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  1. She earned all-conference honors all four years at North Texas and was a part of the winningest senior class in program history, compiling a 77-39 record -- including a 42-4 mark at the Super Pit -- and making back-to-back WNIT appearances in 2001 and 2002. Mitchell's No. 44 is one of two numbers that has been retired by the Mean Green, and her spectacular playing career culminated in 2007 when she was inducted into the North Texas Hall of Fame. "This is a great day for the program, the athletic department and the entire University of North Texas," Athletic Director Rick Villarreal said. "We were able to bring back one of our own who has played at the highest level, worked with and learned from some of the most talented coaches in the country and has proven herself as a premier recruiter across the nation." Previously, Mitchell had been an assistant coach for four seasons under head coach Karen Aston, beginning with the 2011-12 campaign with North Texas. In that campaign, the team went 15-16, which is its best record of the last nine seasons. When Aston left the Mean Green to coach the Longhorns in 2012, Mitchell followed. In her three seasons at Texas, the team combined for a 60-41 overall record. The Longhorns made the NCAA Tournament field the last two seasons, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2015 -- their first since 2008. Mitchell began her collegiate coaching career in 2008 as an assistant coach with the Mean Green under Shanice Stephens. She spent two seasons at North Texas under Stephens before taking on the same position at UNC Wilmington for the 2010-11 season. Mitchell helped the Seahawks finish with a 24-9 record and reach the second round of the WNIT, both program bests. "In addition to her coaching and recruiting skills, Jalie will bring to us an emotion, a passion and a commitment to the university that she doesn't have to think about because it's embedded in her," Villarreal continued. "At the end of the day, this hire was about her ability to bring in quality players and push them to maximize their talents in order to build the kind of program we all want. She brings the added ability to connect to the Dallas market, not just with student-athletes, but also with alumni who share her memories and dreams." WHAT THEY'RE SAYING... "This is a terrific hire for North Texas, and I am so thrilled for Jalie. She is a rising star in our profession and truly cares not only about winning, but also developing young women. During my time with her over the past four seasons, her commitment was always to the student-athlete first. Jalie is a tremendous recruiter and someone who will embrace helping players achieve their goals, may it be academically or athletically. I am so appreciative of her commitment to helping Texas become successful, and more importantly, I am so proud of her, personally and professionally." -- Karen Aston, Head Coach, University of Texas "Jalie Mitchell is going to make a fantastic head coach at this level. She is an incredible recruiter and she can connect with student-athletes on a level that not many coaches can get to. I think this is a great opportunity and I'm extremely proud of her going to North Texas, a place where she has so much passion for that program. The president and athletic director showed great foresight and commitment by bringing in a young, passionate individual like Jalie. I'm looking forward to what she will bring to North Texas women's basketball." -- Cynthia Cooper-Dykes, Head Coach, University of Southern California "Jalie is not only one of the greatest players to ever play at North Texas, but one of the greatest people I have coached throughout the years. Her leadership, vision and loyalty to North Texas women's basketball will be demonstrated in her everyday process. Jalie is a class act and I am proud of her and excited for the future of the program." -- Tina Slinker, former Head Coach, University of North Texas, 1990-2008 Click here to view the article
  2. When Tony Benford arrived at North Texas in the spring of 2012, he was met with sky-high expectations of NCAA tournament bids and conference titles. That was part of the deal when the former Marquette assistant inherited a future NBA draft pick in Tony Mitchell, not to mention Jordan Williams and Alzee Williams, a pair of players now ranked in the top 20 when it comes to scoring in program history. UNT finished 12-20 in Benford’s first season before breaking even at 16-16 last year. That performance led athletic director Rick Villarreal to acknowledge that the Mean Green must improve and overcome some of the obstacles the program has faced, including competing at a higher level after moving to Conference USA last season. “Tony did a great job of recruiting this year,” Villarreal said earlier this year. “We are excited about the kids he is bringing in, but there is no doubt in his third year, regardless of being in Conference USA, we have to play better.” UNT ran off five straight 20-win seasons followed by an 18-win campaign under former coach Johnny Jones before he left for LSU following the 2011-12 season. The Mean Green haven’t posted a winning season since and are just 13-23 in conference play the last two years. Benford and his players say that they don’t feel any added pressure to break through, but realize that they have to start winning consistently. “We have to win games,” Benford said. “I appreciate Coach V. He’s right. We understand that. We are in it to win. That’s why I took this job. Everyone is in it to win. We are trending that way, and I believe we have made progress and are adding quality players.” Read more: http://www.dentonrc.com/sports/colleges/north-texas-headlines/20141114-mens-basketball-mean-green-look-to-get-back-to-winning-ways.ece
  3. RV has hired good coaches in the non-revenue sports and it is paying dividends. He didn't hire Hedlund but he has kept him here and they won a C-USA Championship. Softball was a big surprise last season and that coach Kee looks to be special. Volleyball improving, and swimming off to its best start ever. Tennis and golf rebuilding but have potential. Yes we are experiencing a down/rebuilding year in football but the odds are Mac can make some adjustments and turn it around. The jury is out still on Benford and Coach Pete. Still, the non revenue sports have been improving and RV deserves much of the credit for that.
