'em to the wall
Led by big
junior Lee Nailon, but balanced inside and outside by juniors Mike Jones,
Malcolm Johnson (click to see him slamming
the basket), Prince Fowler and James Penny and senior Dennis Davis, the
Frogs showed their sellout Daniel-Meyer Coliseum crowds how the best offense
has a lot to do with a ball-stealing defense. The result at press time?
A No. 15 ranking, an NCAA berth, the best-ever TCU win-loss record and
the highest-scoring offense in college basketball.
tsk, Tut announces retirement
wishes more people really knew Tut Bartzen, men's tennis coach for the
last quarter-century and the gentlemen with whom she has walked with and
worked with for the past 43 years.
who doesn't miss a single Mass during the Advent season.
who has taken only three actual vacations in 25 years.
who reads from the Good Book every day.
one who -- after posting a 518-192 (.730) career record and 18 top-20
finishes since 1977 and becoming the winningest coach in TCU history --
quietly annouced his retirement on Feb. 15.
most amazing person I've ever known," said Sara, affectionately called
"Bonzo" by Bartzen. "He's always been driven to do something, and I think
he figured that now was the time to leave the program, while he was still
able to do something productive with the rest of his life."
70, has been faced with the "retirement" question since his middle-60s,
he said. Always, the deciding factor was not what was best for him, but
rather, best for recruiting and best for keeping his national powerhouse
charged up. "You bring these kids in every year, and you feel responsible
for them. How can you ever walk away?" From Bartzen's perspective, you
don't. He plans to remain as the director of Mary Potishman Lard Tennis
Center, Sara as its associate director.
a quarter-century ago Tut Bartzen [with the continued backing of Bayard
Friedman, former chair of the Board of Trustees] took over a modest program
at ground zero or below and built it into a consistent national power,"
said Chancellor William E. Tucker. "He is the most successful coach in
the entire history of TCU sports, and by a wide margin. A consummate
gentleman as well as a world-class player and master teacher, he has been
a remarkable role model for student-athletes here and across the globe."
David Pate agrees. In 1981, Bartzen coached Pate and Assistant Coach Karl
Richter to the NCAA doubles title. The two players are among his 41 All-Americans.
has a tremendous knowledge of the game and he has the ability to transfer
that knowledge to young minds," Pate said. "Coach taught us the benefits
of hard work. More than anything, though, having always been a winner
himself, he knows how to win and has always wanted to win. He helps his
players in learning how to win and what it takes."
the University named Miami University of Ohio's Eric Hyman as the Horned
Frogs' fourth athletic director, and one week later Hyman named University
of New Mexico football coach Dennis Franchione ("Coach Fran") became TCU's
28th gridiron boss.
a tremendous feeling about the attitude here -- the commitment as to what
TCU wants to do. . . not only on the field of competition, but in the
classroom," Hyman said. And Franchione indicated that, on and off the
football field, he is more than willing to give it the old college try.
"I've done this before. I think if there's one thing that I do, it's rebuild
football programs. My wife would tell you I can hardly hammer a nail in
a board, but I can motivate people and I can get them excited."
Franchione, despite a relatively late start in the recruiting season,
harvested a class deemed solid by preseason prognosticators.
Miami had the fifth-highest graduation rate among all NCAA division IA
schools in the country and won 10 conference championships over the last
two years in women's and men's swimming, golf, men's and women's tennis,
women's volleyball and men's basketball. Under Franchione's leadership,
UNM (9-3) captured the 1997 WAC Mountain Division title and earned a berth
to the Insight.Com bowl (formerly the Copper Bowl), the Lobos' first bowl
game since 1961.
feat. The 1997 football season marked the 50th anniversary of (and
consequently, the bronzing of) former TCU punter Carl Knox's '48 amazing
feet, or foot, that is: Inside their own one-yard line on fourth down
against what is now Oklahoma State, the Frogs turned to Knox to merely
kick the ball out of TCU's end zone. Knox more than obliged, sending the
ball an amazing 94 yards downfield. The opposing runner then returned
the ball only to the 12. . . where he was tackled by Knox himself.
as fast. Senior Giesla Jackson set speedy marks at the Colorado Springs
Sprint Classic in February, running a second-fastest-in-the-nation time
in the 55-meter dash, and a 200-meter finish that ranked first in the
WAC and sixth in the nation. Senior Syan Williams posted the nation's
fastest 55-meter indoor time at the same meet, 6.06 seconds. The time
also qualified him for the NCAA meet and pushed him past two-time Olympian
Raymond Stewart as TCU's all-time fastest in the 55.
As predicted, preseason All-American Chris Connally and the 1998 TCU Horned
Frogs have shown they can put up some impressive numbers this spring,
12 in a win against Texas Tech, 22 against UTA. Pitching, Coach Lance
Brown said, should also follow suit. "We should be a balanced team this
year. Our pitching, defense and offense should complement each other;
we can still win games when we do not get great pitching or score a lot
The women started strong but then fell flat in the middle of their conference
schedule, posting a slightly-above-winning record. Still, Coach Mike Petersen
has become the program's winningest coach in only his third season. "I
understand progress," he said, "and while our immediate desire is to win
now, the future is in place."
Ranked second in the nation by Golfweek as of late February, the men opened
the spring with a second-place finish in February at the Eighth Annual
Taylor Made/Waikoloa Big Island Intercollegiate, led by junior Grady Girard,
who finished fifth in the individual standings. The women finished ninth
out of a field of 18 in the NCAA Regional Challenge in February, with
sophomore Angela Stanford finishing sixth individually, her fourth Top
10 finish out of five tournaments in the 1997-98 campaign.
The women finished second and third in smallbore at the NCAA Rifle Sectionals
in February, and posted first and third in air rifle. Senior Theresa Glasgow
led the Frogs in both categories.
Led by junior breaststroker Jason Flint -- he's ranked 10th in the country
and 39th in world in the 200 breaststroke and has not lost a dual race
in the 200 since he has been at TCU -- the men received votes for the
top 25 for the first time since 1989. The women, led by distance swimmer
Megan Ryther, scored a big win over swim power Arkansas in January, and
Ryther herself had an especially busy Christmas break: She competed in
the World Games in Perth, Australia, where she placed fourth in the 5K
open-water race and was part of the U.S. team that won a gold medal.
The women were ranked 49th at press time, thanks to sophomores Daria Zoldakova,
Jessika Kjellgren and Lucie Dvorakova, the latter ranked 37th in the nation.
"This is potentially the best team we've ever had," said Coach Roland
Ingram, "and I think that part of it is these girls have a lot of spirit
and camaraderie, plus they work extremely hard." The men, with four freshman
rounding out the top six roster spots, still find themselves 35th in the
Head coach Sandy Troudt welcomed five new faces for the fall squad, predicting
the program's third class as the strongest in Volleyfrog history. "I'm
very excited for each and every player as we head into next season," Troudt
said. "We project as many as three of the entering five to fulfill starting
roles in the fall."