU women’s basketball standout, Dodds was a four-time All-Conference honoree and two time All-America Honorable Mention selection. She holds the SMU career record for points (1,861) and rebounds (974). As a senior, she led the Mustangs to the 2008 NCAA Tournament and a 24-9 record. That season, she was named the Conference USA Tournament MVP after leading SMU to a 73-57 win over No. 18 UTEP in the championship game.

Holman helped the SMU men’s basketball team to three straight Southwest Conference titles and NCAA Tournaments, including a regional final appearance as a senior in 1967. He was named SWC Player of the Year in 1967, also earning all-conference and all-district selections. The Mustangs went 54-25 during his seasons on the Hilltop with a 33-9 league record. Holman went on to play professionally for the Dallas Chaparrals.

Hopkins was an All-Southwest Conference safety on the 1981 and 1982 SMU football national championship teams. He had 14 career interceptions, including a league-leading six picks in 1982. He had an SMU-record four interceptions in a game against Houston in 1981. Hopkins was a second-round pick by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1983 NFL draft, and played 11 seasons for the franchise. He was a Pro Bowl selection in 1985 and was the 1988 Ed Block Courage Award recipient.

Golfer Kuehne was a three-time All-American from 1996 to 1999. He won the 1998 U.S. Amateur championship and was the 1996 Southwest Conference individual champion. Kuehne represented the United States as an amateur on the 1998 Eisenhower Trophy team and in the 1998 and 1999 Palmer Cups. He went on to play 11 years on the PGA tour with eight top-10 finishes, including runner-up marks at the 2003 Shell Houston Open and 2005 John Deere Classic. He also collected four career professional victories.

SMU women’s diving’s Santini was a 10-time All-American and two-time NCAA Champion in 1-meter diving, winning the national title in 1992 and 1995. She swept the Southwest Conference championship in the 1-meter during her four years at SMU, winning the 10-meter crown in 1992 and 3-meter title in 1993. Following the 1995 season, she was awarded the NCAA’s Top VII Award. Santini also was a three-time Academic All-American. In 1994, she was named one of Glamour magazine’s “Top Ten College Winners.”

Carter played football and basketball on the Hilltop, earning All-America honors on the gridiron in 1934. As a tackle, he led SMU to an 8-2-2 record as a senior in 1934. On the hardwood, Carter guided the Mustangs to a 14-3 record to capture the 1934-35 Southwest Conference Championship.

Purchase tickets for the event here.

For more information about tickets or event sponorship, please call 214-768-4314 or email Jeff Lockhart at lockhart@smu.edu.

ABOUT THE SMU ATHLETICS HALL OF FAME

The SMU Athletics Hall of Fame celebrates the many extraordinary individuals in all sports who have played a role in developing the tradition and prestige of SMU Athletics, and seeks to provide future generations with a greater appreciation for the rich heritage of the Mustangs.

In 2005, the SMU Lettermen’s Association began taking steps to renew the SMU Hall of Fame, which was established in 1978 to honor both outstanding athletes and administrators who played an important part in founding the great tradition of Mustang football. Building on this strong history, the Lettermen’s Association broadened today’s SMU Athletics Hall of Fame to include all sports, past and present, sponsored by the University.

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Categories
2019 News September 2019

Mustangs play at home on Saturday, September 7

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Fresh off a 37-30 victory on the road last week against Arkansas State, the Mustangs will host UNT on September 7. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. in Ford Stadium.

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CJ Sanders was named the AAC Special Teams Player of the Week after a 98-yard kickoff return TD against Arkansas State, while Xavier Jones earned an honor roll nod for a three-TD performance in the opener.

Read more at SMU Athletics.

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Categories
2017 Alumni May 2017

George Killebrew ’85: Helping SMU students break into the big time

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By Bindu Varghese
SMU

Connor Kolodziej ’19 was so excited about his winter break externship that he was up by 5:30 a.m. so he would be early to the office of George Killebrew ’85, executive vice president with the Dallas Mavericks.

Kolodziej didn’t know what to expect going in. He just knew a chance to work in a sports organization was something he’d always dreamed about. Dallas’ five professional sports teams had attracted the Atlanta, Georgia, resident and lifelong sports lover to SMU, where he is majoring in applied physiology and sport management in the Simmons School of Education and Human Development. So it made perfect sense to pursue a one-day opportunity to get an inside look at the business operations of a legendary team.

SMU sophomore Connor Kolodziej ’19 and SMU alumnus George Killebrew ’85 at American Airlines Center. Kolodziej job-shadowed Killebrew, executive vice president with the Dallas Mavericks, and his staff during a winter break externship that “exceeded my expectations.”

Little did he know then that it would land him a three-month summer internship with the team.

SMU’s Hegi Family Career Development Center connected Kolodziej with Killebrew, who’d received his BBA from the Cox School of Business. “When I found out George was with the Mavericks, I was very excited,” says Kolodziej. “The day exceeded my expectations. I understood the daily operations. Everyone was friendly and happy, and that really encouraged me about my future.”

“It’s actually a simple thing,” says Killebrew, who is also a member of the SMU Alumni Board. “Anytime someone comes in, whether it’s for a summerlong internship or a day’s externship, we want to make sure they get a full flavor of the organization and the different business roles within. A lot of people see the Mavericks and think about the basketball piece of it. But we’re over in a warehouse in Deep Ellum. We’re selling tickets and sponsorships and merchandise. Connor came in and spent pretty much the whole day with us. My whole staff took time with him. So everybody had 30 or 45 minutes with him. We’re always trying to help out – especially someone who wants to get into sports.”

Kolodziej values how the externship helped with his longer-term career aspirations. “I got to make new connections and meet new people who didn’t go to SMU. It also helped me see new aspects – so it broadened my horizon about where I’d like to go in the future.”

He parlayed his winter externship into a summer internship by “staying in contact with George and everyone else I talked to during my winter externship. You never know what is out there unless you ask.” In assisting the Mavs’ corporate sponsorship team this summer with promotions and programs, Kolodziej hopes to gain deeper insights into sports organizations and continue to “learn as much as possible.”

Killebrew, who grew up in Hawaii, credits his SMU education and SMU connections to getting him where he is now. “I was a bit sheltered growing up on an island. When I got to SMU, I met people from all different walks of life, all 50 states and a lot of foreign countries. That really helped prepare me for the real world.”

After graduation, Killebrew worked in the SMU Alumni association for two years, then “I got a job in the Athletics department at SMU. So I was working for the Mustang Club, which opened the door to get me here to the Mavericks – because the people at SMU were helping me take the next steps.”

Killebrew encourages others to take advantage of SMU alumni connections. “There are so many resources, in the city of Dallas and within the SMU alumni community, that you can pretty much accomplish anything you want, regardless of your field. Alumni are willing to help. They just need to be asked.”

Kolodziej appreciates how SMU is helping him pursue the career of his dreams and emphatically recommends the externship experience to other SMU students. “I loved the whole day. I learned so much. SMU has a great connection with alumni, and George pushed home the importance of networking and meeting new people, especially as a student in college. And the most important thing I learned is to find a good place not just to work, but also to enjoy what you do.”

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Categories
2017 News Spring 2017

Working Out With SMU Rowing

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