There was a lot of excitement over the weekend with the additions of Marcel Yates and Donté Williams to our football staff. They are two tremendous football coaches, who should really help with our recruiting efforts. In order to give you some insight, we thought it might be a good idea to explain how we go about hiring assistant coaches.

If you recall from the summer, we discussed our process for hiring head coaches, but the process of hiring assistant coaches is a bit different. While I’m obviously active in the process of hiring a head coach, I prefer to leave the hiring of assistant coaches up to the head coach of that program. I firmly believe that our head coaches should have autonomy when building their staffs. What I try to do is offer support and be there throughout the process in case I can be of assistance.

Department resources are also available throughout the vetting process for assistant coaching candidates. We need to go through background checks and make sure each candidate is compliant with the NCAA, so we’ll assist in that area.

These are big decisions for our head coaches because their assistants are crucial in the success of the programs. We want to create an environment of ownership and responsibility, and allowing the head coaches to choose who best fits their staffs makes sense based on comfort level and how they’ll fit in with the other members of the programs. Our head coaches do a tremendous job of selecting assistants that have positive impacts on their programs and we believe these football hires will do the same.


As we mentioned last week, we’ll continue to provide updates on the ticketing process for our neutral site game vs. BYU on Saturday, Sept. 3 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. Playing the game in Phoenix was a terrific opportunity for us to play an “away game” while being very close to our fan base. We hope you’ll join us!

As a reminder, this game is NOT part of the season-ticket package, which encompasses our seven home games at Arizona Stadium. Season ticket renewals and new sales for the 2016 season will be available February 1.

Football season ticket holders and current Wildcat Club members will have an exclusive early window to purchase tickets beginning this Saturday, Jan. 23. Football season ticket holders and current Wildcat Club members will receive an email on Saturday including their account access code to purchase tickets through the University of Phoenix Stadium’s Ticketmaster site. This exclusive window ends Sunday, Feb. 28.

Then, on March 1, tickets will be available to the general public. We will continue to provide updates as we approach those dates so you can start making plans to be in Glendale, and once again, show everyone that The Valley is Wildcat Country.

In addition, be on the lookout for an informational webpage on the game. We’ll have all the info you’ll need including the ticket sale schedule, prices, seating map, FAQ and more.

This page will be updated throughout the spring as more details are confirmed.

Start making your plans now. This is going to be a game you won’t want to miss.


We received our final academic numbers from the fall and we continue to see our accomplishments in the classroom trend up. We finished the fall with a semester GPA of 2.803 and a cumulative GPA of 2.878 as a department, which are both the top marks for a fall term we have on record. For those wondering, the semester GPA consists of grades recorded in that particular semester, while the cumulative GPA consists of grades from all semesters. There were 123 student-athletes who finished the semester with at least a 3.5 GPA, while 242 posted at least a 3.0 GPA. Both numbers top the list in those categories based on available data.

There were nine programs that finished the fall with at least a 3.0 team GPA and 15 programs posted at least a 2.75 team GPA. The sand volleyball program led our women’s teams with a 3.564 GPA, while the men’s cross country team led the men’s programs with a 3.264 GPA.

We’re very happy with how well our student-athletes are doing in the classroom, but there is still work to be done. Our C.A.T.S. Academics staff is focused on working with our young men and women to reach our goal of a 3.0 department GPA. We believe we can get there and we’re going to continue to work as hard as we can to make that happen.


Administrators from around college athletics descended on San Antonio last week for the NCAA Convention. While there may not have been as many items resolved this year compared to last year, we were still able to make progress on a number of different topics and the general vibe continues to be one of progress.

There were a few items on the agenda, including one focused on the time demands on student-athletes, that weren’t quite ready to get to the finish line. These are important to the health of college athletics and we want to make sure any legislation that is proposed or passed benefits the student-athletes. We weren’t ready to make decisions on those particular items and felt it was best to keep evaluating so we can do our best to get it right.

