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January 1, 2013
Dear Razorback Fans:
Happy New Year!
I hope this letter finds you, your family and friends enjoying the Holidays.
Over the next few weeks, our department will continue to prepare for the start of the spring semester, and a strong finish to the 2012-13 school year. But as we turn the page on 2012, it is important that we reflect upon and celebrate the tremendous accomplishments in our program over the past year.
In 2012, 16 Razorback programs advanced to NCAA competition and the University of Arkansas finished 20th in the Learfield Sports Directors Cup, a season-long measure of athletic success. The finish was the highest for our program since a new scoring format was adopted and was our fourth top-25 finish in the past five years. Among the highlights were trips to the College World Series in baseball, a win over Kansas State in the AT&T Cotton Bowl, a return visit to the NCAA Super Six in gymnastics and an SEC triple crown in men's track and field.
Academically, Razorback student-athletes earned a program-best 3.07 GPA, more than 481 honor roll selections and helped raise our program's Academic Progress Rate (APR) to 970.3. Most importantly, 82 current or former Razorbacks earned their diploma from the University of Arkansas.
Razorback student-athletes also continued to make a difference throughout our state and region. In 2011-12, student-athletes volunteered more than 6,000 hours to more than 100 schools, organizations and charities. This fall, they set out to break that record and are well on pace to set a new standard.
The past year has also seen the continuation of our efforts to build the foundation for even greater success through our Razorback Athletics Facilities Master Plan. The new 80,000 sq. ft. football center is nearing completion and on target to open this summer. In addition, we have begun the design phase on three projects: our Student-Athlete Success Center, Basketball Practice Facility and Baseball and Track Indoor Training Facility. Before moving to the construction phase for these three facilities we must secure funding through a combination of capital gifts and increased giving to the annual fund. Once we are able to secure a significant amount of the necessary funds, we will begin construction on these essential projects.
This past year also saw the initiation of a Market and Cost Analysis Study for a potential north end zone expansion of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. It is imperative we have the most up-to-date and comprehensive information available when making decisions on initiatives that will shape the growth of our program.
We are already off to a great start for 2013. Our new head football coach Bret Bielema is in the process of completing his coaching staff with some of the best assistant coaches in the nation. The football staff is immersed in recruiting and we look forward to signing a class of outstanding student-athletes in February.
Our men's basketball team is coming into its own after a competitive non-conference schedule that prepared it for the upcoming SEC schedule. Our women's basketball team is off to a great start, winning 12 of its first 13 games and earning a spot in the national rankings.
Our swimming and diving, golf and tennis teams soon return to action while gymnastics and our indoor track and field programs get ready for their respective seasons. And not too far down the road, softball and baseball return to the diamond to start another run back to the NCAA Tournament.
This is a special time for Razorback Athletics as we celebrate the fifth anniversary of our combined athletic program. In the coming months, we will share with you some the tremendous progress we have made on and off the field and how that progress is clearly impacting the lives of Razorback student-athletes.
So as we embrace the promise of a new year, we begin with a thank you to all of our Razorback Foundation members and fans who have helped us along the way. We couldn't have done it without you.
I hope you will join us as we get ready for what promises yet another memorable year for the Razorbacks!
Director of Athletics
Proud of the way our athletic program is shaping up! Jeff Long was the perfect successor to JFB! We have had great AD's for a long stretch now and Long has the skills to keep us relevant for years to come! ghg
+1 No Doubt!
That MF junk is just sophoricly silly. And lacks class I wish folks could out grow that.
Well that's a real nice "culture" if you don't try to relate to people. Sounds like your culture is full of azzholes.
Can't we all just get along? I mean we all have the Razorbacks in common and though we disagree on some things we are still brothers!!! Hogs with this staff we all going to have a lot more fun in the next few years. Lets pull together and don't let go the rope.
Who has stolen your password Randy ??
LOL ........ :)
You are a changed man. Good for you.
Well I am going to do my best to not blow up. I am a changed man and there is no reason for me to be getting into internet fights with guys that I bet would be my friends in real life. I am not promising to never go off ever. But that is what I plan on.
We have a lot of things going right for us and we all need to get along. A lot of times things that make me mad at a certain time mean nothing when I go back and read them a day or two later.
I beat road rage and I can beat message board rage!!!!!
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