The Nebraska women's basketball team will play a marquee opponent on its home court at Pinnacle Bank Arena, when the Big Red battle the Duke Blue Devils in the B1G/ACC Challenge in December.
The clash between the Huskers and Blue Devils on Wednesday, Dec. 4, marks the first announcement of a game in Nebraska's upcoming 2019-20 season schedule. It will also be the third overall meeting between Nebraska and Duke in history, with the most recent coming as part of the B1G/ACC Challenge on Dec. 3, 2014, at Pinnacle Bank Arena. The Huskers won that challenge match-up, 60-54. Duke won the first meeting in the 2013 NCAA Sweet Sixteen in Norfolk, Va., with a hard-fought 53-45 victory.
Both Nebraska and Duke have rich postseason traditions. The Huskers have made 14 NCAA Tournament appearances since 1988, including six since 2010 with their most recent appearance in 2018. The Blue Devils have earned 24 all-time NCAA Tournament bids, including eight since 2010 with their most recent trip to the Big Dance in 2018.
The Huskers and Blue Devils are both poised to be teams on the rise in 2019-20. Last year, Duke finished with a 15-15 overall record that included a 6-10 ACC mark. The Huskers went 14-16 overall and 9-9 in the Big Ten.
Nebraska returns all but one player from its 2019-20 roster, including four freshmen who combined for 893 points last season. It was the most points scored by a Husker freshman class since 1981-82, while the quartet (Leigha Brown, Sam Haiby, Kayla Mershon, Ashtyn Veerbeek) played the third-most minutes (2,222) of any freshman class in Nebraska women's basketball history.
The Huskers also return two-time All-Big Ten guard Hannah Whitish. The senior from Barneveld, Wis., needs just 34 points to become the 33rd 1,000-point scorer in Nebraska history. Fellow senior and three-year starter Nicea Eliely will add more experience for the Big Red, along with seniors Grace Mitchell and Kristian Hudson and juniors Taylor Kissinger and Kate Cain. Kissinger (Minden, Neb.) finished fourth in the nation by knocking down 45.6 percent (62-136) of her three-point attempts last season.
Incoming freshmen Isabelle Bourne, Trinity Brady and Makenzie Helms are also set to help the Huskers in 2019-20.
The Blue Devils return a trio of double-digit scorers from a year ago, led by first-team All-ACC guard Haley Gorecki. The 6-0 senior-to-be averaged team bests of 17.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.6 steals per game for Duke last season. She will be joined by fellow senior Leaonna Odom (13.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg) and sophomore Miela Goodchild (10.9 ppg), who earned All-ACC Freshman honors in 2018-19.
Goodchild, who will be a teammate of Husker freshman Isabelle Bourne on the Australian National Team at the FIBA Under-19 World Cup this July in Bangkok, Thailand, shot a solid 44.5 percent (73-164) from three-point range for the Blue Devils a year ago to rank sixth in NCAA Division I in that category to finish just two spots behind Nebraska's Taylor Kissinger in the national rankings.
Nebraska's B1G/ACC Challenge game with Duke is the first announced game on the Huskers' 2019-20. More non-conference game dates will be announced soon as contracts are finalized. Visit Huskers.com for the most current schedule information on Nebraska women's basketball. For 2019-20 season ticket information, call 1-800-8-BIG-RED.
McCook Community College infielder Angel Mojica, Denver, has signed on to play baseball this fall with NAIA Waldorf University in Forest City, Iowa.
“I’m happy for Angel. This is a really good program and I think he has the chance to make a big impact right away,” ” said MCC baseball coach Jon Olsen.
Mojica, a 5-6, 135-pound infielder who attended Alameda High School in Denver, played in all 48 games this season for the Indians. He batted .252 with two home runs and 20 RBIs in 143 at bats. As a defender he made just four errors on the season in 146 total chances primarily at second and third base and finished with a .973 fielding percentage.
“Angel is an excellent defender and really improved as a hitter here,” Olsen said. “We are looking forward to seeing him make an impact at Waldorf and wish him the best of luck,” Olsen said.
