Around the Horned With Brian Estridge
Feb. 8, 2002
Six Among the 25: Times are good right now at TCU Athletics, with six teams currently ranked in the top 25 in their respective polls. On Monday, women's basketball hit the top 25 for the first time in the program's history, and the Lady Frogs are joined by a group of perennial powerhouses--men's and women's golf, men's and women's tennis and indoor track. All of this goes a long way in helping TCU move toward that goal of finishing in the top 50 in the Sears Cup rankings.
First Class All the Way: Gary Patterson made a point of saying that last year's recruiting class was essentially a group that had all committed before he and his staff took over, so let's count this as his first "full" recruiting class. With Coach P's staff in place, you can see the difference that his hires made. TCU showed a strong presence in south Texas thanks to David Bailiff, there was good work done in Houston thanks to Eddie Williamson, and big "J-dub" of Shreveport Evangel comes courtesy of Jarrett Anderson. And that's just mentioning a few who will pay dividends for the Frogs. Interesting to note that positions weren't as much of a priority as athleticism and speed. (FYI-that's the same way that Kansas State and Oklahoma have built their programs).
Night of Champions: Football's annual event that showcases the team's off-season work in the weight room will take place on the February 28 in the Walsh Center. Don Sommer, Kent Morgan and Brad Smith push these guys to the limit and it always makes for an exciting evening. I am anxious this year to watch the likes of Anthony Alabi, among others, as they try and reach some of the marks set in recent years. Speaking of weight room success, Victor Payne, Chad McCarty, Chad Bayer and women's basketballer Tricia Payne were all nominated for strength and conditioning All-America status. The final results will be out in March...Stay tuned.
Tidwell Did Well: You probably saw the recent release on the nomination of Larry Tidwell as one of the National Assistant Coaches of the Year. Larry is an outstanding recruiter who has been a vital part of the early success of the Jeff Mittie era. But more importantly, Larry is a great Horned Frog who shows his pride for TCU everyday! Not to mention, he has one of the most thorough collections of Horned Frogs in his office that you have ever see.
Out of the Bunker: Golfweek senior writer Ron Balicki recently gave the Frogs an A+ grade, one of just two he awarded, for the Frogs' impressive fall season. Selected 29th in Golfweek's preseason poll, the Frogs propelled themselves into the top 10 with four top-3 finishes in five events. TCU had a 27-7-1 record against teams in the top 50 and went 65-7-1 overall. The TCU men's golf team enters the spring rated eighth in the nation according to the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings system. Not bad Coach Montigel!
First Conference USA Championship?: The Frogs have their best chance to claim their first Conference USA title in a couple of weeks, as Bloomington, Indiana, is the site of the 2002 Conference USA Indoor Championships. The Flyin' Frogs will have to fight off Charlotte, Cincinnati and Houston for the title. Monte Stratton's team may just feature a surprise entry in the hurdles. Here's a hint, he's a current Frog football player...Stay tuned.
Frogments: Prentice Lewis, the new volleyball coach for the Frogs, will be in town this weekend, and your first chance to meet her will be Saturday night at the men's basketball game. Kudos to Associate Athletics Director Jack Hesselbrock, who did a lot of the background work on this hire...Assistant Director of Marketing Terra Nuss is leaving the Frog family to join the staff of the Texas Rangers. Terra has been a vital part of TCU Athletics for the last two years. We'll miss her, but wish the TCU alum much luck in her new endeavor...Early word on the women's basketball schedule next year includes match-ups at Tennessee and Rutgers, home dates with Oklahoma and Oregon and an appearance in the Purdue Thanksgiving tourney...Look for an early-season national television appearance by the Frogs in football in 2002.
From the streets and avenues of North Texas to the information super highway, I'm Brian Estridge. We'll see you on the radio.