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West Texas A&M Athletic Director Michael McBroom announced Wednesday that Tom Brown, the associate head coach at Winona State University (Minn.) for the past 16 years, has been hired as the 17th men’s basketball coach in program history. Brown has 20 years of coaching experience overall, and has been part of one of the most successful Division II men’s basketball programs in recent history as he helped lead the Warriors to the NCAA Division II National Championship in 2006 and 2008, while finishing runner-up in 2007. During that span, Winona State posted an unprecedented 105-6 record. Since Brown has been on the bench at WSU, the Warriors have gone to the NCAA Tournament 10 times, including the past two and a string of seven-straight from 2005-2011. Brown has helped the Warriors reach the Elite Eight four times, including most recently in 2013. WSU has won over 20 games in each of the past 10 seasons and are 368-139 (.726). Named Division II Bulletin’s ‘Program of the Decade’ for 2000-2009, WSU set a NCAA Division II record with 57 consecutive wins, a run that began on Jan. 13, 2006, and didn’t end until the national title game on Mar. 24, 2007. The 2007-08 Warrior squad won a NCAA record 38 games. During Brown’s tenure at Winona State, the Warriors have won six Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference championships (1999, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008) and won five NSIC Tournament titles (2001, 06, 07, 08, 11). The 1999 conference title was the first for Winona State in 24 years. An excellent recruiter and teacher, Brown has had a hand in developing some of the best players in the nation with three National Player of the Year recipients, along with six first team All-America honorees and 10 players total have earned All-America status. He has helped coach five NSIC Most Valuable Players, seven NSIC Defensive Players of the Year and two Elite Eight Most Valuable Players.
Brown is scheduled to meet with media and fans at a press conference on Monday, April 21 at 4:30 p.m. in The Legends Club at the Jack B. Kelley Student Center and it is open to the public.
Even though the Amarillo Venom didn't have a game last week, they were busy. At his weekly news conference, head coach Julian Reese said they worked on everything! He said with all the young players on the team, they needed to get back to the basics and work on alot of timing issues. Coming off their first loss of the season, the open date allowed the team to work on their mental approach as well. Reese feels like the team has learned a valuable lesson from the loss.
The Venom trave to New Mexico this Saturday to take on the Stars, a team they beat in the first game of the season.
For the third time in four years one of the best rivalries in the North American Hockey League will be renewed in the South Division final and a birth to the Robertson Cup National Semi-Final.
The Amarillo Bulls will host the Topeka RoadRunners in the Best-Of-Five series that begins this Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m at the Amarillo Civic Center.
The scene for games 3 and 4 (if necessary) will shift to Kansas Expo Center Landon Arena for next Thursday, Apr. 24 and Friday, Apr. 25 also at 7:05 p.m. If a fifth and deciding game is needed it will be back at the Amarillo Civic Center on Monday, Apr. 28 at 7 p.m.
WT Sophomore Libby Strickland is the Lone Star Conference Women’s Track Athlete of the Week. Strickland had a career weekend at home during the West Texas A&M Open last Saturday as she contributed to three new school records along with four provisional qualifying times. She recorded second-place finishes for provisional marks and school records in both the 100m dash (11.66) and 200m dash (23.71).
The Amarillo native and Randall High School graduate added a third school record in the 4x400m relay in a second place finish and provisional time of 3:45.26 along with juniors Sharon Kwarula, Jessie Thomas and Rhemecka Graham. She then led the 4x100m relay team, with sophomore Bri Leeper and seniors Marisa Holiwell and Rachel King, to a first place finish with a provisional time of 46.08.
Currently a provisional qualifier in six different events (100m, 200m, 4x100m & 4x400m relays, long jump and high jump), Strickland ranks sixth in the nation and second in the LSC in the 100m, fourth in the nation and first in the LSC in the 200m, sixth in the nation and first in the LSC in high jump, and eighth in the nation and second in the LSC in long jump.
For the eighth straight week, the Lady Buffs of West Texas A&M have remained atop of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II Top-25 Poll announced on Wednesday morning by the association’s office in Louisville, Kentucky. It also marks the second consecutive week that WT was the unanimous selection with all 16 of the first place votes for a perfect total of 400 points.
WT is also the top team in the South Central Region in the initial NCAA Division II regional rankings. The Lady Buffs are followed by #7 Angelo State (35-9), #11 St. Mary’s (37-8), #22 Texas Woman’s (30-14), Metro State (22-10), Cameron (24-16), Midwestern State (25-19), St. Edward’s (23-19), UC-Colorado Springs (22-12) and Colorado State-Pueblo (20-17) to round out the top-10.