The Warriors made a run at the North Star Athletic Association Tournament but fell short of an automatic bid for the 46-team national tournament by losing to Bellevue to finish as runner-up in both the tournament and in the regular season standings. Waldorf did post the most wins in school history this year and finished 30-22.
One of the catalysts in Nebraska baseball’s rise to national prominence in his playing days, Will Bolt returns to his alma mater as head coach. Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos named Bolt the 24th head coach of the Husker baseball program on Friday.
Bolt brings 16 years of coaching experience to the Nebraska program, including five seasons on the Husker baseball staff and four years as a head coach at Texarkana College.
Bolt served as Nebraska’s Associate Head Coach under Darin Erstad from 2012 to 2014 and also was a volunteer assistant on the 2005 Husker team that reached the College World Series. As a player or coach, Bolt has been a part of all three of Nebraska’s College World Series teams and all four Super Regional squads.
Bolt returns to Lincoln after spending the past five seasons on the Texas A&M staff where he helped the Aggies to five straight NCAA regional appearances and a trip to the 2017 College World Series.
“The opportunity to come back home to Nebraska and lead the Husker baseball program is such a blessing and honor for my family and me,” Bolt said. “It is such an exciting time in Husker athletics with the foundation laid by Bill Moos within the athletic department, and the success Coach Erstad and staff have had on the field.
“My family and I have the fondest affection for the Huskers and the city of Lincoln, and truly cannot wait to become part of the Husker family again!”
The native of Conroe, Texas, had his first association with the Nebraska program as a player for the Huskers from 1999 to 2002. A member of Dave Van Horn’s first recruiting class at Nebraska, Bolt played on four NCAA regional teams and captained the Huskers’ first two College World Series teams in 2001 and 2002. Bolt finished his Husker playing career with school records in games played (251), games started (242), at-bats (922), hits (281), doubles (56) and assists (639).
“Will Bolt has been a winner at every stop he has made as a coach and player, and I am proud to welcome him back to Lincoln as our next head baseball coach,” Moos said. “Will was a part of the most successful teams in the history of our baseball program, and he knows what it takes to win here.
“Will has proven to be an outstanding recruiter wherever he has coached. He understands the appeal of Nebraska and everything our baseball program and University has to offer to student-athletes.”
Bolt and his wife, Lauren, have two sons, Jaxon and Austin, and one daughter, Bella. Bolt has signed a five-year contract that will pay him $300,000 annually.
McCook Community College has named Kyle Drennan as men’s basketball coach and career coach. Drennan comes from McNeese State University at Lake Charles, La. where he was Director of Operations for the basketball staff.
“I've been involved in many search committees over the years and it's rare to see someone come in with so much passion and excitement for a job, especially when it involves more than just coaching basketball,” said Kelly Rippen, Area Vice President of Student Affairs and McCook Community College. She said Drennan brings a strong foundation in business, marketing, and management that is perfect for the Career Coaching role. From the basketball side, he’s been part of several successful programs and has a “wonderful network in collegiate athletics.
A 2009 graduate from the University of Colorado, Drennan has nearly 10 years of experience in working with athletic programs in terms of team management, planning, player development, mentoring, marketing and promoting, film breakdown, and leadership skills.
“We were very impressed when Kyle came to interview,” said Athletic Director Jon Olsen. “He displayed a great passion for the game of basketball as well as a high level of organization which will help him succeed at McCook.”
Drennan came to McNeese after serving as the Director of Scouting and Operations with JUCO Advocate out of Austin, Texas, where he guided players to the JUCO ranks then assisted them in getting scholarships from four-year programs. He worked as the Director of Scouting and Social Media at Texas Top 100 where he developed and executed regional camps, evaluated players at the local and national levels, spearheaded social media coverage of live and upcoming events, and much more.
Drennan started coaching in 2015 as an assistant coach at Labette Community College in Parsons, Kan. He started his career in marketing with the Fenway Sports Group and the Salem Red Sox, a minor league baseball affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. There he development short and long term marketing plans as well as building relationships with Fortune 500 companies. After that, he became the Assistant Director of Operations at PAQ-Source in Denver where he developed strategic plans and the overseeing of assigned operations.
