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  1. The Denton Record-Chronicle has been honored for producing one of the best sports special sections for newspapers of its size nationally in the annual Associated Press Sports Editors contest for work produced in 2017. http://www.dentonrc.com/sports/mean-green/2018/04/16/denton-record-chronicle-vito-gamel-honored-apse http://www.dentonrc.com/news/denton/2018/04/15/record-chronicle-earns-16-awards-2017-coverage Congrats to Brett and the DRC!
  2. Wren Baker vowed better times were on the way when he took over as North Texas' athletic director in summer 2016. Those times certainly appeared to arrive during the fall sports season that will go down as one of the best in program history. Those few months kicked off Baker's second year at the school. The UNT football team won the Conference USA West Division title and played in the New Orleans Bowl. And that was only one milestone school officials see as an indication of how far the program has come in a short time. UNT won the C-USA tournament in women's soccer and the regular season title in volleyball. The school also broke ground on a new facility for its soccer and track programs. "I am proud of our student-athletes, coaches and staff," Baker said. "This fall was certainly one to celebrate and be proud of. I'm also grateful for our alumni and fans, as well as the community, for supporting and embracing our student-athletes. Together, we are building a program that excels academically and athletically." read more: http://www.dentonrc.com/sports/mean-green/2018/01/16/unt-cites-fall-success-sign-baker-delivering-promise-elevate-programs
  3. http://www.dentonrc.com/sports/mean-green/2017/12/02/unt-turns-attention-bowl Brett Vito article discussing bowl options and bowl priorities for the UNT administration.
  4. DENTON -- Seth Littrell came to North Texas a year ago with a national reputation as an offensive guru and vowed to "tee it high and let it fly." The path UNT's head coach took to reach that goal seemed a little unconventional, to say the least. Littrell had been on the job just a few days when he handed his offense over to Graham Harrell, a Texas high school and college football legend with a short coaching résumé. Littrell's decision to hire an old friend as his offensive coordinator and play-caller resulted in a few bumpy moments, but it paid dividends overall. UNT will head into the second year of the Littrell era off a turnaround season that came largely out of the chemistry the pair have developed together -- and with their players. "Those two guys have a great relationship," UNT quarterback Mason Fine said. "Coach Littrell respects what Coach Harrell is trying to do. And Coach Harrell will bounce ideas off Littrell. Their attitudes complement each other. Coach Littrell is more laid-back, while Coach Harrell is always yelling. I am very comfortable with both those guys." read more: https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/college-sports/collegesports/2017/08/22/tandem-seth-littrell-graham-harrell-getting-unt-football-back-track
  5. As we close in on another exciting college football season, we have some bold predictions for each of our local teams. Here's what you can expect this season from North Texas: 1. North Texas will be bowl-eligible again: UNT has been bowl-eligible with six wins just once since 2004. The Mean Green won eight regular season games in 2013 and then beat UNLV in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. UNT made a return trip to the Heart of Dallas Bowl last fall as a five-win team due to its performance on the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate report. The Mean Green won't need to lean on their APR score in 2017, when UNT will win at least six games in the regular season. read more: https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/college-sports/untmeangreen/2017/08/13/north-texas-will-going-bowling-bold-predictions-mean-green
  6. In the Dallas morning news today he @Brett Vito picks UNT in the bowl game against the Army. He has actually picked UNT quite a bit this season. So glad to have him finally join us! GMG
  7. North Texas conducted its annual spring game that really wasn’t a game this year on Saturday. The Mean Green elected to simply scrimmage due to a lack of depth. That format still allowed several players to finish off the spring on a high note. I have finally had a chance to type in the complete stats that were handed out. They should be pretty close to accurate. UNT’s sports information crew, myself and a few other media types tried to be as close as we could, which was a bit of a challenge with the format. So, who really helped themselves in the last workout of the spring? Here are three: Wide receiver Tee Goree – UNT is going to throw the ball and throw it a lot next season, which is going to make having someone to throw it to kind of important. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2016/04/unt-spring-game-stats-players-who-stood-out.html/
  8. North Texas has selected one of its veteran officials to guide its athletic department over the next few weeks while the school searches for a new athletic director. Hank Dickenson has pretty much seen it all over the course of more than two decades at the school. Putting Dickenson in charge during its search for a new AD was a solid decision by UNT president Neal Smatresk. read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2016/06/dickenson-a-solid-choice-for-unt-as-acting-athletic-director.html/
  9. Thursday night and time for a quick lap around the bases as far as North Texas athletics goes. There have been a number of tidbits I have been meaning to get to that have stacked up in the last few days. read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2016/05/thursday-night-notes-could-a-hoops-shakeup-be-coming-et-cetera.html/
