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Skipper last won the day on April 5 2018

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  1. With the fall semester coming to an end, I set down with Wren Baker, UNT’s Vice President and athletic director. Baker joined the Mean Green staff in the summer of 2016 and has made efforts to turn North Texas athletics into a program that is competitive throughout Conference USA. When Baker arrived, he implemented a five-year plan to accomplish this. Sitting down with him, I wanted to cover his plan’s progress as well as other athletic topics. So you’re about 3.5 years through [your five-year plan]. I looked online and I looked through what you’ve accomplished. Do you feel like the five-year plan is on a good pace right now? We are. There’s some areas where we hit targets ahead of schedule and some where we’re slightly behind and that’s okay. When you put a plan like that in place, it’s meant to be malleable so that as things change or maybe different priorities elevate, you have the ability to shift resources, both human and money. I think by-and-large we’ve made a lot of progress in those areas. If you zoom out and look at the department as a whole, I think all of the metrics are trending in a favorable way. Our momentum is strong and [it’s] not just about wins and losses, although those have definitely improved. Financial contributions, number of donors, academic success, overall health and well-being, all of that stuff is trending in a favorable way I think that’s due a lot to the plan and we’ve involved a lot of people in the formulation of that plan. I think the most noticeable part of that plan has been the infrastructure for athletics facilities. What were your thought in increasing the qualities of facilities and what was your goal there? When I took the job, a lot of the conversation was around, ‘We have good facilities,” and having been at some other institutions, I felt like the stadium was in really good shape. Outside of that, everything needed some help. I think for us, a lot of progress has been made in facilities because before they acquired the old Liberty campus, they didn’t have anything. They just played in city parks and that kind of stuff. People aren’t standing still, waiting on you to catch up and so when I came in, I did an assessment. We took some donors around and looked at facilities and opened their eyes to what the competitors are doing. I think the vision here was to be one of the best Group of 5 programs in the country and that hadn’t been where we had been historically. View Full Article
  2. Walking into the final press conference of Mason Fine’s North Texas football career, it was clear that emotions were running high. As much as Fine wanted to hold back his emotions, he almost broke and delivered a line that showed a lot about the character of the quarterback. “This whole season has been an example of how life is,” Fine said. “Life is not perfect and this game is why I love it so much.” Fine expressed admiration for some of his senior teammates and echoed a sentiment that he’s pressed throughout the season: brotherhood. Fine mentioned he was excited to see what five of his teammates (Michael Lawrence, Taylor Robinson, Ladarius Hamilton, Khairi Muhammad and Kelvin Smith) were going to do next. “This chapter is closed, but I’m onto the new one,” Fine said. “I know every single one of those men are gonna be successful in whatever they do and I know they learned something from this season.” Very rarely do three-star recruits go down in program histories as one of the greats. Even more rare is the phenom occurring at the quarterback position. Fine gave enough proof to provide an argument that he will go down as one of the greatest Mean Green football players of all time, behind perhaps only Mean Joe Greene. This mindset is echoed by his head coach Seth Littrell. Littrell took the reins for the football program shortly after the 2015 season ended and controlled the recruiting for the following years class — Fine has been with Littrell since the beginning. “He’s one of my all-time greats, I know that,” Littrell said. “He’s a guy that shows up to work each and every day and is very positive knowing how it works.” Littrell isn’t alone in his assessment. Fine’s teammates feel the same way and aren’t afraid to talk about it. View Full Article
  3. Current UNT Student Government Vice President Hillary Shah has resigned, according to a letter of resignation obtained by the Daily. “After months of deliberation, I have decided to resign from my View Full Article
  4. It’s no secret that UNT is an old campus with some significantly old buildings. Some buildings on campus have gotten fixed up over the years, though. Namely, the Union, Sage Hall, View Full Article
  5. With the decade closing in a few weeks, it’s time to look back at some of the top moments since 2010. Plenty has happened since Jan. 1, 2010. “TikTok” by View Full Article
  6. North Texas’ men’s basketball team (3-5) got back on track Monday after making a short road trip to Arlington, Texas in which they took down the University of Texas-Arlington (4-5) by a score of 77-66. The Mean Green won following a week-long break after dropping both of their games in the Jersey Mike’s Jamaica Classic. “We played how we wanted to play,” head coach Grant McCasland said. “It was great to see our guys be able to step in there and have so much success.” It was the 58th meeting between the Dallas-Fort Worth area rivals in which North Texas increased its advantage to 32-26. The Mean Green shot an efficient 50 percent from the field and 37 percent from beyond the arc. They finished with better percentages than the Mavericks who shot 42 percent from the field and 36 percent from downtown. “You could tell our defense was playing a really good team,” McCasland said. “They were able to maintain physicality and we guarded all the way down the stretch.” The Mean Green got going early on offense in this one after outscoring the Mavericks 35-23 in the first half. Numerous players for North Texas scored in double digits against the Mavericks including the starting backcourt of redshirt sophomore Umoja Gibson and redshirt junior guard Javion Hamlet. They both led the game in scoring with 18 each, combining to shoot 50 percent from the field and from beyond the arc as a pair. “Give [Hamlet] and [Gibson] credit,” McCasland said. “They really got loose and put the pressure on them View Full Article