“I’m excited to be here and excited to dive into being part of this community,” Drennan said, adding that having coached in a small town in Kansas (Parsons) he understands the pride aspect of it.
“Not just from the college’s standpoint but at the community college level your town invests in your kids,” Drennan said. “Host families open their doors to students and student athletes, businesses reach out… we are neighbors and want to be good neighbors and we want our neighbors to root for us. We plan on being out in the community a lot.”
Drennan said, as a coach he tries to confine his “rules” for athletes to five basic pillars that include: love, communication, appreciation, servant mentality and passion.
Since he inherits a team with only one returning freshman, he’s fast-tracking his recruiting. He’ll be in Chicago Monday to speak with a point guard. Thanks to his connections with JUCO Advocate, he has commitments from a couple post players from Europe and has interests serious enough to visit three players in Texas, as well as the Washington D.C., area and Canada. He also knows there area players locally and in Nebraska who fit his mold of what he’s looking for.
“It definitely be will be a different-looking team in 2019-2020,” Drennan said.
“Kyle is very tied in on the recruiting scene which will not only help in the short time period for this year but moving forward as our head men’s basketball coach,” Olsen said.
Rippen said Drennan’s ability to recruit top athletes and bring out the best in them on the court and in the classroom impressed the MCC hiring committee, as did his coaching philosophy and experiences over the past 10 years.
Drennan describes his offensive philosophy as a lot of pick-and-roll, with skilled big men. He likes to space the floor, and his shooters better be ready to shoot. “I’d like to have a team that can play fast on misses, and defensively we want to be tough and dictate how the other team has to play.” He likes defenses that can take away their opponents top option and rebounding is always a priority.
“Basically anything that comes with effort, I want my team to be good at those things, and those are the type of qualities I’ll recruit,” Drennan said.
“I am excited for Kyle to get to work and looking forward the working with him as our new head men’s basketball coach,” Olsen said.
“He's an impressive individual with a strong work ethic and will be an excellent addition to the college and the community,” Rippen said. “We are thrilled to have him join our college family.
Drennan fills the vacancy held by Brandon Lenhart who took a job at Minot State University in Minot, N.D. Lenhart was at MCC for 12 years, compiling a 192-181 record.
Lincoln – University of Nebraska students have locked down their section of “The Vault,” as the NU Athletics Ticket Office announced Friday morning that men’s basketball student tickets are sold out for the 2019-20 season.
Nearly 1,600 student tickets have been purchased since they went on sale after the hiring of Fred Hoiberg in April. Friday’s announcement marks the earliest sellout date for student tickets since the 2015-16 season.
“Having a strong student section is important in building a home-court advantage, and today’s announcement shows how excited Husker students are for the upcoming season.” Hoiberg said. “Our team’s goal is to work hard and give our students and fans a product they can be proud of.”
The season-ticket renewal process is currently underway for the 2019-20 season, as fans can purchase tickets to all 17 games, including 10 Big Ten Conference matchups, at Pinnacle Bank Arena this season for as low as $136. For more information on
men’s basketball season tickets or to sign up for the season-ticket request list, visit Huskers.com/requestlist or call the NU Athletic Ticket Office at 800-8-BIGRED during business hours (Mon.-Fri, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.).
The Huskers host Doane in an exhibition game on Wednesday, Oct. 30, before the season opener tips off against UC Riverside on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Pat Bowlen, the Denver Broncos owner who transformed the team from also-rans into NFL champions and helped the league usher in billion-dollar television deals, died late Thursday night, just under two months before his enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was 75.
In a statement posted on the Broncos' website, Bowlen's family said he died peacefully at home surrounded by loved ones. They did not specify a cause of death. Bowlen had battled Alzheimer's for several years.
Bowlen was the first owner in NFL history to oversee a team that won 300 games — including playoffs — in three decades. He had as many Super Bowl appearances (seven) as losing seasons, and Denver is 354-240-1 since he bought the club in 1984.
