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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


A to Z of Arizona Athletics

Kenzie Fowler
Kenzie Fowler

“”A”” Mountain:

Actually named Sentinel Peak, “”A”” Mountain became a symbol of UA pride in 1915 when the freshman class built the “”A”” on the side of the peak. Freshmen began the yearly tradition of whitewashing the monument in 1916. Both Arizona and ASU have “”A”” Mountains in their respective cities, and the challenge of painting the other school’s “”A”” before big games has become a yearly ritual.

Bear down lyrics:

“”Bear down, Arizona, Bear down, red and blue. Bear down, Arizona. Hit ‘em hard, let ‘em know who’s who. Bear down, Arizona. Bear down red and blue. Fight! Fight! Wildcats fight! Arizona, Bear Down!””

Criner, Juron:

The junior wide receiver for the Arizona football team finished the 2009 season with a team-leading nine touchdowns and was second in receptions with 45 catches and 582 total yards. Expect Criner to be one of the main downfield targets for quarterback Nick Foles.

Duel in the Desert:

The rivalry between Arizona and ASU began in 1899, and the intensity between Arizona and the “”other”” state university hasn’t let up since. This rivalry is renewed every year during the numerous matchups between the Wildcats and the Sun Devils.


Arizona football is slated for at least five games with national ESPN/ABC coverage, including two Friday night games and even a Thursday game against ASU. The season opener at Toledo, Ohio, as well as three of the last four games of Arizona’s season, will be broadcasted nationally.

Foles, Nick:

The transfer from Michigan State University took the starting quarterback job from Matt Scott during the 2009 season and never looked back. Foles nabbed the starting job in the fourth week of the season and finished the year with 2,486 passing yards, 19 touchdowns and one of the best nicknames of any Arizona athlete — Sunshine, a la “”Remember the Titans.””

Greg Byrne:

After the departure of former athletic director Jim Livengood to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Greg Byrne stepped into the position in May. Byrne held the same position at Mississippi State University and also had experience at Kentucky and Oregon. He graduated from ASU, but Byrne swears he’s finally figured out the right Arizona school to be loyal to.

Heyer, Kurt:

The title of ace on the Arizona baseball team belongs to right-handed pitcher Kurt Heyer. The 2010 freshman took over the Friday night spot and has shined under the lights at Sancet Stadium.


A longtime tradition of hockey in the desert starts at the Tucson Convention Center, or as it’s known, the Madhouse on Mainstreet. Head coach Leo Golembiewski has seen more than 30 years at the helm of the Arizona Icecats, a team that averages close to 4,000 attendees per game. Look for the ice to heat up when the Sun Devils roll into TCC.

John ‘Button’ Salmon:

One of the most famous Arizona athletes of all time. The student body president, quarterback and catcher on the baseball team is known for producing Arizona’s signature slogan “”Bear Down!”” as a result of his tragic 1926 fatal car accident. His inspiring words are painted on top of Bear Down Gym in his honor.

Kenzie Fowler:

The Arizona softball program has found a new ace in a long line of powerful pitchers to come through Tucson and her name is Kenzie Fowler. The 5-foot-11 pitcher has 286 strikeouts and a 1.53 ERA in the regular season. Fowler also carries a hot bat, swinging .364 with a .682 slugging percentage when she steps in the batter’s box.

Lamont ‘Momo’ Jones:

Point guard Jones officially took over the reins from graduating senior Nic Wise last season when he hit his own buzzer beater at Stanford after Wise had hit two consecutive buzzer beaters earlier in the season. When the Wildcats didn’t make the NCAA tournament for the first time in 25 years, Jones guaranteed that Arizona would make the tournament in 2011 after a season-ending loss to UCLA in the Pacific 10 Tournament.

McKale Center:

The home to the Arizona men’s and women’s basketball, gymnastics and volleyball programs since it was built in 1973, McKale Center was named for the father of Arizona athletics, J.F. “”Pop”” McKale. McKale served as the athletic director at Arizona from 1914 to 1957.

No Easy Buckets:

The now infamous saying reflects a Twitter post from men’s basketball player Kevin Parrom about the incident between himself and ASU guard Ty Abbott. Parrom fouled Abbott on a clear shot to the basket and simply smiled at Abbott. The incident cleared the benches of both teams in the Jan. 23 matchup.


The second-longest active appearance at the NCAA Tournament streak in Division I men’s college basketball ended in 2009 as the Arizona Wildcats failed to make the tournament. A quarter century of bragging rights and an attempt to break North Carolina’s 27-year streak ended, but the NIT still stands for “”Never in Tucson.””

Pacific 10 Conference:

The “”Conference of Champions”” has more NCAA titles than any other Division I conference. It includes 10 teams from Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington. The Pac-10 won 388 NCAA titles through the 2009-10 season.

Quick Nic:

After missing a portion of his junior season with a shoulder injury, running back Nic Grigsbyis ready to make an impact with his senior season. The speedy back is eighth all time on the Arizona career rushing total. He averaged just more than seven yards per carry in 2009.

Renae Cuellar:

The junior (as of fall 2010) forward for Arizona soccer leads the team in scoring with six goals last season and a career total of 12 at Arizona. The standout from La Puente, Calif., will help to rebuild the program under first-year head coach Lisa Oyen.

Sage Green and Silver:

At the turn of the 20th century, cardinal and navy hadn’t taken over Tucson quite yet. Arizona hailed sage green to represent the sage bush indigenous to the area, and silver to represent Arizona’s silver mines. Legend has it that the colors switched to red and blue when the football team needed new uniforms and cardinal and navy were the cheapest combination.


The name has become synonymous with Arizona football in recent memory. This year’s team has two Tuihalamakas, Apaiata and Sione, brothers themselves and cousins to former linebacker Vuna Tuihalamaka. The family is of Tongan descent, and is part of the pipeline of American Samoans to play at Arizona.


The strength and consistency of the Arizona softball program is something that head coach Mike Candrea has spent nearly his whole career achieving. Arizona has 10 Pac-10 championships and eight NCAA championships as well as 22 consecutive appearances at the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla.


After five seniors left after the 2009 season, the Arizona football team’s defense has some serious holes to fill. Look for sophomores Jake Fischer, Adam Hall and R.J. Young, and freshman Marquis Flowers to step up.

Wilbur and Wilma:

The mascots for Arizona, Wilma and Wilbur Wildcat, were married in 1986 and even have a certificate to prove it. While Wilbur and Wilma’s furry appearances get the crowd going, they’ve got to give props to the first real Arizona mascot — a live desert wildcat named Rufus Arizona who made his first appearance in 1915.


Head coach James Li led the women’s cross country team to its first NCAA National meet in eight years. The team finished in 30th place, and was led by a slew of freshmen including Jennifer Bergman.


The Arizona baseball team and head coach Andy Lopez brought 17 true freshmen to theplate for the 2010 season. The program saw a dramatic turnaround, and will look to solidify itself atop the Pac with some youthful experience.

Zona Zoo:

The resident student section at all sporting events, the Zona Zoo is unofficially the largest student section in the Pac-10. It’s so big, it even has its own theme song, written by Eric Ryan Costenbader and performed by Tucson hip hop artists Nick Nice and S.A.G.E.


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