  7. Playing on their home court is something both Mean Green basketball programs have utilized in recent years, including a winning record at home in 15 of the last 16 seasons for the North Texas men’s team. The Super Pit continues to be a place where the North Texas basketball players feel locked in and fall into their routines to continue a winning tradition. North Texas’ men’s basketball has finished its last 11 of 15 seasons with a winning record and currently holds a 183-85 record at the Super Pit dating back to the 2003-04 season. On the other hand, women’s basketball in a stretch of their previous two winning seasons represents a 23-14 record at home since the 2017-18 season. “We try to play our best to coming out to playing hard no matter who or where it is,” women’s basketball senior center Anisha George said. “At the same time though, our away games can be difficult because you have to get used to playing in different atmospheres and make adjustments.” Home basketball games have been crucial to the structure of a college basketball environment, which can draw loud fans and possibly disturb the schemes of an away team to execute their game plan. Head coach Grant McCasland believes it benefits not only their team to have a large fan base, but it helps the school as a whole. “We have great fans and the home court atmosphere brought with the student section is amazing,” McCasland said. “The home games show energy all around that can clear our minds to play our best.” In the past 37 games for women’s basketball, they’ve outscored their opponents on an average of 64.2-54.1 at the Super Pit. In the 2017-18 season, the defense held their competition to 50 points or less in six straight home games. To stay on top of their game, the players stick to what superstitions and routines work for them. “We usually eat the same food for good luck before the games,” women’s basketball junior guard Callie Owens said. “They cater out to us some good chicken, veggies and mac & cheese before our warmups. From there we just start the pregame shooting drills and everyone feels confident afterward.” View Full Article
  8. Honolulu, Hawaii hosted the Mean Green women’s basketball team for a series of three games last weekend. North Texas (3-5) won the first game and lost the final two. After View Full Article
  9. Two days after losing its season finale to Alabama-Birmingham, North Texas head coach Seth Littrell made the decision to fire first-year offensive coordinator Bodie Reeder and defensive coordinator Troy Reffett View Full Article
  10. Analysis: Five takeaways from 2019 December 02 00:22 2019 Print This Article Share it With Friends by Zachary Cottam With the final cannon sounding, a curtain closed that didn’t fall the Mean Green’s way, North Texas’ 2019 football season is officially over. After finishing 4-8 overall (3-5 Conference USA) and tied for third in the Western division of C-USA, 2019 left a lot to be desired. However with 279 days remaining until North Texas straps up for their 2020 season opener against the Houston Baptist Huskies, there’s a lot to take away from this season. 1. Mason Fine is the greatest offensive player in school history There’s no point in debating it. Fine not only sits as the greatest offensive player in school history, he’s short of only one player in my book: Mean Joe Green. Fine’s stats and accolades speak for themselves. He’s top five if not number one, in most major quarterback career, season and single-game statistics in program history and has received conference and national recognition since his freshman year. He led North Texas to three-straight bowl games, threw together multiple game-winning drives and brought the Mean Green into serious contention for the C-USA title. The kid wore a dinosaur costume to a post-game press conference, it’s impossible to hate him. While Fine’s presence at North Texas will most definitely be missed, I’m confident in his status amongst the program’s greats and excited to see what his next steps are. 2. The defense missed last year’s seniors but showed flashes Asking a defense to replace three-fourths of its secondary and its two best linebackers seems very over the top, yet, it’s the name of the game for most of college football. On defense more so than offense, seniority reigns and that rang true for the Mean Green last season. After replacing 18 years of experience on one side of the ball, North Texas came into 2019 with a lot of inexperience and youth. This showed as the defense gave up 390 points (32.5 per game) compared to 314 (24.15 per game) in 2018. The Mean Green dropped from 18 interceptions to four in a single offseason. Despite the numbers not looking great, the defensive played some really good games. Holding any team to three points while your offense puts up 45 on them is impressive, regardless of who’s playing. That’s what this defense did to Texas-San Antonio. The other standout game was the season finale against Alabama-Birmingham. A team that averaged 25.1 points per game came to Apogee and put up 26. Did the Blazers beat their average? Yes. Should that be considered a win for a defense that allowed 30-plus points in six of their 12 games? Also yes. Hope isn’t lost. This defense has a lot of youth and that youth got a lot of playing time this year. That playing time will benefit this defense throughout the next two years, despite losing major defensive pieces this offseason including defensive end Ladarius Hamilton and safety Khairi Muhammad. View Full Article
  11. North Texas (17-12, 10-4 Conference USA) reigns victorious against Southern Methodist (18-10, 11-5 American Athletic Conference) after losing to them earlier this season in four sets. North Texas won sets View Full Article
  12. After a long season filled with great expectations, North Texas closes its final chapter to its season with a 26-20 loss to Alabama-Birmingham (9-3, 6-2 Conference USA). Despite losing their View Full Article
  13. North Texas women’s basketball lost to CSU Bakersfield 61-52 in their first away game of the season on Tuesday. Leading the Mean Green were freshman guard Jazion Jackson and freshman forward View Full Article
  14. After trading the lead 17 times, the North Texas men’s basketball team (2-5) fell to nationally ranked No. 15 Utah State (7-0) by a score of 68-59 in the final View Full Article
  15. Meet Amari Green, better known as Amari Amore, the singer-songwriter whose tracks steeped in dreamy vocals paired with acoustic guitar recently received recognition from NPR. Green is a music performance View Full Article
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