One item of note that did pass was legislation that gives a school’s lead medical personnel autonomy to determine when student-athletes are fit to return to practice and competition. This procedure has been in place at Arizona for a number of years, but it was an important piece of legislation and we were happy to see it passed.

We’ll continue to work to address the important topics surrounding the evolution of collegiate athletics. This is a critical time in our industry, and fortunately, there are a lot of bright minds working to do what’s best for the school’s and the student-athletes.


Fans who sit in the eastside 100-level seats will have a more comfortable experience next season. We are about to embark on a new seating project for sections 101 through 109. The entire section will have new chairback seating installed in time for the Sept. 10 home opener vs. Grambling State. We know there is a lot of work to do in Arizona Stadium to improve the fan experience, but we’re making progress with the completion of the north end zone a few years ago and now with the eastside 100-level sections.

Feb. 1 is the day fans can purchase new season tickets. Feel free to contact Justin Kirk with our sales team at (520) 626-3110 (or e-mail kirkj@arizona.edu) to get more information and a tour of the new seating area.


Fans, you really stepped up and showed great support for the GymCats in their home opener a couple of weeks ago. The kind of atmosphere we had makes a huge difference with the student-athletes as they compete. This Saturday, Jan. 23 at 1 p.m., we are hoping you can come out and help us set another attendance record as your gymnastics team takes on Pac-12 rival UCLA in what is sure to be a fun, intense contest. You will not want to miss the amazing talent at the GymCat meets. Season tickets are still available for only $20 and still offer huge savings off of single meet prices. Single meet tickets can also be purchased now. If you'd like to purchase your tickets today, you can click HERE.


Men’s basketball’s second annual “Stripe Out” night is coming up vs. the Oregon Ducks on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. We are asking fans to wear red or white based on their seat location. Check out the map below to see what color you’re supposed to wear next week!


Our women’s basketball team needs your support this Sunday evening at McKale. We play the eighth-ranked Sun Devils at 5 p.m. MST. Be there and wear red for this rivalry game. Winning the Territorial Cup Series trophy is always a goal of ours and we will need your help to get the point in women’s basketball. Remember, you can always save some money when you purchase your tickets in advance or online. ClickHERE to buy from ArizonaWildcats.com.


Join us in Phoenix for an Arizona men’s basketball watch party! We are taking the party to Florencia’s Restaurant (3646 E Ray Rd. #20, Phoenix, AZ 85044) this Saturday, Jan. 23 at 6:30 p.m. as we take on Cal. UA grad and Wildcat Club Member Val Yemetz is generously opening his restaurant for UA fans and alumni. Seating is limited so please RSVP to Callista Elmore, Director of Regional Development, by Friday, Jan. 22. You can reach Callista at cjbalko@arizona.eduor by calling (602) 827-2191. Please be sure to bring your Wildcat Club membership card to receive discounts on food and drinks. We hope everyone in The Valley can make it out to watch a good game with good friends. #PhxIsWildcatCountry.


Arizona’s student-athletes continue to be active in the community. Here is a sample of what they’ve done recently:

Jan. 12 – Members of the track and field team volunteered at the Tucson Community Food Bank. They sorted food and packed meals for those in need.

Jan. 14 – Athletics department staff took a long lunch break to volunteer at Ben’s Bells. They enjoyed painting bells that will be used to create the popular Ben’s Bells and share the gift of kindness.

Jan. 15 – Malcolm Holland from football visited the patients and Wildcat fans at Diamond Children’s Medical Center.

Jan. 16 and 18 – Athletics department staff volunteered time on their Saturday morning and Martin Luther King Holiday at Casa Maria Soup Kitchen. They worked together to prepare lunches and dinners for those in need.

Our student-athletes are looking to continue volunteering in the Tucson Community. If you know of a non-profit that would benefit from the helping hands of our student-athletes, please let us know by submitting an online request by clicking HERE. We won’t be able to fulfill every request, but we try to get to as many as we can.


Congrats to Gannon Stiles (@gstiles7) for being selected as this week’s winner of the #ByrneTwitterGiveaway. A member of the athletics department staff will DM you with more information on how to secure your prize so make sure you’re following @AZAthletics.

