Today is not just the one time a year we wolf down turkey across this great nation. It’s also a time we stop to give thanks for our many blessings — life, family and freedom among them.
But what should UNT fans be thankful for?
Times are tough in Mean Green land these days. The UNT football team is in the midst of its 10th losing season in the last 11 and another coaching search.
The UNT men’s basketball team has lost all three of its games against Division I opponents this season — all of them coming in the Mean Green’s home tournament.
Even with that being the case, there is plenty to be grateful for when it comes to UNT athletics. Here are just a few examples …
1. Apogee Stadium
UNT has one of the nicest stadiums among G5 programs in the country in Apogee Stadium. It’s a great venue, is well designed and fits in perfectly with the Mean Green Athletic Center. UNT is struggling now and has been for most of the last decade, but having Apogee gives the school a chance to rebound.
Athletic director Rick Villarreal said shortly after Dan McCarney departed that UNT has everything it needs to be competitive in Texas. That is debatable, but is definitely true when it comes to its home stadium.
UNT would be in a world of hurt at this point if it was still playing in Fouts Field.
2. A spot in Conference USA
UNT is also in a better situation now than it has been for most of its history as a member of Conference USA. UNT spent 11 years as the only Texas team in the Sun Belt Conference.
C-USA is a great league for UNT in comparison, largely because it has in-state rivals UTEP, UTSA and Rice to play on a regular basis. Louisiana Tech is also just across the border and ranks as a rival that draws interest.
UNT fans should be thankful for the opportunity to play in the league.
3. A few good programs people tend to forget about
Football drives the bus at UNT. There’s no doubt about it, especially now that interest in the Mean Green’s men’s basketball program has fallen off a bit, but if one looks past those two programs, there is a lot to like at UNT. The UNT soccer team made the NCAA tournament again this year and the school’s tennis program is competitive on a national level. Dig even deeper and UNT also has a very good men’s golf program.
4. Funding that allows UNT to make some moves
There was a time not too long ago when UNT had to fight to make ends meet and play three or four guarantee/body bag/opportunity games in football a year for funding purposes. UNT has an increased student athletics fee in place and a group of donors that has thrown its collective weight behind the program, which has helped matters and will continue to pay dividends down the line.
Times are tough right now at UNT, but there are things to be thankful for these days.