Twitter could be a deciding factor in national award

In 2006 insurance giant, Liberty Mutual, established an annual NCAA Coach of the Year Award recognizing the top coaches from each of the NCAA’s four divisions. Coaches are judged on four different criteria: sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility and overall excellence. Winners are decided by the College Hall of Fame Selection Committee votes (55%), then by national media vote (25%), and lastly by fan vote (20%). The reciepient of the award for their respective division receives $50,000 to donate to the charity of their choice and a $20,000 grant for their school’s alumni association as well as the Coach of the Year trophy. This year, Mary Hardin-Baylor’s head football coach, Pete Fredenburg, is running for Division III Coach of the Year. The man behind the 139-33 overall record is up for recognition for his work in building the Crusader football program from the ground up. “I think Coach Fredenburg’s record speaks for itself…. If you look at what he’s done since he’s been here, it’s hard to fi nd anyone else that has had more success than he has,” said Vice President for Athletics Randy Mann. Fredenburg is in his 32nd year of collegiate coaching. The college coaching experience includes a 13-year tenure at Baylor University, a year at Louisiana State University, three at Louisiana Tech University and, of course, 15 years at UMHB. Fredenburg has received several accolades in his career as a coach including six ASC Coach of the Year awards, American Football Coaches Association regional coach of the year fi ve times and a position on the AFCA board of trustees. Despite the long list of honors, Fredenburg exemplifies a Christian humility. “I’m the head coach and get the acclaim, but I wouldn’t do anything without good players and good coaches,” he said. “Anytime we get any award, it’s a team award.” His strategy is admired by many but none more than by his son and colleague, Cody Fredenburg. “His coaching style, in my opinion as someone who was looking to get in to the profession, is a great example,” Cody said. “One that any young coach would want to emulate.” The Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year award is swayed by public vote. On twitter, fans can cast their vote once per day by tweeting the full name of the coach and university to @lmcoachofyear, tagging #COTY2012 and pasting the website on the tweet, coachoftheyear.com. The format must be correct to count as a vote. Fredenburg is currently in 6th place for Division III, and voting ends Dec....

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Crusader tennis competes in fall contests
Oct16

Crusader tennis competes in fall contests

Tennis is a back and forth game; hit after hit, serve after serve, no one knows who will win the point. The Crusader team, despite the nature of the game, has remained solid this fall season. Both the men and the women have had success, and it has started at the top—with the seniors. Biblical studies major Will Summers and sociology major Haley Loftus are two of the senior leaders. Summers said “All of the guys are maturing and improving each year. We are finally seeing the fruit of those labors.” At the Regional Champioinship of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, the men brought their A-game before being outmatched by heavy thundershowers. The championships were cancelled as the east Texas weather served up a nasty volley of storms. However, the men were able to make some noise. Sophomore economics major John Martin made it into the round of 16 in “B” singles by defeating U.T.-Tyler’s Matthew Vechione 6-3, 6-1 in the second round. In “B” doubles junior mass communication /journalism major Jake Stamps and sophomore marketing major T.J. Kittrell carved themselves into the quarter finals. “Doubles has always been a big priority for us” Assistant Coach Casey Wharton said. “We want to get ahead in a match, and we want to go out with confi dence. If you win the doubles more often than not, you’ll have the momentum to go win the singles.” Everything must connect for the teams to win; this year they’ve won a lot. One player has gone further than any other individual player has before. Brittni Fausett became the first UMHB female tennis player and the fi rst singles player to qualify for the ITA National Championship. Fausett won third place at the ITA Small College National Championships last Saturday, and in the process earned the second-best UMHB finish in ITA history. Her accomplishments highlight the success of the tennis program as a whole, but the winning mentality of the team didn’t appear out of thin air. The focus has been centered on the usual recipe for success; they’ve just changed the wording. “We don’t call it practice. We call it training each day,” Summers said. “Training has a little more of a work ethic undertone.” That ethic has paid off for the Cru teams; they have increased their conditioning and it shows in their play as matches drag on. Summers said, “We’ve been pushing a lot more on off-court conditioning, going on runs and going to the gym, stuff like that.” Loftus believes there is one reason for their high level of play. “We all get along, and we hang out outside of tennis,”...

