into Coach Fran's locker room (sorta), and lived to tell about it
was the first home game. TCU versus Northwestern. And I had my game face
I tied my
TCU denim shirt tightly around my waist, reviewed my notes and ran through
the plays in my mind. Head Coach Dennis Franchione was my professor.
want to let him down. Turn the play clock back to August. Coach Fran announced
he would hold a football clinic for women only; his wife Kim first recruited
her husband to begin holding the clinic at the University of New Mexico.
"I can ask
Dennis if I don't understand something that happens on the field; I figured
there must be lots of women who would enjoy learning more about the game,
too," she said.
(more than $2,400 was raised) would go toward Project Purple, which provides
transportation and tickets to TCU sporting events to disadvantaged youths.
I jumped at the chance to study with the master -- and so did 160 other women
who arrived at the new John Justin Athletic Center.
I met Faye
Shepherd '43, who has sat on the 50-yard line for years and never understood
the game. I saw Dr. Melissa Young, assistant professor of speech communication,
surveying the crowd and coaches with a keen academic eye. Even Jan Ferrari,
the first lady of TCU, was there to pick up a pointer or two.
to Running Backs Coach Mike Schultz patiently answer our questions -- we
were the "intermediate" group -- it occurred to me that football coaches
are like professors. They teach during the week and give an exam every
for the offense alone is four inches thick, and has a "gadgets" section
full of trick plays. I'd wager most students wouldn't embrace the course
syllabus we saw that day. We also learned that football isn't only about
winning; it's also about fashion. Team captains choose which dark color
jersey is worn at home (purple or black), said Coach Fran, noting that
both "look good with the TCU helmet."
are tightly fitted thanks to the magic -- a la Jennifer Lopez at the Grammys
-- of carpet tape. When several of the players modeled different uniforms,
we whistled and howled.
Cody Slinkard strutted and pranced down the aisle like a runway model.
Offensive lineman Jeff Milliken simply looked afraid. And did you know
the linemen on opposing teams inquire about the welfare of each other's
mothers when they line up?
my moment of truth had come. TCU versus Northwestern.
offensive drive in the first half, Printers approached the line and shouted
forcefully to his left and right.
checking the play!" I exclaimed as I pointed wildly to the field. The
men around me looked at me with surprise, then approval. I felt like I
had scored a touchdown.
Scott wasn't able to attend the home opener with me, but I dazzled him
later with an explanation of why TCU fields five defensive backs instead
of the dime package.
I plan to attend the "advanced" section of Coach Fran's Clinic. I think
my husband secretly wants to go, but he'll simply have to stay behind.
allowed in this locker room.
Horst is communications director for the University.
Esteban Carril, right, seemed on the brink of defeat in October when he
charged back to win the finals of the ITA Region VI Championships, the
102nd win of his TCU career.
who finished last season as WAC champs and ranked No. 9, have a difficult
upcoming schedule that includes No. 9 Virginia Commonwealth, No. 5 Duke,
No. 16 Texas, No. 36 California, No. 11 Pepperdine, No. 7 Baylor and No.
Head Coach Joey Rive (left) seems equipped for the task. The men's national
coach for the United States Tennis Association since 1997, Rive served
prior as the men's head tennis coach at the University of Alabama, where
he revived a declining program.
a 1-22 mark in his first season of 1995, his squad improved to 16-12 in
1996, and to 19-11 and an 18th place national ranking in 1997, advancing
to the NCAA regionals the last two seasons.
A quick glance
at Billy Tubbs' TCU squad says the Frogs could be in for a conference
championship year. The men, six seniors and four returning starters led
by senior Ryan Carroll, may have the most experience and depth in Tubb's
tenure. The fiery Tubbs also recruited UNLV transfer Greedy Daniels, who
put up 17 points in his first collegiate start in a year, in a 108-44
rout over Angola. For the TCU women hoopsters, Head Coach Jeff Mittie
pushed the women through a four-day-a-week offseason weight training program
that culminated in "The Night of Champions," where senior center Karen
Clayton broke the most prestigious record when she pressed 205 pounds,
an all-time record for TCU women athletes. Overall, the team increased
its strength by an average of 30 pounds per player.
country women, shown above at a University of North Texas meet earlier
this season, ran to a new school record -- captured their first-ever conference
team title and individual title at the WAC cross country championships
in Tulsa. In addition, the men's squad captured the individual crown.
Junior Gladys Keitany, fourth from right, earned the individual crown
in the 5000 meters, 18 seconds ahead of the closest pursuer. Junior Eliud
Njubi won the same for the men.
five former TCU sprinters -- and one current one -- ran for the gold at the
Olympic games in Sydney, two of them among the seven fastest ranked runners
in the world. Former TCU sprinter Jon Drummond '88 finished fifth in the
100-meter dash at the Games, crossing the finish line in 10.09 seconds.
Current TCU relay man Kim Collins placed seventh with a time of 10.17.