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  1. A new era in American Athletic Conference football dawns on July 1 when the league experiences a major turnover in members. The decision last summer by three of the AAC’s major football programs — Cincinnati, Houston and Central Florida — to depart for membership in the Big 12 Conference had league officials searching for replacements that could continue its gridiron success. Those three programs have won seven of the 10 AAC football titles since the league was established in 2013. AAC officials moved quickly to fill those voids, announcing last June that Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Rice, Alabama-Birmingham and Texas-San Antonio would come aboard for the 2023-24 academic year. The move brings the football-playing members of the conference to 14 and puts the AAC into some of the biggest media markets in the nation. And for football, it also adds some up-and-coming coaches, players and programs to the league’s strong group of holdovers: East Carolina, Memphis, Navy, Southern Methodist, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa and South Florida. read more: https://bonesville.net/2023/01/02/sammy-batten-conference-recruiting-article/
  2. North Texas Athletic Director Wren Baker rejoins Harry to discuss the state of the North Texas Union and answer key questions pertaining to coaching hires, realignment, NIL, budgets, the new AAC conference, baseball, recruiting, fan questions and more. https://traffic.libsyn.com/gomeangreen/ringr_180320_182584.mono1.mp3
  3. Mr. Farris received the Palestine Herald-Press Athletic Award for the 1957-1958 school year. He was inducted into the Palestine Wall of Honor in 2014. He was recruited by Coach Bear Bryant and attended Texas A&M for one year before transferring to TJC. At Tyler Junior College he was Junior College All-America as a guard/linebacker and was named the conference’s Most Valuable Player. Mr. Farris helped lead the Apaches to the 1960 national championship. TJC was 12-0 during the regular season and was invited to the Junior Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Although the Apaches lost to Long Beach City College, 38-16, TJC was awarded the national title before the postseason game. In 2009, Mr. Farris was inducted into the TJC Sports Circle of Honor. In 2018, the TJC 1960 championship team received a Special Recognition Award from the TJC Alumni Association. This award recognizes an individual or a team of individuals for their outstanding professional achievements, contributions to society, and/or service to their community thus bringing honor to the College. After junior college, Mr. Farris ended up at North Texas State and was named All-America his junior season. In the 1962 NFL Draft he was selected by the Los Angeles Rams as the 100th overall player and the second pick of the eighth round. Mr. Farris was also selected in the 23rd round (184th player) by the San Diego Chargers in the 1962 AFL Draft, but chose to play for the Rams. After his professional career, he returned to his beloved hometown of Palestine. He helped develop and grow the family real estate business. read more: https://tylerpaper.com/news/services-for-former-tjc-football-all-american-richard-farris-sr-scheduled-for-saturday/article_2a6f7656-03d9-11ed-ae79-536f3c12fc07.html
  4. (This is the second in a series previewing the Group of 5 conferences based on their O/U win totals, as provided by Draftkings. For the AAC Preview, click here.) With all the talk of realignment, college football is going to look at lot different in the future. But in Conference USA, the future is now. Gone are Marshall and Old Dominion, choosing to take their talents to the Sun Belt. Leaving for the AAC after this year are UTSA, UAB, Charlotte, North Texas, Rice, FAU. Arriving after this year are Liberty, New Mexico St., Jacksonville St. and Sam Houston St. Got all that? There are a lot of questions that can be asked that will make this last season of C-USA as we know it interesting? What will UTSA do for an encore? What will UAB look like without Bill Clark at the helm? Can Western Kentucky’s offense come close to producing at the level they did last year? Will there be any bad blood between the teams leaving and the teams left behind? The answers will reveal themselves over time, but as for now, here’s how I would bet these teams (based on lines provided by DraftKings as of July 10). North Texas (O/U 6.5) – On October 23, 2021, the Mean Green were 1-6, with only a season opening win against Northwestern St. on their resume. Seth Littrell was possibly coaching for his life heading into a game against Rice. But to quote Michael Scott, my how the turntables have turned. North Texas beat the Owls in overtime, and at that point, everything clicked. They won the rest of their regular season games, including crushing the dreams of Roadrunner Nation by ending UTSA’s undefeated season. That was enough to make the AAC, a conference they will be joining in 2023, take notice. They did all this behind the #5 rushing attack in the nation and steady if not unspectacular quarterback play by Austin Aune. Whether it was a timely hot streak or the start of something sustainable could be answered Week Zero, when they open the season with a conference game at UTEP. Honestly, I tend to think it was the former. Taking a closer look at the Mean Green, while they will still have a formidable rushing attack, they do lose 1,200-yard rusher DeAndre Torrey, their entire front four and every safety who started last year. And while Aune was the man to right the ship behind center, he still finished with 9 touchdowns and 9 interceptions in 9 games. He has to cut down on turnovers. The schedule is more than tricky. The first five games contains only one gimme (against Texas Southern) and four games that could swing either way (at UTEP, SMU, at UNLV, at Memphis). In fact, the Mean Green also plays UTSA, UAB and Western Kentucky all on the road. Expecting a 7-5 record with that schedule is asking a lot. Take the Under. read more: https://thewalkonredshirts.com/2022/07/11/predicting-the-futures-conference-usa/
