It’s Sunday night and time for The Leftovers, when we pick through the events of the last few days, reheat the good stuff — and some of the bad — and hopefully put it all in perspective.
This is the weekend we cross the finish line when it comes to UNT for the Conference USA sports year. The conference track meet took place this weekend in El Paso. The Mean Green men finished sixth out of 13 teams, while the women finished 10th.
UTSA won the men’s team title with UTEP second and Western Kentucky third. Western Kentucky won the women’s team title with UTEP coming in second.
UNT ended up winning three titles this year — the women’s soccer regular season title, the men’s cross country title and the men’s golf title. The baseball title is still out there, so we won’t go over how all the schools in the league fared until later.
The UNT golf team also finished up its season at the NCAA New Haven Regional this weekend. The Mean Green got off to a great start, but struggled a little at the end of the first round. The Mean Green never quite recovered and finished ninth.
UNT needed to finish in the top five to advance. While falling short was tough for UNT, that does not overshadow what the Mean Green accomplished this season. The Mean Green won the Conference USA title and qualified for regionals for the fourth time in the last five seasons.
There was also some news over the weekend on the basketball front. UNT men’s director of basketball operations Jeff Luster is leaving the staff, while Wesley Brooks, a former assistant with the UNT women’s team, has joined the staff at Utah.
The other tidbit of note is the return of director of managerial operations Kelby Jones as part of Jalie Mitchell’s new staff. Normally, the plight of managers is not something we mention, but I have always respected guys like Kelby who work remarkably hard in behind-the-scenes jobs just to get their foot in the door in college athletics. Kelby’s entering his fourth season at UNT.
I have sat for years and watched Jones rebound as players like Laura McCoy hoisted 3 after 3. I try to take advantage of every bit of time I have to work on stories for the paper after games since going in depth and providing some perspective is the one thing that differentiates what we put in the paper from what people can get elsewhere.
The only guy around when I leave after games most times is Kelby and his fellow managers, who are working on laundry and other mundane tasks. It’s not an easy or high-praise gig. It was nice to see one of the guys who greases the wheels behind the scenes get a little hat-tip this week. Here’s ours as well.