For the first time since 1996, the men's basketball
team found its way to the NCAA tournament. Despite a short
stay Arizona State eliminated the Tigers in the first
round Memphis fans had plenty to cheer about.
"We achieved the first of our goals, which was to get
back to the tournament," says Tiger head coach John Calipari.
"Our next step will be to go deeper in the tournament
U of M men's track team placed fourth in the C-USA outdoor
track and field championships in May. Two Tigers, juniors
Mate Nemeth and Gaute Myklebust, advanced to the NCAA
national championships in June. Above, senior Ryan Smith
outlasts a runner from Rhodes College during a Tiger
Early indications revealed that the Tigers might struggle.
All-conference guard Dajuan Wagner left after his freshman
year to enter the NBA. Signees Amare Stoudemire, NBA rookie
of the year, and NBA first-round draft pick Qyntel Woods both
skipped college for pro careers.
The Tigers, though, led by freshmen sensations Rodney Carney
and Jeremy Hunt and the return of center Chris Massey, enjoyed
their best season in nearly a decade with a 23-7 record.
A late-season 12-game winning streak helped the Tigers to
a No. 2 seed in the conference tournament. Regular season
victories included an 80-73 win at No. 4 Louisville and an
early-season win over eventual NCAA champion Syracuse.
On the women's side, injuries hampered the Lady Tigers during
their 13-15 season. But the play of one Memphis player helped
salvage the season.
Senior Shannon Hamp, a three-time All-Conference USA honoree,
became just the 15th women's basketball player in school
history to score more than 1,000 career points. She led the
team in scoring (16.1) and rebounding (5.6) and was the only
Lady Tiger to start in all 28 games.
Rifle is not an NCAA sport that commonly makes headlines,
but the performance of one Lady Tiger certainly was on target.
Freshman Beth Tidmore was named an All-America in the air
rifle division by the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association.
She was one of just four freshmen in the country to receive
Tidmore's eye-opening performances extended
well past the NCAA. She won the 2003 National Junior Olympic
Championship Women Air Rifle competition at the Olympic Training
Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., in April. The native of
Decatur, Ga., posted a score of 881.2 and defeated 91 competitors
from around the United States.
As a team, Memphis finished the year ranked 25th. "As
far as the whole season goes, we have come a long way,"
says head coach Butch Woolbright. "I am looking forward
to next season because the whole team is expected to return."
the right track
University of Memphis junior Mate Nemeth is 7,000 miles away
from his native Hungary. Yet, the transfer felt right at home
in recording one of the NCAA's best track performances
of the year.
Nemeth ran the fourth fastest NCAA time of the season in
the 3000m steeple chase and broke a school record by clocking
an 8:37 during the Stanford Relays. Wins in the steeple and
the 5000m run helped his team to finish fourth out of 11 teams
at the C-USA outdoor championship in May.
Norwegian Gaute Myklebust was named Male Athlete of the Meet
for his efforts, taking home gold in the discus and the shot
put. Also placing high for the Tigers were Adam Martin, who
finished second in the shot and third in the hammer, and Ferko
Bekesi, who ran a 3:51 in the 1500 for bronze. The four joined
sprinters Franck Diadiou and Gary Nemeth in qualifying for
NCAA regionals. Nemeth and Myklebust both advanced to the
NCAA national championships in mid-June.
On the women's side, coach Brenda Cash's Lady Tigers
had their best outing in the conference championship since
1995 with a sixth place showing. Senior Keenan Gibson set
a school record in the 100m (13.36) to finish first in the
event, and placed second in the 200m to account for a third
of Memphis' total points. She also qualified for NCAA
nationals in both events.
Sophomore Lisa-Marie Hyman had a first-place finish in the
triple jump, qualifying for NCAA regionals in the process.
Monique Nelson ended her career with a bronze medal in the
shoos in winning season
The men's and women's tennis squads enjoyed possibly
their best seasons ever during the spring campaign.
Coach Phil Chamberlain's Tiger squad spent most of the
year ranked in the top 60, just missing an NCAA bid. If not
for a disappointing fifth-place conference finish, the team
had expected to advance to post-season play.
Senior Ben Stapp of Australia ended a stellar career with
a 21-12 overall record in singles and a 16-7 doubles mark.
He was named second team all-conference along with junior
Lee Taylor Walker. Senior Joe Schmulian received third team
honors. Stapp and Walker secured a No. 12 doubles ranking
early in the season.
For women's head coach Charlotte Peterson, three seniors
helped the Lady Tigers to a 16-7 record, only the fifth time
in team history that the squad has recorded that many wins.