  5. his is the first entry in the series that will focus on underrated offense across the FBS landscape. North Texas has produced quality play but the consensus is underrating this group. This might come across as a weird inclusion at first as they ranked 88th in EPA per play last season and 80th in success rate but things change, and Seth Littrell’s Mean Green has upside. Ranking first in players per game, the offense should have plenty of plays to support production if things break right. Additions in the transfer portal highlighted by Grant Gunnell could lead this offense to the next level in 2022. Quarterback Adding quarterback Grant Gunnell in the portal can make or break the season. AARP member Austin Aune has been competent for North Texas, but Gunnell gives the offense a ceiling we haven’t seen in Latrell’s tenure. In 2021’s regular season, Aune ranked 109th among qualified quarterbacks in total EPA with -16.66. The loss of Jyaire Shorter hurt the passing offense but ultimately, Aune was holding the unit back. He started or played the majority of snaps in 11 games. In those games, he had more than 240 passing yards once and under 125 yards five times. His average of 181 yards in games, ranks among the worst in the nation for a team that isn’t primarily an option team. To add, Aune had only 9 touchdowns in these 11 games Comparatively, Gunnell has been productive when starting despite limited reps up to this point. In his career, he’s had significant action in five games at a Power 5 level. In the matchups where he’s thrown more than 20 passes, he’s averaging 272 yards and 2 touchdowns per contest. Accomplished as a true freshman and sophomore, Gunnell also played a struggling Arizona team against quality defenses. In 2021, he was injured before the season for the Memphis Tigers, resulting in Seth Henigan’s breakout. It’s a small sample for Gunnell but it’s clear he represents upside for this offense. read more: https://campus2canton.com/underrated-offenses-north-texas/
  6. 6. North Texas The Mean Green overcame a 1-6 start by winning their last five regular-season games (including a win over undefeated UTSA) to earn the program’s fifth bowl trip in six years under coach Seth Littrell. But after an 18-9 mark from 2017-18, North Texas is only 14-21 over the last three seasons and the pressure is building on Littrell. A step forward in ’22 will require more consistency out of the passing game (197.1 yards a contest last fall), which could come in the form of Memphis/Arizona transfer Grant Gunnell after he joined the mix to push Austin Aune after spring ball. The Mean Green are deep at running back – a unit bolstered by promising sophomore Oscar Adaway III returning from an ACL tear to join Ikaika Ragsdale and Ayo Adeyi. Players returning from ailments also boost the receiving corps with Tommy Bush and Jyaire Shorter joining Damon Ward and Roderic Burns to form a standout receiving corps. Four starters return along an offensive line that should rank among the best in the conference. The hire of veteran play-caller Phil Bennett had a massive impact on North Texas’ defense last fall. In 2020, this unit surrendered 6.94 yards per snap and 42.8 points a game but cut those totals to 27.5 a contest and 5.7 yards a play. Improving on those numbers will require replacing ends Grayson and Gabriel Murphy (transferred to UCLA) and tackle Dion Novil. Linebacker KD Davis is among Conference USA’s top returning defenders for ’22. Key swing games against Louisiana Tech, FAU and Rice take place in Denton. Read more: https://athlonsports.com/college-football/conference-usa-football-2022-predictions
  7. North Texas Mean Green Preview 2022 Is Seth Littrell ready to take North Texas into a new era? He’s a young head coach who was a hot name in the overall mix after two straight nine win seasons in 2017 and 2018, but three straight losing seasons and a 14-21 record since then changed the perception. His teams can crank up the offense, improved a bit on defense, and at least got to bowl games in five of his six seasons at the helm. Granted, the Mean Green lost all five of the bowls, but he got there. Now North Texas is gearing up for live in the American Athletic Conference next year. The league might be a shadow of its former self with the stars taking off, but it’s still a big step for the program and the university. This year, with a few schools taking off early for the Sun Belt, and with a loaded offense coming back, this is when the team and program should rise back up again. The tough schedule might have something to say about that, but in Year Seven, this is when North Texas needs to be the team everyone else fears. And it will be because of the … read more: https://collegefootballnews.com/2022/06/north-texas-mean-green-preview-2022-season-prediction-breakdown-key-games-players/amp