Here is this week’s Twitter giveaway message:

Welcome to the Wildcat family @CoachD_AZ and @CoachYatesAZ. #BearDown
@Greg_Byrne #ByrneTwitterGiveaway

Each week, we’ll provide a phrase accompanied by the twitter handle @Greg_Byrne and the hashtag #ByrneTwitterGiveaway for Wildcat Wednesday subscribers to tweet. We’ll select the winner(s) at random and announce in the following edition of Wildcat Wednesday. We hope you’ll have some fun with this and participate each week. As long as we’re seeing a lot of participation, we’ll keep the giveaways going throughout the year.


Some fans are under the impression that if a student-athlete is not paid for an autograph, then it is permissible to sell the autograph. That is inaccurate. NCAA rules state that a current student-athlete can lose their eligibility if their autograph is sold, regardless if the student-athlete profits from the sale.

If you receive an autographed item, it is with the mutual understanding that the item received will never be sold or traded for anything of value as long as any autograph on that item represents a student-athlete currently competing for the University of Arizona. Your cooperation in protecting our student-athletes is greatly appreciated.

If you have any questions concerning this information or if you are aware of an item being sold in violation of these rules, please do not hesitate to contact our compliance office at (520) 621-4796.


Head coach Niya Butts from Women’s Basketball recorded her 100th win with a 63-52 victory over Colorado on Sunday … Men’s Basketball completed its fifth consecutive sweep of the Washington schools last weekend … Gabrielle Laub and Kennady Schneider from Gymnastics have each tallied back-to-back event titles in the GymCats first two meets. Laub won the uneven bars against Michigan St. and Texas Woman’s, while Schneider swept the floor exercise … Men’s Tennis posted two victories over No. 41 New Mexico last weekend.


Thank you for wearing the colors and sharing your Arizona pride! If your photo submission did not make this week’s edition of the Wildcat Wednesday, please check our “Wildcat Wednesday” album at facebook.com/ArizonaAthletics.

NOTE: Please submit photos for Wildcat Wednesday with an original email touofaad@arizona.edu using the subject line ‘Wildcat Wednesday photo.’ Also, please ensure all submissions are clear and properly lit. We also ask that you identify everyone in the photo so we can highlight them accordingly.


Here is a look at the upcoming events for Arizona Athletics (Home events in BOLD). All times are listed as Mountain Standard Time. To purchase tickets for home events, click here. To access live stats from your desktop or mobile device, visitArizonaLiveStats.com.


9:00 p.m.: Men’s Basketball at Stanford (TV: Pac-12 Networks) (Radio: TuneIn)


12:00 p.m.: Track & Field at Conference Clash/Power 5 Invitational (in Birmingham, Ala.)

3:00 p.m.: Swimming & Diving at California

7:00 p.m.: Women’s Basketball at Arizona St. (TV: Pac-12 Arizona) (Radio: TuneIn / KTUC 1400 AM)


12:00 p.m.: Track & Field at Conference Clash/Power 5 Invitational (in Birmingham, Ala.)

12:00 p.m.: Men’s Tennis vs. UC Riverside

1:00 p.m.: Swimming & Diving at Stanford

1:00 p.m.: Gymnastics vs. UCLA (TV: Pac-12 Networks)

6:30 p.m.: Men’s Basketball at California (TV: ESPN) (Radio:TuneIn)


11:00 a.m.: Women’s Tennis at Hawaii

5:00 p.m.: Women’s Basketball vs. Arizona St. (TV: Pac-12 Networks) (Radio: TuneIn / KTUC 1400 AM)


No Events Scheduled


No Events Scheduled


No Events Scheduled


Continue to do what you can to help Arizona Athletics and:
1. Join the Wildcat Movement
2. Buy Season Tickets
3. Wear the Colors (Especially on Friday)
4. Get Others to do the Same

Bear Down with Pride,

Greg Byrne
Vice President for Athletics
The University of Arizona