  10. North Texas most productive position last season was safety, where Kishawn McClain and James Gray came through with terrific years. Both made a ton of plays for UNT. That was good. They also made a ton of tackles. That wasn’t so good for UNT, considering the pair was often the Mean Green’s last line of defense. Both finished with more than 100 tackles and will again be key components of UNT’s defense. They are also members of the top five of our Mean Green roster raking that comes to a close today. The top five also includes three key members of UNT’s rebuilt offense. Each member of our top five will be key leaders in addition to be key playmakers for the Mean Green as they look to bounce back from a 1-11 finish in Seth Littrell’s debut season. 1. Kishawn McClain, safety McClain led UNT with 110 tackles and was often the best player on the field for the Mean Green. He intercepted a pass, broke up three more, forced two fumbles and posted 2.5 tackles for loss in 2015. He led UNT in tackles in games against Rice, Southern Miss, Marshall, UTSA and UTEP. The Mean Green are hoping for a big season from McClain, who has a lot of experience entering his junior season and will be a key leader for UNT. read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2016/05/re-ranking-unts-players-nos-1-5-safety-duo-highlights-top-5.html/
  11. Army of Dad

    All Conference honors

    @Brett Vito opines on Combs' chances at All CUSA honors: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2016/03/the-curious-case-of-jeremy-combs-when-it-comes-to-the-all-c-usa-team.html/ Marshall fan thinks Combs could win Defensive Player of the Year: http://thunderinparadise.sportsblog.com/posts/13375776/predicting-cusa-s-award-winners.html
  12. Tomorrow is the opening of the midterm signing period for junior college players and a key day for teams across the country. New UNT coach Seth Littrell didn’t have long to get out and visit midterm prospects, but the Mean Green’s staff is in on a few players. There isn’t a whole lot of information out there, but here is what we know heading into tomorrow. UNT hosted a couple of linemen in the last few days, including Trinity Valley JC offensive lineman T.J. Henson. read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2015/12/mid-term-signing-period-primer-2.html/
  13. Bill Elliott, the head coach at Celina, has gotten to know Littrell, who helped recruit his son to North Carolina, over the last few months. Nathan Elliott is a freshman with the Tar Heels. "He likes coach Littrell," Bill Elliott said of his son. "He thinks he is a great coach and a lot of fun. They run a wide-open offense with a fast tempo. They are so productive. There is a lot of excitement to it." UNT is close to finalizing its decision that could bring Littrell -- and that excitement -- to UNT. If UNT settles on Littrell, he would likely not be available to have an introductory press conference until Sunday at the earliest. North Carolina plays Clemson on Saturday night in the ACC title game. read more: http://www.sportsdaydfw.com/college-sports/untmeangreen/2015/12/01/source-north-texas-discussed-parameters-contract-seth-littrell-ad-says-schoolstill-process-hiring
  14. North Texas’ search for a new head coach took a turn over the last day with TCU assistant coach Doug Meacham going from appearing to be on the verge of landing the job back to be just a candidate for the position. Meacham is still in the running for the job, according to sources at UNT, but at this point it appears as if the school is turning its attention to its other finalist — North Carolina assistant Seth Littrell. A source close to Littrell suggested that the sides have already discussed parameters of a contract, one that could be ready to be finalized. UNT athletic director Rick Villarreal would only say that the school is still in the process of finalizing its decision while denying a report Monday that the school had settled on Meacham as its next coach. read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2015/11/monday-night-search-update-where-unt-goes-from-here.html/
  15. North Texas continued to move toward making a final decision on who its next coach will be on Monday afternoon. The focus of UNT’s search for the last few days has been TCU co-offensive coordinator Doug Meacham and North Carolina assistant head coach for offense Seth Littrell. A source close to several UNT veteran players said late Sunday night that Meacham would be offered the job and would take over the program. The process has taken several twists and turns since that have led multiple industry sources to believe that Meacham will not take over at UNT. read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2015/11/monday-afternoon-coach-search-update.html/
  16. read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2015/11/sunday-night-coach-search-update.html/
  17. North Texas is on the verge of announcing who will take over as its new head football coach. UNT lost to UTEP 20-17 in its final game of the season Saturday at Apogee Stadium. Several of the coaches UNT is talking to about taking over the program finished their regular seasons with their current programs over the last few days. TCU co-offensive coordinator Doug Meacham and North Carolina assistant head coach for offense Seth Littrell are among the coaches in the mix. A UNT source confirmed Saturday that both are among the final few coaches in the running for the position, but said it is premature to say that the school has narrowed its focus just to those two coaches. “We have done our due diligence and will make a decision soon,” UNT athletic director Rick Villarreal said shortly after the game. “All of the things that we have to do are dependent on people’s schedules.” UNT is seeking a coach to take over for Dan McCarney, who was fired five games into his fifth season with the Mean Green. The Mean Green have posted just one winning season in their last 11 and tied the school record for losses in a season after falling to UTEP. UNT finished 1-11, matching the mark set in 2008 under Todd Dodge. read more: http://www.dentonrc.com/sports/sports-headlines/20151128-villarreal-coach-decision-coming-soon.ece