  8. DENTON, Texas – North Texas Athletics will partner with Trey Athletes in its first Athlete Transition Program, a career development opportunity designed specifically for college athletes. "We are excited to partner together with Trey Athletes in this ground-breaking program that we believe will provide immeasurable benefits to our student-athletes," UNT Vice President and Director of Athletics Wren Baker said. "This is truly one-of-a-kind programming that will prepare our young people every step of the way for the next stage after college." Trey will work with UNT to provide graduating student-athletes who belong to a racial or ethnic minority group and/or who are first-generation college students internship experience for Summer 2022. To prepare, student-athletes will attend career development sessions covering topics such as: · Choosing your career · Resume and cover letter writing · Interview preparation · Workplace best practices After these sessions, Trey will then match the participants with area businesses in their preferred field or industry. Throughout the internship, student-athletes will continue to receive support through advising, as well as build peer-to-peer relationships through group sessions that promote engagement and discussion around the shared experience. "Trey Athletes is thrilled to be collaborating with UNT Athletics on our pilot program," Trey co-founders & co-CEOs Rebecca Feickert and Brian Reynolds said. "Together, we're committed to developing the diverse and talented young athletes of today to be tomorrow's changemakers." Trey Athletes is a Dallas-based nonprofit positioned at the intersection of college sports, education, and racial equity. The organization's objective is to unlock the untapped potential of college sports by creating successful post-college outcomes for all college athletes. After incubating at Harvard Business School, and since launching in Dallas in Fall 2018, Trey has worked with nearly 600 athletes, parents, and coaches representing 80+ zip codes across DFW. As proud fellows of both the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation as well as the United Way's Social Innovation Accelerator, Trey won the 2020 Audience Choice Award for DFW Social Innovator of the Year. In 2021, Trey launched a virtual programming series, including speakers from the Big 12 Conference, Dallas Mavericks, and US Paralympic team. read more: https://meangreensports.com/news/2022/6/2/general-north-texas-announces-partnership-with-trey-athletes.aspx
  9. The Nebraska softball team is set to make its 25th appearance in the NCAA Tournament at the NCAA Stillwater Regional. The Huskers will face North Texas in game one on Friday, May 20, at 5 p.m. (CT) at Cowgirl Stadium. Fans can listen to the action live on the Huskers Radio Network and Huskers.com with the call from Nate Rohr. The game will also be streamed live on ESPN+ (subscription required). Tickets are available at http://okstate.com/ncaasoftball. The Huskers will face North Texas (35-14) in game one of the NCAA Stillwater Regional. The Mean Green received an automatic bid to their first NCAA Tournament after claiming the CUSA Tournament title. UNT had five players receive all-conference honors from the CUSA for their performances throughout the year. read more: https://huskers.com/news/2022/5/18/softball-huskers-open-ncaa-regionals-against-north-texas.aspx
  10. University of North Texas alumni, musician and Oklahoma County Clerk David B. Hooten joined actor and musician Pat Boone in receiving UNT Presidential Medals of Honor in celebration of their musical talents and undeniable impact on the entertainment industry. Hooten received a B.A. in music education from UNT in 1987. He is a multi-Grammy and Emmy nominated musician who has released more than 20 albums and produced or played on over 100 albums. He has performed at both the White House and the Vatican. Hooten established the Children’s Music Education Foundation and chaired Red-Tie Night, Oklahoma’s single-largest fundraising event benefitting the Oklahoma AIDS Care Fund. Boone, a celebrated musician, actor and motivational speaker studied at UNT from 1954-55. He was a soloist for what is now UNT’s One O’Clock Lab Band and went on to sell 45 million records with three No. 1 records, 38 "Top 40” hits and 13 Gold Records. He has appeared in more than 15 movies, is a member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Boone’s family founded Mercy Corps, a Christian humanitarian and relief organization. read more: https://okcfriday.com/hooten-joins-pat-boone-in-receiving-unt-presidential-medal-of-honor-p17068-92.htm
  11. We previously discussed concerns over free speech on the campus of the University of North Texas, including the canceling of an event on child gender transitioning. Students and faculty were not content to protest such events but acted to prevent others from hearing opposing views. Now, the university itself has lost a critical motion in a free speech case brought by Mathematics Professor Nathaniel Hiers after his contract was not renewed due to his criticism of the school’s microaggression policies. Judge Sean Jordan ruled that Professor Hiers may proceed to trial on his free speech claim. Professor Hiers sued the Board of Regents of the University of North Texas after it told him that it did not renew his contract due to his criticism of the policy. Mathematics Department Chair Professor Ralf Schmidt expressly stated that “[m]y decision not to continue your employment in the spring semester was based on your actions in the grad lounge on 11/26 [2019], and your subsequent response.” That is a reference to a controversy when a copy of the school’s microaggression policy was called “garbage” on a blackboard in the graduate lounge. The court included the picture in its opinion: When Schmidt sent around a demand for the person responsible to step forward, Hiers publicly accepted responsibility. He was later canned. We have previously discussed microaggression policies and the concerns over free speech over their fluid definition and controversial examples. I have had debates over such policies and I am often struck by the difficulty of those on the other side to clearly define the scope of the term. That lack of clarity (and the subjectivity of some of the term) creates a chilling effect on free speech. Free speech demands bright lines to avoid self-censorship and coerced silence. read more: https://jonathanturley.org/2022/03/24/federal-court-rules-in-favor-of-unt-professor-fired-for-criticizing-microaggression-policy/amp/