Under his stewardship, the Broncos won Super Bowls in 1998, '99 and 2016.
Following their 31-24 victory over Green Bay for the franchise's first championship, Bowlen famously hollered, "This one's for John!" Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway called it the greatest moment of his playing career.
Elway the executive returned the favor on Feb. 7, 2016, when he jabbed the silver Lombardi Trophy into the sky after Denver's 24-10 win over Carolina in Super Bowl 50 and declared, "This one's for Pat."
That came 18 months after Alzheimer's forced Bowlen to step down from his daily duties running the team.
"I'm just glad I had the opportunity," Elway told The Associated Press in the victorious locker room that night. "I didn't want to think about it too much because I didn't want to jinx anything. But I was waiting for the day that I was able to do that. So, I was glad and really thrilled that I was able to do that and we'll take that trophy over to Pat next week and let him cherish it."
Elway delivered the prize to Bowlen's home back in Denver. And in the Mile High City, more than a million fans packed downtown for a victory parade 17 years after Elway capped his remarkable playing career by leading the Broncos to back-to-back titles.
Super Bowl 50 was the Broncos' eighth trip to the big game, seven under Bowlen's watch, and all of those with Elway's help — first as his QB and then as his GM.
Bowlen's wife, Annabel, who recently announced that she, too, is battling Alzheimer's, and their children were on hand to accept the Lombardi Trophy on his behalf in Santa Clara, California.
"His soul will live on through the Broncos, the city of Denver and all of our fans," Bowlen's family said in their statement Thursday night. "Heaven got a little bit more orange and blue tonight."
During his 35 seasons as owner, Bowlen's teams compiled a .596 winning percentage — tied for second-best in the NFL during that span. Among professional franchises in the four major North American sports, only the San Antonio Spurs, New England Patriots and Los Angeles Lakers were better, according to the Broncos.
Bowlen relished working behind the scenes and shied away from the spotlight. In the words of former coach Mike Shanahan, "Pat just wanted to be one of the guys."
"That's why I think he was so beloved by so many people, including myself," Shanahan said. "And you also knew that he would give anything to make your football team better or at least get a chance at the Super Bowl. At that time you would say every ounce that he had — I should say every penny he had — he wanted to go into giving the football team a Super Bowl. That was his No. 1 priority. That was it. It was not trying to buy different companies and trying to make more money. His goal was winning a Super Bowl."
Former Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said: "Most guys would tell you that played for him or worked for him that he was not only our owner, but he was your friend."
Bowlen served as a sounding board for NFL Commissioners Pete Rozelle, Paul Tagliabue and Roger Goodell. He was crucial to the league's growth as a member of 15 NFL committees, including co-chairing the NFL Management Council and working on network TV contracts, including the league's ground-breaking $18 billion deal in 1998.
"Pat was the driving force in establishing the championship culture of the Broncos. He was also an extraordinary leader at the league level during a key period," Broncos President and CEO Joe Ellis said in a statement. "With the fans, Pat felt in many ways that his team belonged to them and approached things with that in mind. There will never be another owner like Pat Bowlen."
Bowlen had a deep appreciation for his players, whether or not they were stars, and it's not unusual to see ex-Broncos watching practice.
"When I retired, Mr. B. told me I was welcome anytime at team headquarters," said Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe. "He said I didn't need a pass, either: 'Your face is your credential.'"
Ownership of the franchise is held in a trust Bowlen set up more than a decade ago in hopes one of his seven children will one day run the team. Until then, Ellis, one of three trustees, is doing so in a "What would Pat do?" sort of way.
Although daughter Brittany is hoping to one day take over the team, the succession plan and the trustees' oversight of Bowlen's estate has been challenged in state district court in the last year by some members of the Bowlen family.
Those who worked for Bowlen remember a man who put production ahead of profits; trained tirelessly for triathlons; fostered a winning atmosphere from the lobby to the locker room; and was always quick with a compliment and sure to couch his criticism.