  18. Hearing from the players who called or texted me when the change happened and told me, 'Go get em, Coach C' or seeing someone with a Lock the Gate T-shirt on the Eagle Walk just about brings tears to my eyes," Canales said. "I love this place. This is my home. I have given it everything I've got here."Canales' goal has always been to become a full-time head coach and hopes to catch a program's eye while guiding UNT's program."I hope there is an AD out there who sees a guy who has great passion, will bring something to a program, is an ambassador for the university and can get kids to play in difficult circumstances," Canales said. "I've done it twice. I am ready to be a head coach." read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/college-sports/headlines/20151104-amid-second-stint-as-unt-s-interim-coach-mike-canales-says-he-s-ready-to-be-a-head-coach.ece
  19. Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley denied reports late this week that he is a candidate for the UNT head coaching job. Riley’s name came up late this week as a coach UNT could be interested in talking to about taking the place of Dan McCarney, who was dismissed earlier this season. Riley fits the profile of the type of coach UNT is looking for. He is a younger, offensive-minded coach who is a Texas native and has Texas ties. Here’s his Oklahoma bio. read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2015/11/25140.html/
  20. Since UNT fell to SMU 31-13 on Saturday we have beaten the dead horse that is what ails the Mean Green’s offense and then beaten it some more. What we haven’t talked a whole lot about is the performance of UNT’s defense that was one of the bright spots of what transpired down at Ford Stadium. No one is in much of a mood to talk about what went well, but it is worth noting that the Mean Green showed some signs of potential on that side of the ball. UNT held SMU to three points on three trips inside the 5-yard line, posted a goal-line stand and generally looked pretty solid before collapsing late. SMU quarterback Matt Davis, who is as good as advertised, threw a late touchdown pass and broke free on two touchdown runs, including a 50- yard back-breaker. There were a number of positive moments for UNT … read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2015/09/one-overlooked-positive-unts-defense-looked-pretty-good.html/
  21. Quotable“We have a team right now that is motivated for a lot of reasons. We have young guys who didn’t experience the record-breaking season we experienced a few years ago and some older guys who were a part of history. What do you like better? Let’s get back to winning.” — Dan McCarney Awards watchThree UNT players were named to the preseason All-Conference USA team: wide receiver Carlos Harris, center Kaydon Kirby and kicker Trevor Moore. All three were also named to watch lists for major college football awards. Moore is on the watch list for the Lou Groza award for the top kicker in the country and probably has the best shot among UNT’s players to be a serious contender. The sophomore made all 37 of his extra-point attempts and 15 of his 17 field-goal attempts last season. Harris was named to the watch list for the Biletnikoff and Hornung awards, while Kirby was named to the watch lists for the Rimington and Lombardi awards. Depth-chart busterUNT came up with one of its biggest recruiting wins of the last several years just before the beginning of fall camp when Darrien McNair, a highly regarded linebacker from Trinity Catholic in Ocala, Fla., enrolled. McNair originally committed to Mississippi State, but didn’t meet NCAA qualifying standards until late. By that point, MSU, Louisville and a host of other national powers that recruited him had long since moved on. McNair is rated No. 51 among outside linebackers in the Class of 2015 by 247Sports and could be an immediate impact player at UNT. read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/college-sports/unt-mean-green/20150812-2015-unt-preview-settling-on-starting-qb-is-priority-for-mean-green.ece
  22. Last year’s bowl season was one of the high points in Conference USA’s recent history. The league picked up its first postseason win of the year when Marshall beat Northern Illinois in the Boca Raton Bowl and kept right on rolling. By the time the dust settled, C-USA had posted an .800 winning percentage (4-1) in bowl games that ranked No. 1 among FBS conferences. Add in a few impressive wins from 2013, including North Texas’ win over UNLV in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, and league officials believe they can make a good case that C-USA is a conference on the rise heading into the 2015 season. “We are probably underappreciated and maybe under-respected some around the country, but not by those of us who play and coach in this league,” UNT coach Dan McCarney said. “This is a tremendous conference.” The challenge for C-USA is to continue building on that reputation this fall. Louisiana Tech and Marshall both received votes in the preseason coaches’ poll. C-USA’s best hope for a breakout team this fall, though, could be Western Kentucky. The balance of power in the league shifted when the NCAA granted quarterback Brandon Doughty a sixth year of eligibility in December. Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/college-sports/unt-mean-green/20150812-conference-usa-bowled-em-over-in-2014.ece
  23. Conference USA media day begins tomorrow down in Florida, and with it, the beginning of the buildup to another season. I will have a story in tomorrow’s paper on some of the key issues for the league and an accompanying video. We went over a few of the key issues UNT faces heading into media day on the blog just a couple of days ago. But what about the league as a whole? Well, the key subject that is sure to come up now outside of what we were already expecting is the return of UAB to college football. read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2015/07/setting-the-stage-for-conference-usa-media-day.html/