  12. At an age when many are well into their retirement. Jack Allday is working tirelessly on building an intercollegiate athletics program from the ground up at the University of North Texas at Dallas. The UNTD Trail Blazers began competing in men's and women's basketball, cross country and track & field in 2020, and Allday says the university is moving toward the launch of additonal sports in the future. Allday has done a little bit of everything in his life -- won a Texas state football championship at Highland Park High School in 1957, toured as a musican and had a hit record in 1959, served his country in the Army during the Vietnam War in the 1960s, built a successful advertising business in Dallas, taught college courses and raised a family. read more: https://www.untsystem.edu/forever-young-81-year-old-jack-allday-building-unt-dallas-athletics-program
  13. We all know the current situation Seth Littrell and the UNT Football team are in, currently sitting at 1-6 the Mean Green would have to win out to qualify for a bowl game. This puts UNT in a weird position, because Littrell's big contract, firing him means a 2 million dollar buyout. With a looming conference change, UNT is probably wanting a fresh start. Down below I've listed 3 strong candidates that UNT should go after to replace Littrell, to start the American Conference era on the right foot. Doc Hudson The Hudson Hornet knows one or two things about winning. Doc won the Piston Cup three times in his lengthy Racing Career, he also holds the most wins in a single season (16). My favorite thing about Doc is his leadership ability, in Lighting McQueen's 2015 final race for the Piston Cup he put together a group of cars with no experience. They almost won but McQueen opted for sportsmanship over winning the big race. Doc can bring a winning attitude to the athletic department and the Mean Green football team. His track record is flawless and reminds me a lot of Tom Landry. Jon Gruden I know you are probably thinking "why would we want a guy facing so many allegations" well two words.... Super Bowl. Imagine the next person to coach the Mean Green has won a Super Bowl. Bringing a NFL level coach to the American conference would give UNT such a great advantage. Gruden probably has no interest from any NFL or D1 athletic program, so this is our time to pounce. People will forget about what happened in the past month with Gruden by the time the season finishes. Ride Littrell out for the rest of the season then snag Gruden. George Dunham Former Mean Green play by play voice for 20 years and morning show host at the Ticket needs to make a change from the brodcast booth to down on the field. Dunham screams UNT, donors would have no problem paying him a contract like Littrell. The one thing that separates Dunham from the other two candidates on this post is his ability to keep a listener. With that ability he could change the culture and gravitate the players towards him. Dunham is a no brainer for this job.
  14. On a warm September night at Apogee Stadium, an offense led by then-junior quarterback Mason Fine put up 46 points for North Texas compared to Southern Methodist University’s 26. The aforementioned game was in 2018 and it is the last time North Texas had a significant triumph versus SMU on or off the field. Starting with its on-field performance, football has not found a way to make the annual Safeway Bowl close in the last two years, losing 49-27 in 2019 and 65-35 in 2020 — the latter of which was on the Mean Green’s home turf. Giving up a combined 114 points in the last two contests, North Texas’ defense has failed in stopping the likes of sophomore running back Ulysses Bentley IV who posted 19 carries for 227 yards and three touchdowns in 2020. It was the same story in 2019 when former SMU running back Xavier Jones tallied 16 carries for 127 yards and three touchdowns. To make matters worse, however, the damage is not just being done on the ground. The Mean Green were likely ecstatic to see former SMU quarterback Shane Buechele enter the NFL draft this year. In two career games against North Texas, Buechele threw for a combined 636 yards and seven touchdowns while dismantling the Mean Green defense. The lone standout performer for North Texas in either game was former running back Tre Siggers who in 2019 rushed for 164 yards and a touchdown versus SMU. This offseason, Siggers joined the Mustangs via the transfer portal. Read more: https://www.ntdaily.com/column-smu-is-beating-the-football-team-on-and-off-the-field/
  15. In this week's GMG Podcast, @Harry and the crew wanted to know what the Org Chart of UNT looked like and who reports where, who is on a level stature-wise, etc. So here you go: I specifically included in here all of the entities relating to UNT Athletics in bold, and then attempted a crack at the AD's org chart. It's inherently murky regarding where any of the old regime stand, but this is accurate as far as I can tell from the Mean Green Sports website. Does this clear things up? EDIT: I totally whiffed on including the Colleges of Education and Engineering as well as the Honors College. Sorry, ya'll. FIXED!
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