  4. The University of North Texas will host a free college recruiting seminar for high school and middle school athletes, their parents, high school coaches and counselors on Saturday. It will be at 2:30 p.m. in the Ken Bahnsen Gym. “The University of North Texas is proud to be a partner in this initiative to provide high school recruits a no-strings attached event to be further educated about the recruiting process,” said North Texas Athletic Director Rick Villarreal. “We strongly encourage all student-athletes grades 8 through 12 to take advantage of this presentation and get the in-depth information that can help them make informed choices not only about the recruitment process but their futures in general.” Read more: http://highschoolsportsblog.dallasnews.com/2014/11/free-recruiting-seminar-offered-saturday-at-unt.html/
  5. Fast forward to 2014, and the school is sporting one of the premier college football stadiums in the country with Apogee Stadium. But the construction of Apogee and the addition of many amenities, most recently including the sale of beer, is about more than just adapting to a changing collegiate landscape. Villarreal is aiming to provide the ultimate fan experience for anyone who comes to a Mean Green football game, regardless of their affiliation with the university. The addition of beer sales is one of many steps the university is taking to successfully compete with other local sporting venues. “We work in a market where you’ve got the Cowboys, you’ve got the Mavericks, you’ve got the Stars, you’ve got the Rough Riders,” Villarreal said. “So when you’re looking at how you’re going to spend your discretionary dollars, even going to a Rangers game, you can take your son and daughter, and you have a hot dog and beer while they have a Coke. Here, you can have that full entertainment experience.” Read more: http://ntdaily.com/apogee-striving-for-ultimate-fan-experience/
  6. In this edition of the Barbershop Podcast (#133) Evan and Harry revisit a lopsided 43-6 victory over crosstown rival SMU. Special guest UNT Athletic Director Rick Villarreal joins the conversation and provides his unique insight on the program. As usual, we ask questions from the fans and look forward to the big upcoming game against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. http://www.gomeangreen.com/forums/podcast/gmgpod133.mp3 Click here for direct audio link to podcast #133 This post has been promoted to an article
  7. It's a game for North Texas. It's also a paycheck. But North Texas athletic director Rick Villarreal sees the season opener at Texas on Saturday as something a bit more -- an opportunity. The road to Austin may be a new one for the Mean Green. But its a road familiar to Villarreal. Opportunity awaits. When Villarreal was an associate athletic director at Southern Miss, the Golden Eagles signed up for some big paychecks against national powers. Southern Miss, then an unheralded independent, visited Florida State in 1989 and both Alabama and Auburn in 1990. The Golden Eagles, shockingly, won all three games, whipping then No. 6 ranked Florida State 30-26 in the 1989 season opener, then toppling No. 13 Alabama 27-24 and No. 15 Auburn 13-12 the following season. Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/college-sports/unt-mean-green/20140827-gosselin-north-texas-ad-an-upset-veteran-sees-austin-trip-as-game-changer.ece
  8. The Vols pay UAB $925,000 in 2015 for a Sept. 5 neutral-site meeting at LP Field in Nashville, $500,000 to Western Carolina and $750,000 to North Texas. Per the contract, Tennessee is designated as the home team in Nashville against UAB and the contest is considered a home game for the Vols. When Tennessee moved its North Texas meeting from 2011 back to 2015, it cost the Vols an additional $150,000, going from an initial price of $600,000 to the current price of $750,000. read more: http://www.thedailytimes.com/sports/vols-will-pay-m-for-nonconference-games-next-two-seasons/article_a18ddebf-101f-5be4-8c59-bba5dfaafa27.html
  9. Feel free to ask them during the chat tonight at 9PM or right now here in this thread if you can't make it. GMG
  10. In this episode we kick off the 2014 season with special guest Rick Villarreal, UNT Athletic Director. We talk about the upcoming game against Texas as well as a number of other interesting topics. DRC Sports Writer Brett Vito joins us to update the latest goings on at Camp Denton. Direct Link This post has been promoted to an article
  11. University of North Texas leaders say they've long toyed with the idea of adding beer vendors to Apogee Stadium and other campus venues. Like many college sports venues across the country, no alcohol is allowed in the Mean Green's football stadium. But Athletic Director Rick Villarreal said it's been an ongoing discussion. He said he has watched closely as other venues tackle the topic. "It's a trend that we've watched across country," he said. "We've seen that increasingly happen in stadium settings." Villarreal said there are some real benefits to beer sales, such as new profits. But he also said beer sales could actually have a positive effect on safety. Read more: http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/sports/UNT-Says-Beer-Sales-at-Football-Games-Are-Ongoing-Discussion-225582072.html
  12. It really feels good to see our University step up and make this type of commitment on Coach Mac. It shows me that they are serious about competing at the highest level. It's exciting to think that we will have the majority of this staff in place for a good while with both Skaldany and Chico getting extensions. And shout out to our students and the fans as well. The turnout and success in Dallas at the Heart of Dallas Bowl had an impact on this deal getting done. It's exciting to think about the future of our football program with the pieces we now have in place. GMG!
