Around the Horned With Brian Estridge
March 1, 2002
Billy's last stand: Saturday night in DMC will be an emotional evening. It marks the last time that Billy Tubbs will be roaming the sidelines in Fort Worth as the head coach of the Horned Frogs. Billy's eight years at the helm have been the most successful in TCU history. His tenure has featured eight straight winning seasons (the NCAA ruled the Purdue win in his first year a forfeit giving the Frogs a winning season officially), an NCAA Tournament bid, two NIT appearances, a conference championship, an individual national scoring champion and a nationally rated scoring offense. There's no doubt that Billy Ball has left its mark in Cowtown. But what impresses me most about his coaching ability has occurred this year. With admittedly less talent, this could have been a difficult season in a campaign that some labeled a "lame-duck" year. But that hasn't been the case. Billy has tinkered, tweaked and pushed the right buttons to get the most out of this team. More offensive and defensive schemes, sometimes a slower pace, more set plays, all have contributed to the fact that the Frogs will be in the C-USA Tourney. Let me say this as plainly as I can. The job that Billy has done this year is, in my opinion, the best coaching job in his tenure at TCU! Oh, and by the way, don't worry about him either-we haven't seen, or heard, the last of Coach Tubbs!
March Madness: This weekend signals the beginning of March Madness for TCU as the women are in Chicago for the C-USA Tournament, while the men are playing for seeding in the C-USA Tourney with a match-up with East Carolina on Saturday night in DMC. Then, the men are off to Cincy for their first round match-up on Wednesday (opponent and game time TBD). The Lady Frogs dominated the C-USA post-season awards. Jeff Mittie was named Coach of the Year, Kati Safaritova made the First Team, Sandora Irvin was on the Third Team and the All-Freshman Team, and Grace Gantt was named the Sixth Player of the Year. With the number one seed, the Lady Frogs look to add to their case for a high seeding in the NCAA Tourney. All of the women's games, presented by Omni American Credit Union, will be heard on KTCU 88.7 FM. (With the conflict with the men Saturday night, KTCU will carry the first half of the men's game and then join Jeff Williams from Chicago for the women's pre-game show). The men's game Saturday night will be on Disney Radio 620 AM in Fort Worth-Dallas. All of the men's tournament games, also presented by Omni American Credit Union, beginning next Wednesday will be on ESPN Radio 103.3 FM as well as KTCU 88.7.
Monte's boys pick up right where they left off: The men's track team picked up the first Conference USA championship of the year for Frogs, winning the indoor meet in Bloomington, Ind., last weekend...Eliud Njubi was named Athlete of the Year after winning two events in meet record time. In addition, LaTarence Dunbar won 60-meter hurdles after practicing for the meet for just two weeks...And Monte Stratton joins Richard Sybesma and Jeff Mittie as Conference USA Coaches of the Year. Nine track athletes are currently in Ames, Iowa, for the Last Chance Meet this weekend. All are attempting to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships that take place next week in Fayetteville, Ark.
Night of Champions: Just when you thought it would never be broken, Victor Payne's squat record from last year was shattered by Anthony Alabi at Thursday evening's Night of Champions. Alabi pushed up 805 pounds on the squat to set a new TCU mark, and he also power cleaned 460 for another TCU record. And the third overall record set belonged to John Turntine, who benched 560. In all, 31 position marks fell including the following: Jason Goss hit 700 on the squat, Sean Stilley maxed out at 600 on the squat, Reggie Holts raised 500 on the bench and 480 on the incline, LaTarence Dunbar squatted 610 and power cleaned 410, Josh Goolsby benched 550, LaMarcus McDonald hit 710 in the squat, Brandon Johnson was close behind with 700 and even kicker Joey Biasatti got in the mix with a 460 bench.
Frogments: The Frog baseball team has already turned 21 double plays this year, including one in every game. Meanwhile, Frog opponents have turned just five twin killings. It's no surprise that TCU has the early lead in Conference USA fielding percentage. And remember, defense wins championships!...The recent addition to the football staff in Dick Winder as quarterbacks coach brings a wealth of experience to the offensive side of the ball, not to mention a bunch of wins over the years...When former TCU and current New York Knicks star Kurt Thomas closed the Nasdaq on Wednesday February 6, it actually symbolized the start of a fabulous beginning - the second year of "The Kurt Thomas Investment Challenge" presented by Merrill Lynch. Over 500 students will participate in a stock market simulation, with 10 students being offered paid internships at Merrill Lynch. Way to go Kurt!...The men's basketball radio call-in show will move to the new location of the Fox and Hound English Pub and Grille on March 13 for the final show of the year. The new location at 601 Main Street in downtown Fort Worth (the old Hyenas Comedy Club), features over 18,000 square feet of entertainment. I think you will find it to be a great location for our coaches shows, and they have valet parking!...Tickets for the annual football banquet on April 6th at the Round-Up Inn at Will Rogers, are now on sale. For more details contact the football office at (817) 257-7970...The Frogs have featured two consecutive women's tennis players of the week in Paty Aburto and Saber Pierce. Kudos to Roland and crew!
From the streets and avenues of North Texas to the information super highway, I'm Brian Estridge. We'll see you on the radio.