"Pat Bowlen was the heart and soul of the Denver Broncos," Ellis said. "Not only was Pat a Hall of Fame owner — he was a Hall of Fame person."
Bowlen flashed his competitive streak whether on the road conducting league business, on the sideline watching his team or on the StairMaster drenched in sweat.
It was evident in his dislike for Peyton Manning when the quarterback played for Indianapolis before joining the Broncos in 2012.
"I get it, and I respect that," Manning said, adding that Bowlen flew back to Denver from his offseason home in Hawaii to welcome him when he signed with the Broncos, and they were friends afterward.
"If there was a way for him to compete against what he's going through," former defensive end Alfred Williams said a couple of summers ago, "he'd beat that damn disease every time."
Bowlen is survived by his wife, Annabel, and seven children: Amie, Beth, Patrick, Johnny, Brittany, Annabel and Christianna.
Lincoln – Husker basketball fans can officially start counting down to the start of the Fred Hoiberg era, as the Nebraska men’s basketball program released its 2019-20 non-conference schedule on Wednesday.
The 11-game non-conference slate includes three games at the Cayman Islands Classic, a meeting with Georgia Tech in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, the annual in-state matchup with Creighton and a renewal of games against regional foes South Dakota State and North Dakota.
Nebraska will open the season with four straight home games before hitting the road for the Cayman Islands Classic in late November. The Huskers will officially open the Fred Hoiberg era on Tuesday, Nov. 5, when the Huskers host UC Riverside in the first meeting between the two programs. It is the earliest season-opener in school history. NU will host Doane in an exhibition game at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Wednesday, Oct. 30.
The Huskers continue the homestand against a pair of teams that made the postseason last year in Southern Utah (Nov. 9) and South Dakota State (Nov. 15). Southern Utah reached the second round of the CIT last season and returns three of its top four scorers. It is the first meeting between the Huskers and the Thunderbirds since 2009. South Dakota State went 24-9 last year and won the regular-season Summit League title before falling to eventual champion Texas in the NIT. The Jackrabbits made three straight NCAA appearances before the 2019 NIT trip. It is the first meeting between NU and SDSU since 2011.
The contest with Southern (Nov. 22) is part of the Cayman Islands Classic, as each of the eight teams will play one home game prior to the tournament. The field for the Cayman Islands Classic (Nov. 25-27) includes Colorado State, George Mason, Loyola (Chicago), New Mexico State, Old Dominion, South Florida and Washington State. The pairings for the bracket will be announced later this summer.
The Huskers open the month of December with road games at Georgia Tech in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge (Dec. 4) and at Creighton (Dec. 7). The Bluejays went 20-15 and reached the NIT before losing to TCU last season.
Nebraska will play two conference games ahead of final exams before returning to the court for its final two non-conference games against North Dakota (Dec. 21) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Dec. 29). The matchup with UND will be the Huskers’ first against the school since 2017 and the third meeting since the Fighting Hawks joined Division I. The Huskers will close out non-conference action against a TAMU-CC team that finished sixth in the Southland Conference last season. It will be the first meeting between the Huskers and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
The 17-game home schedule at Pinnacle Bank Arena this season is highlighted by 10 Big Ten matchups, including tilts with NCAA qualifiers Michigan State, Purdue, Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa and Wisconsin, along with games against Indiana, Northwestern, Penn State and Rutgers.
For more season ticket information or to sign up for the 2019-20 wait list, visit Huskers.com/Tickets or call the NU Ticket Office at (800) 8-BIGRED during business hours. Season tickets for the 2019-20 season begin at $136.
2019-20 Nebraska Basketball Non-Conference Schedule
Wednesday, Oct. 30
Tuesday, Nov. 5
Saturday, Nov. 9
Friday, Nov. 15
Friday, Nov. 22
Mon.-Wed., Nov. 25-27 at Cayman Islands Classic
Wednesday, Dec. 4
Saturday, Dec. 7
Saturday, Dec. 21
Sunday, Dec. 29
The 2019 Sertoma 8-Man All-Star Football Game will take place Saturday, June 15th from Hastings College with kickoff set for 6pm CT. Hometown Family Radio Sports Network able to talk with three Southwest Nebraska area athletes. Gentry Anderson of Arapahoe, Caid Doetker of Wauneta-Palisade, and Austin Wolfe of Medicine Valley. Listen to full interviews below.