  13. UNT saw its season come to an end today, when the Mean Green fell to Tulane 66-61 in a second-round game in the Conference USA tournament. The second season of the Tony Benford era concluded with a 16-16 mark and naturally questions about the direction of the program. That’s the case good or bad in college sports. We went though the same process in football a few weeks ago when it was obvious UNT is headed up under Dan McCarney. The issue with UNT’s men’s basketball program is there are a couple of different ways to look at it. I asked Rick Villarreal about the program before UNT’s game against Rice. I used one quote on the blog yesterday. Here’s another piece of what Villarreal had to say. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2014/03/thoughts-on-unt-mens-hoops.html/
  14. My wife always watches the 10 pm news and she yelled at me, "Hey Rick Villarreal is on the news, hurry!" Sure enough there was RV being interviewed and a real nice segment about UNT football getting top 25 votes! The good effects of this bowl win just won't stop! GMG!
  15. I just spoke to RV regarding the issues surrounding the tickets and FedEx delivery. They have identified and he is aware of the issue in regards to the mailing of the tickets and how they were distributed. There was a miscommunication in the ticket office in regards to how the tickets would be delivered. RV apologized on behalf of the entire staff for any inconveniences this may have caused some of the fans. The entire athletic department is proactively trying to get in touch with everyone who could have been affected by this to get them their tickets and get things resolved to their satisfaction. They want only to make sure everyone gets their tickets and enjoys this bowl game. IF YOU HAVE NOT YET RECEIVED YOUR TICKETS - you can contact the ticket office at 1-800-UNT-2366 but please understand that they have a limited number of phones and there are still a LOT of people still buying tickets for the game so there probably will be wait times. In addition to the phones, the following schedule will be in place for those wanting to pick up their tickets in person: * The UNT Ticket office (@Apogee) will be open all day tomorrow (Saturday) (12-28) * The UNT Ticket office (@Apogee) will be open all day Monday(12-30) * The UNT Ticket office (@Apogee) will be open until noon on Tuesday (12-31) * They will move the Ticket Office to the Omni Hotel Lobby from 3-5 on Tuesday afternoon (12-31) * They will have tickets available for pickup at the NYE party at the Tower Club on New Years Eve (12-31) * They will have a ticket table set up @7AM at the Cotton Bowl on gameday In addition -- RV asked if anyone could not get the options above to work that you could email him personally at rick.villarreal@unt.edu and he and his support team would assist you in getting your tickets. He reiterated at the end of the phone call they were going to do everything they could do to make this right and get everyone their tickets as quickly as possible! GMG!
  16. UNT athletic director Rick Villarreal will be with the university a little longer under terms of his latest contract extension that was released to the Denton Record-Chronicle in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. I have been asking for it for months, but didn’t get my hands on it until the last couple of days. The contract extends Villarreal’s deal with UNT to Feb. 28, 2018. His last extension had him under contract until Feb. 28, 2017. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2013/11/details-of-rvs-contract-extension.html/
  17. The athletics budget for the University of North Texas is expected to increase to $30.4 million for the upcoming fiscal year, to level the playing field within Conference USA and support a new baseball program, school officials said. During UNT system Board of Regents meetings last week, the board passed an amendment to the system budget to consider adding $2.8 million in revenue and expenditures to the proposed athletics budget of $27.6 million. Talks with the finance committee, UNT President Lane Rawlins and athletic director Rick Villarreal are underway. A completed budget is expected in two weeks, Rawlins said. "Were a lot better than people in the region and state think we are, and one of the reasons we get overlooked is because so much attention is paid to athletics," Rawlins said. "Athletics is how you get attention. ... Its simply a fact of life for an institution of our size and location." The board wanted to learn more about how UNT compared with other institutions in the conference, and some were concerned that athletic programs arent enough of a priority. Rawlins presented figures that show UNT is on par with spending in its new conference, but Board of Regents Finance Committee chairman Don Potts said the university spends less than half of the average on recruiting. "The issue of concern is that were moving into Conference USA and we want UNT to have the same resources that our competitors have, Potts said. We do want to win, you know." Read more: http://www.dentonrc.com/local-news/local-news-headlines/20130823-unt-athletics-may-get-boost.ece
