TU athletics savors an all-around great year
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Saturday, August 18, 2012
8/18/12 at 4:32 AM
During the Tulsa Metro Chamber Football Kickoff Luncheon, which attracted a Friday crowd of 600 to a Convention Center ballroom, University of Tulsa coach Bill Blankenship previewed the upcoming season.
Athletic director Ross Parmley used his time at the microphone to review the 2011-12 school year. If TU's mission is to combine the education of student-athletes with the drive for championships, the 2011-12 school year probably ranks as the most successful in the history of the university's athletic department.
"It was a great year for TU," Parmley said.
TU athletes captured Conference USA team titles in men's cross country, women's golf, men's indoor track and field, softball (regular season and postseason tournament), men's tennis, women's tennis and volleyball. TU led the league with eight team titles. Memphis was next with five.
And for the first time since joining Conference USA in July 2005, TU received the league's Institutional Excellence Award - given to the member university with highest overall student-athlete grade point average. TU's grade point average was 3.121 on a 4.0 scale. In each of the previous six years, Rice was the Institutional Excellence Award recipient.
"When you win more championships than any other school and have a higher academic standing than any other school - that says an awful lot about the staff and coaches at the University of Tulsa," Parmley said. "Even more than that, it says a lot about the type of kids who attend the University of Tulsa.
"We won eight championships and our football team played in a bowl game. Add to that the conference academic title, and it was a remarkable feat for TU."
During the Friday kickoff event, Golden Hurricane defensive personnel (coordinator Brent Guy, tackle Derrick Jackson, safety Dexter McCoil and cornerback Lowell Rose) were matched with offensive personnel (coordinator Greg Peterson, quarterback Cody Green, center Trent Dupy and H-back Willie Carter) in a Family Feud game-show skit.
The 6-foot-2, 295-pound Jackson is a classic example of a legitimate student-athlete. A returning starter at defensive tackle, he is a fifth-year senior from Del City. During each of his first four years at TU, Jackson - a graphic-design major - was named to the Conference USA Academic Honor Roll.
"It was a challenge when I first got here," Jackson said. "It's a good school. You just have to work at it. The education part of this is important to me."
In seven years of Conference USA membership, TU has had 19 Academic All-Americans. More than 1,200 Hurricane athletes have been named to the C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll (a distinction reserved for those who achieve a GPA of at least 3.0).
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Original Print Headline: TU savors an all-around great year
Bill Haisten 918-581-8397
TU head coach Bill Blankenship speaks during the University of Tulsa Chamber Luncheon Friday at the Convention Center. TOM GILBERT/Tulsa World
TU defensive coach Brent Guy (from left) and players Lowell Rose, Derrick Jackson and Dexter McCoil play Family Feud as John Holcomb asks the questions Friday during the University of Tulsa Chamber Luncheon. TOM GILBERT/ Tulsa World