The 2019 McCook Community College alumni/community golf tournament is set for June 29 at the Heritage Hills Golf Course. This is a four-person scramble with a 9 a.m. shotgun start. Cost is $75 per golfer and includes: 18 holes, a cart, a sleeve of golf balls and dinner. Prizes will be awarded on each hole and payouts to the top three teams in each flight. Flights will be determined by golf pro depending on the number of golfers. Proceeds from the event will go towards scholarships for MCC graduates planning to transfer to four-year colleges or universities. Hole sponsorship is available at $100 per hole. To register, contact Heritage Hills Golf Course at 308-345-5032.
Two Huskers Among Top-10 JUCO Signees
Lincoln – A pair of Husker men’s basketball signees were recognized this week, as JUCORecruiting.com released its final top-100 ranking for the class of 2019.
Cam Mack (Austin, Texas) was rated as the No. 3 JUCO player in this year’s class, while Jervay Green (Denver, Colo.) was the eighth-rated prospect by the site. Nebraska was the only program in the country with two players among the top 10 in this year’s class. The two players are also the program’s first top-10 recruits according to the JUCO site dating back to 2011.
Mack, the top-rated point guard in the class, spent last season at Salt Lake CC, averaging 19.1 points, 7.2 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game this past season. Mack, a first-team All-Region 18 honoree, ranked in the top 25 nationally in assists (fifth) and steals (24th). The 6-foot-2 guard dished out 10-or-more assists on nine occasions and had three triple-doubles in his lone season at the school. Mack shot 46 percent from the field and boasted a 2.8-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Green, who was listed as the No. 2 combo guard in the country, was one of the nation’s most prolific scoring guards at Western Nebraska CC. He earned second-team NJCAA All-America honors, averaging 23.6 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists last season. The Region IX Co-Player of the Year, Green ranked eighth nationally in scoring while shooting 55 percent from the field, including 39 percent from 3-point range. Green’s sophomore season was highlighted by a 51-point performance against Iowa Lakes CC, one of his three 40-point games on the year.
Green and Mack highlight Nebraska’s recruiting class that begins to arrive on campus beginning next week.
Thorbjarnarson Represents Iceland
Rising junior Thorir Thorbjarnarson represented his native Iceland earlier this week, competing in the Games of the Small States of Europe. The Olympic-style competition is held for European countries with populations of under one million people.
Thorbjarnarson played in three games for Iceland’s Senior National Team during the competition, averaging 9.3 points per game, including 14 points in a loss to the hosts from Montenegro. He closed out the event with 12 points in a win over Cyprus in the fifth-place game. It is the second time that Thorbjarnarson has played in the tournament, as he made his national team debut in the event in 2017.
Last season, Thorbjarnarson played in 25 games, including seven starts, to help the Huskers to a 19-17 record. He averaged 2.0 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game, as Nebraska reached its second straight NIT. He moved in the starting lineup during the Huskers’ Big Ten Tournament and NIT games, and had eight points, three rebounds and three assists in the Huskers’ second-round NIT loss to TCU.
Husker Basketball Camps Begin Next Week
The first session of the Fred Hoiberg Basketball Camps begins next Monday, June 10, at the Hendricks Training Complex.
The 2019 camp series will feature two four-day camps, as well a pair of specialty clinics for boys and girls entering the 3rd-12th grade. In addition, there will also be a three-day Little Husker camp for kids who are in grades K-4 for the upcoming year. Hoiberg and his staff of instructors will work with campers on the fundamentals of basketball in a fun atmosphere. All camps are open to both boys and girls entering the respective grade level.
For more information, camp information, pricing and to register for the 2019 camps, email fredhoibergbasketballcamps@