UNT athletic director Rick Villarreal appeared on a podcast tonight with Harry Miers and the rest of his cohorts from GoMeanGreen.com, the fan site for Mean Green sports we have had a good relationship with over the years.
Here are a few highlights:
– UNT is taking 25 buses full of students to the Mean Green’s game against SMU, where there could be 3,000 to 5,000 students in attendance.
– Villarreal estimated that UNT could bring more than 15,000 total fans.
– UNT had Northern Arizona on the schedule for the opening week of this season before the school backed out of the game, which is what caused the Mean Green’s poorly timed opening week bye.
– UNT has six home games on the schedule through 2020 after a five-game home slate this year.
– UNT is working on a series with Memphis.
– Mean Green Club membership is up and UNT has secured $5 million in donations over the last couple of months. There is another $2 million donation UNT is working on and another $2.6 million for a new baseball program lined up.
– UNT has raised more money in the last couple of months than it has in any one year.
– UNT has money lined up for an indoor tennis facility.
– UNT is looking at doing some renovations to the Mean Green Athletic Center, including upgrading the football locker rooms and the lobby .
– The school is looking at selling wine at games. All beer sales this season will be in cans this season and a host of adjustments will be made to ensure the beer lines move at a quicker pace.
– The UNT men’s basketball coaching staff is well aware of the fact that the program needs to improve and win games this season. UNT has yet to post a winning season under Tony Benford, who is entering his fourth year. The Mean Green finished 14-17 last season. Villarreal pointed out that UNT needed a while to get going under Johnny Jones, although Jones did finish with a winning season in his first campaign at UNT (15-14).
– UNT will have a baseball program in the near future. Villarreal said he would know more about a timeline in a couple of months.
– An indoor football facility is in UNT’s long-term plans, but is not a priority.
– Villarreal also urged fans to show up in droves at SMU and see the positives in what UNT is doing as a program.