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Bases loaded: Former administrator steps down to coach with his sons
Oct02

Bases loaded: Former administrator steps down to coach with his sons

With baseball season still a few months out, the team is preparing for its upcoming season under new, unusual management. After the resignation of interim baseball head coach Derek Dunaway, UMHB baseball looked within for different leadership. Former Vice President of Athletics for 18 years, Ben Shipp, had no intention of returning to coaching. However, in the process of finding a coach to pick up where Dunaway left off, something gripped him and didn’t let go. “Once I got in, and I was trying to help recruit and keep in touch with the players, then I kind of got the fever. I knew then that it wasn’t out of my blood,” Shipp said. He served as head coach for Cru baseball for 10 years between 1986 and 1996 in which he introduced the program into NCAA Division III. Currently the winningest coach in university history, Shipp returns to the diamond. Only this time he returns with his two sons, Kyle and Nathan, to rally Cru baseball to an ASC Championship. Taking the helm of the baseball team meant several changes in the athletics administration. As Shipp stepped down from VP of Athletics, former Associate Director of Athletics Randy Mann moved in. Now occupying Mann’s old office is Darla Kirby, former head women’s golf coach. With all bases covered in administration, Shipp was able to return to what he was doing when his sons were just learning to throw a baseball. Two college careers in baseball later, Kyle and Nathan join their dad at work. Kyle, 27, returns to his alma mater after spending five years down Interstate 35 at Southwestern in Georgetown where he was assistant baseball coach for the Pirates. While at UMHB, Kyle was a four-year letterman as the starting catcher for the Cru and graduated in 2007 with a bachelor’s in economics. He was a decorated player, recognized thrice as ASC Academic All-Conference, UMHB Male Senior Athlete of the Year for 2007 and recipient of the Fred Jacoby award presented by the ASC. Nathan is 23 years old and a 2012 graduate of Southwestern with a degree in kinesiology. He was also a four-year letterman as an infielder; twice All-SCAC Honorable Mention, and he earned a spot on SCAC Student-Athlete Academic Honor Roll. Nathan grew up around UMHB but never played for or attended the school. Working at the university has been a great experience for him. “There is like a buzz around this. There is … real support. You know, real excitement about athletics here,” he said. “This is a neat place, and it is really an honor to be able to work here.” The...

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‘Lone Star Bowl’

For years the Dallas Cowboys have been America’s team, the poster child of the NFL. There are now two sheriffs in the Lone Star State, the Houston Texans have bolted out to win their first four games—a first for the team. Both organizations have lofty goals as the season begins, and fans expect a lot from the two teams. Some say that this year the Cowboys and Texans will face each other in the Super Bowl. Junior International business major Mitchell Goodman thinks it’s possible. “It will be Texans versus Cowboys in the Super Bowl,” Goodman said.”I feel like the Texas teams have great hope, almost as much as the Cru football team.” Though it may be a long shot, an in-state battle for the Lombardi trophy is possible. It just so happens that the two Texas teams are in different conferences The Cowboys are in the NFC while the Texans are in the AFC. The teams are not scheduled to play in the regular season, a Cowboys-Texans showdown might be viewed on the biggest stage of all, the Super Bowl. Many things will have to fall perfectly in place if the teams are to meet up in New Orleans, the site of the 2013 Super Bowl. For one, the Texans will have to stay healthy. In past seasons, good health has been a rare thing for the Texans. The team’s big three, running back Arian Foster, wide receiver Andre Johnson and quarterback Matt Schaub, were seldom on the field together last season due to injuries. Now, all three are in the mix and can create nightmares for opposing defenses. Dallas’ problem is not their defense, but their offense. Freshman Ross Phipps said the team is weakest up front. “Their offensive line isn’t the best, and, of course, Tony Romo holds on to the ball too long.” After losing to Seattle, the Cowboys’ offense struggled against a relentless Tampa Bay defense. They put up only 16 points, and their only touchdown was set up by an interception by linebacker Sean Lee. One thing is certain: the Cowboys and Texans both have solid defensive units. The Texans are led by their juggernaut defensive end J.J. Watt. In his first three games, he has already tied last year’s sacks for the regular season. Freshman Christian ministries major Jaron Haas said, “Watt is pretty dang good. I wouldn’t want to run against him. That’s just terrifying.” The same can be said of Cowboys linebackers. Outside backers Anthony Spencer and DeMarcus Ware add versatility on the edges, while inside backers Lee and Bruce Carter plug running lanes. The two could face off at...