  18. The University of North Texas will have a balanced budget this upcoming fiscal year, with $543 million as budgeted income, and the same amount for expenditures, according to budget documents. This is part of the $870 million total budget for the University of North Texas system, which was passed by the Board of Regents unanimously last week, with one amendment. After presentations from UNT President Lane Rawlins, the board voted 6-3 to add an amendment to the budget that supports “the commitment of the UNT President of an additional $2.8 million in revenue and expenditure for the UNT Intercollegiate Athletics program and directs the Finance Committee to meet with the President immediately.” Additionally, the amendment states that the committee should review the athletics department five-year plan and make a recommendation to the board including budget adjustments. After the amendment was added, the budget passed unanimously. Rawlins was not immediately available to comment further on the amendment and how he and the committee will proceed. Read more: http://www.dentonrc.com/local-news/local-news-headlines/20130822-unt-board-of-regents-approves-870-million-budget.ece
  19. I said a couple of days ago that I would post some thoughts on my series on UNT’s 100th football anniversary on the blog. Here’s all three parts. After talking with more than a dozen people over the course of several months, I came away with the feeling that there is a lot of excitement among UNT officials, boosters and fans about the future of the program. There is also a sense of trepidation. UNT is on the cusp of arriving at the Promised Land in terms of a conference home with its move to Conference USA. In one way or another, UNT has spent around a decade trying to make that switch from the Sun Belt. The question now is how UNT will take advantage of all its has in place. You never get all your good quotes into a series like that, even one that runs three days and more than 6,000 words. I had 24 pages of single spaced material to work with. This is one comment from UNT athletic director Rick Villarreal that I didn’t find a place for that stuck with me: “You don’t make this investment to just have a nice place for people to come. When you build [a new stadium], you expect to recruit better players and draw more fans. There needs to be a payoff. In what we do, it’s measured in wins and losses.” Villarreal went on to make that point that the investment UNT made in other programs like tennis paid off eventually. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2013/08/unt-100-series-wrap-up-thoughts-top-25-out-recruiting-tidbit.html/
  20. Bill McGillis of South Florida was introduced as new Southern Miss athletic director today at the Trent Lott Center. Bill McGillis is a seasoned and experienced athletic administrator who has a proven record of helping student-athletes accomplish their academic and athletic goals, university president Rodney Bennett said at McGillis' introductory press conference today. He has built winning programs that compete at the highest levels, and has the ability to develop strong relationships with stakeholders. I have no doubt that Bill is the right person to best build on our tradition of athletics excellence and position us for future success. McGillis comes to The University of Southern Mississippi from the University of South Florida, where he serves as Executive Associate Athletic Director. In that role, he is the sport administrator for the football, baseball and softball programs and is responsible for leading the departments revenue-generating units, including marketing, ticket sales, licensing, merchandising and communications. McGillis official start date has not yet been determined. Read more: http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/article/20130718/SOUTHERNMISS/130718028/Bill-McGillis-named-new-USM-athletic-director
  21. While a few of its old Sun Belt Conference rivals celebrated their move to Conference USA earlier this week, North Texas remained patient. UNT officials and fans were thrilled about joining the league, a move that became official Monday. UNT just decided to wait a little longer to have what amounts to an unofficial celebration tonight when the Denton Noon Kiwanis Club sponsors the city’s annual fireworks show at Apogee Stadium. The event that annually attracts thousands will offer UNT officials and fans a chance to celebrate the school’s move to C-USA, not to mention promote all that the new league offers to a large chunk of the city’s residents. The event, which previously took place at Fouts Field, moves to Apogee for the first time tonight. UNT officials plan to promote C-USA with displays on the video board and also will be on hand for the annual parade through downtown, where they will pass out T-shirts and trinkets. UNT spent 12 years as the only Texas school in the Sun Belt and now will be aligned in a league with Rice, UTEP and Texas-San Antonio, as well as regional foe Louisiana Tech. Read more: http://www.dentonrc.com/sports/colleges/north-texas-headlines/20130703-good-ol-c-usa.ece
  22. Looks like Rick is either being recognized or a speaker at this event: http://www.collegiatefacilities.com/rick-villarreal/
  23. UNT officials say the additional exposure that television games provide is just one of several ways the move to C-USA will help the program improve. “We will be on TV a lot more than we ever have before and have access to more bowl games,” UNT athletic director Rick Villlarreal said about the benefits of moving to C-USA. “Those are all things that are important to coaches and to players.” UNT spent the last 12 seasons as a member of the Sun Belt Conference. UNT also announced kickoff times for five of its games next season, bringing the total number of game times that have been set to seven. - See more at: http://www.dentonrc.com/sports/colleges/north-texas-headlines/20130613-football-unt-up-to-eight-tv-games.ece#sthash.n2tyjPC9.dpuf
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