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December 2017 Bear Down Buzz


Every year, our student-athletes achieve success in competition and in the classroom. This fall has been no exception: 

  • Football is competing in its eighth bowl game over the last 10 years, which is tied for the second most in the Pac-12 during that span;

  • Soccer's senior class became the first group in program history to make three NCAA appearances;

  • Cross Country's Claire Green claimed an All-America honor at the 2017 NCAA Championships;

  • Four of our five fall sports earned points in the Territorial Cup series by defeating ASU;

  • 32 student-athletes from our five fall sports earned Pac-12 All-Academic honors.

As we enter the new year, our student-athletes will look to add to this list of accomplishments. Their success is a direct result of your ongoing support over the years. Whether cheering them on in the stands or making a donation to the Wildcat Club, you make a difference in their lives each and every day. Please consider celebrating these successes by making a gift to Arizona Athletics today!

To make your gift, visit us here.

Khalil Tate (Football): “I'm very thankful for your support. It definitely helps us as a program and we all know we're lucky to have the Wildcat Club on our side.”

George Cunningham (Men's Golf): “Having support from any donor is huge for the program. Not only do they provide donations, but in many cases, we get to meet them and create relationships that can help us after graduation.”

Kendra Dahlke (Volleyball): “I think U of A has done more and more to have the best looking campus around and it shows. To have nice facilities means that the school cares about its student-athletes and wants them to have the best.”

JaLea Bennet (Women's Basketball): “Our donors mean the world to our program. Their support is appreciated so much because it keeps us going.”

One of the greatest players in Arizona women's tennis history, Coach Vicky Maes is in her 16th year as the head coach of the Wildcats. She was inducted into the University of Arizona's Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.

What can fans look forward to this season?
A new year always brings the promise of seizing fresh opportunities and meeting big challenges. This year is no different. After last year's bad luck with injuries, however, I will truly be grateful if we are able to keep everyone healthy. If that happens, I'm excited about the new ladies on our team, who I feel have not only potential but also the enthusiasm to reach the high goals they have for themselves. Their desire will help drive everyone and certainly that is a healthy environment.

What is something your team will emphasize this year?
We need to stay healthy in order to be able to commit to the amount of work it will require for us to overcome some of our weaknesses. For example, we need to get better at doubles. This was our Achilles' heel and it put us in a bad spot early on in matches that we wound up losing 4-3. Those losses are excruciating.

What makes Arizona Athletics unique?
Our commitment to the student-athlete, to go above and beyond for their welfare, is something I feel we do at a higher level than anyone else. We provide an environment for growth and thus success. We support them in all aspects of college life. It is important to me as a coach to help guide our young women through college so that they feel they can tackle anything when they graduate.

How important is the support of the Wildcat Club?
The Wildcat Club is an opportunity for people to stay connected and involved. It is a networking tool where the entire network is made up of people who can relate to you on a very significant level. Maintaining and growing this network helps provide a platform for past, current, and future Wildcats that can offer so many benefits to all of us.

Did you know the Wildcat Club hosts an event called the Bear Down Bite where you can chow down and catch up with Arizona coaches, student-athletes and staff? The Bear Down Bite provides an opportunity for you to see firsthand what an incredible impact your support as a Wildcat Club member has on Arizona student-athletes.

On Friday, December 8, approximately 100 Wildcat Club members and their guests attended our most recent Bear Down Bite. They enjoyed lunch and heard an update on capital projects underway at Arizona Stadium and the Hillenbrand Pool from Suzy Mason, Senior Associate Director of Athletics for Event Management and Facilities. Following the update, there was an interactive Q&A with our guest panel. Our featured guests were Swimming and Diving student-athletes Hannah Cox, Casey Ponton, Delaney Schnell and Nick Thorne along with Women's Basketball Assistant Coach Morgan Valley and student-athletes Destiny Graham and Kat Wright.

We hope you'll join us next time. Keep an eye out for the invitation to our next Bear Down Bite, tentatively planned for spring 2018. Learn more about your Wildcat Club benefits here.





Former men's basketball coach Lute Olson will be honored for the significant impact he made to the University of Arizona and the Tucson community. Under his guidance in his 24-season tenure, Arizona student-athletes and fans alike found a sense of pride and school spirit that continues today. To acknowledge those contributions, the University is constructing a statue in his likeness on the Eddie Lynch Athletics Pavilion Plaza north of the Jim Click Hall of Champions. It is scheduled to be unveiled in the spring of 2018.

“Through the success of Arizona basketball, Lute helped introduce people around the country to our university and this city, and he forever changed the trajectory and perception of our athletics department,” said UA Director of Athletics Dave Heeke. “His legendary status is worthy of this honor, and we're proud that his statue will be visible to the thousands of people that visit McKale Center on a yearly basis.”

Funding for the project, estimated to cost approximately $300,000, is coming almost entirely through private donations. You can help us honor one of the greatest coaches in our storied history by making a gift towards the Lute Olson statue. Simply click here to make your tax-deductible gift today and be part of the movement honoring Coach Olson's legacy.

Some of Coach Olson's accomplishments:

  • 23 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances
  • 20 consecutive 20-win seasons
  • 11 Pac-10 titles
  • 7 Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors
  • 4 Final Four appearances
  • 1 National Championship


Sat., Dec. 30 MBB Pre-game Reception Jim Click Hall of Champions DW, PW & GW  5:30 PM
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P.O. Box 210096, #246
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Phone: 520-621-CLUB (2582)
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1 National Championship Drive
P.O. Box 210096, #246
Tucson, AZ 85721

Phone: 520-621-9272
Fax: 520-621-2656

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