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Elkins leads women into regular season
Oct02

Elkins leads women into regular season

Lady Cru soccer has returned to the field for the 2012 season. The team has already made an impact in American Southwest Conference play with a 5-3-1 overall record and 2-2-1 in conference. Women’s Head Coach Barry Elkins talks about the goals for this team. “Coming into the season, our main goal is to make the American Southwest Conference tournament,” he said. “One task that will help us get there is to not allow as many goals as we gave up last year.” The Lady Cru will depend on their strengths to be successful this season. Junior accounting major Maizey Cardy points out their strong points. “Our team’s strengths are our hard work ethic and our passion for the game. We may not have the skill or talent that other teams have, but with our strengths, we can compete with any team,” she said. Another strength is the chemistry players have with each other on and off the field. “Our team’s relationship this year is the best it has ever been. We are all friends on and off the field, and I love being able to share my experiences at UMHB with all of them,” she said. Sophomore business management major Ashley Teague agrees with Cardy about the team’s friendshps. “We are all one big family. Everyone gets along really well. It really helps us on the field,” she said. Sophomore Christian studies major Taylor Irby agrees. “Our relationship with one another is great. We truly do love one another like sisters, and we really do support each other on and off the field,” she said. The new lights on the soccer field will also add an impact to the home games this season. Irby and Teague both talked about playing under the lights. “Playing under the lights brings a different level of intensity to the game. It is great for both the fans and the competitors,” Irby said. “I love playing (with the new) lights. Plus it is a much cooler temperature. I know our fans are liking it as well because we are seeing more fans come out,” Teague said. The Lady Cru took on East Texas Baptist University in their last home game. The team played a thrilling match that went into overtime. Senior Camryn Powell got the team on the board with an assisted pass by Jordan Powers early in the game. The women were then unsuccessful to score for the remaining of regulation. ETBU scored its first goal in the second half to level the game at 1-1. The marathon continued on to overtime, then double overtime, where both teams were still unable to...

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Patron recognizes team with gift
Sep11

Patron recognizes team with gift

The dedication for Cummins Field House was held last Friday, honoring the patrons of the facility, Chris and Cindy Cummins of College Station, Texas. The 9,429-square-foot facility was completed in the fall of 2011 and has been in use since its completion. Chris and Cindy Cummins, accompanied by family, were present to cut the ribbon on the field house. University President Dr. Randy O’Rear recognized the Cummins and presented them with a plaque. “I don’t know that they’ve ever been asked, one time, to make a gift,” O’Rear said. “They show up. Chris has a smile on his face … and he hands us a check and says ‘We want to be a part of it. We believe in what you’re doing.’” Cummins is a local; he grew up in Belton and was an offensive tackle at Belton High School. He was offered a scholarship to play for the University of North Texas where he would meet his wife, Cindy. After marrying, the couple would find their way to Belton and to UMHB, where Chris would graduate with a bachelor’s in business in 1975. Chris would become Senior Vice President of Proppant, an affiliate of Frac Tech Services, a company that supplies fracturing sand to the petroleum industry. Despite his success in the oil business, Cummins has not forgotten his roots. The Cummins couple have shown their support in the form of several donations toward the football program. Now entering its fifteenth season, the football program has amassed a winning record of 134-33 as of Saturday’s victory over Kean University. With the success that Head Coach Pete Fredenburg has found over the years with the Cru, it has grown in size, and the former locker room accommodations were no longer enough to service the needs of the team. “There were, I think, 167 lockers, and we would have in excess of 200 guys in there, so it was pretty tight,” Fredenburg said. The locker room in Anderson was torn down and used as an expansion to the weight and meeting rooms. The weight room only had nine barbells before the Cummins was built; now up to 24 athletes can use barbell stations at once. Junior mathematics major and running back for the Cru, Darius Wilson, shared his thoughts on the new field house and the effect it has had on the team. “It allows you to see firsthand, that hard work pays off,” Wilson said. “Because without winning, you know, this wouldn’t be possible.” Joining the two field houses is the Captains’ Tower where team captains are honored with a monument. Nine out of 15 seasons have resulted in...

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