Seniors Sabrina Lindemann and Monica Gonzalez-Gordo were
each named second team All-Conference USA. They combined to
become the first-ever pair of Lady Tigers to earn a national
ranking. With senior Sumitra Rao, they also helped Memphis
make its debut appearance in the national team rankings.
The Lady Tigers future looks bright with the international
additions of Austrian Christina Wieser and Australian Alexandra
After a disappointing 4-7 record last season, the 2003 fall
campaign looks promising with the addition of 16 much touted
high school players and seven junior college transfers.
"We set out recruiting with some very specific goals
in mind and I believe that we filled them all," says
head coach Tommy West. "We were thin in the offensive
line and at linebacker, and we were able to take care of our
needs with some excellent players."
Transfer Bobby Robison was listed as the number one junior
college quarterback in the nation last year by many publications.
In his first performance as a Tiger, Robison completed 11
of 23 passes for 148 yards and three touchdowns en route to
being named the MVP of the annual spring game.
Three of the premier linebackers in the south-east also signed
with Memphis: Quintin McCrary of Columbus, Miss.; Quniton
Williams of Memphis East High; and Mike Snyder of New Orleans.
The Tigers host Tennessee Tech Aug. 30 to begin the season.
A week later, Memphis plays Ole Miss at Liberty Bowl Stadium.
A late season three-match losing streak put a damper on an
otherwise successful volleyball season for head coach Carrie
The squad finished 19-15 overall and 4-9 in C-USA. Two of
the late season losses were 3-2 defeats against conference
The 2003 outlook for Memphis is bright with the signings
of two top players. Joining Memphis will be Christen Clayton
of Houston and Melissa Nance of Frankfort, Ind. A 5-8 outside
hitter/defensive specialist, Clayton was a two-year letter-winner
at Clear Lake High School and was a first-team all-district
honoree as a junior.
"Christen is a player who has the ability to make an
immediate impact as a defensive specialist for us," says
Nance, a 6-1 middle hitter, was a 2000 Indiana all-state
The U of M's women's golf squad finished sixth
at the C-USA golf championships, shooting a 957 (93-over)
as a team. Marianne Ruud, who was tied for the lead after
two rounds, shot a final round 86 (14-over) to place 16th
at 236 (20-over) for the tourney.
Ruud was one of three Lady Tigers to receive post-season
honors. The native of Norway was named to the C-USA all-conference
second team. She led the squad with a 77 average in four spring
Also receiving C-USA honors were Danielle Reilly, who was
named to the C-USA all-freshman team, and Jennifer Jaszek,
who was named to the C-USA third team.
For the men, the Tiger squad was hit with tragedy before
the season began with the unexpected death of longtime coach
Jim Cook. The team rebounded to take seventh in the C-USA
tournament in May, with Alan Weant placing in the top five
in individual competition. He was named third-team all-conference.
Former Tiger player and new coach Grant Robbins, who begins
this summer, laid the groundwork for future success when he
signed Lewis Clarke, a stellar prep golfer from England.
of a different sort
The 2002 season was a step in the right direction for the
women's soccer program. The Lady Tigers finished the
campaign with a 9-10-1 record and made their first appearance
in the C-USA Tournament since 1997.
The nine wins were four more than the 2001 squad, and the
team had the second-largest climb in the RPI rankings from
2001 to 2002, finishing 114th in the country after finishing
203rd the year before.
"To climb that much in an established poll like the
RPI is great for our program," head coach Brooks Monaghan
says. Monaghan signed nine recruits in spring to bolster hopes
for this fall.
For Ritchie Grant's men's squad, if only non-league
play counted more in conference standings. Memphis finished
the season 7-0-1 outside the conference, but could just manage
a 3-7 C-USA mark.
"I am pleased to get 10 wins this season," says
Grant. "I am happy that the guys pulled themselves
out of last place, but we know that next year has to be better."
Tiger freshmen Omar Jarun, Dayton O'Brien and Daniel
Ronan were each named to the league's all-freshman squad,
while senior defender Chris Schmidt earned second-team C-USA
on the diamond
Despite a disappointing 2003 showing, Dave Anderson's
Tigers (21-33) showed flashes of brilliance with huge wins
over Mississippi State, Ole Miss and a three-game sweep of
Saint Louis. By winning seven of their last 10 games, Memphis
set the tone for a successful 2004 campaign.
Sophomore Ryan Martin led the Tigers with seven home runs
and a .338 batting average, sixth highest in C-USA. The Collierville,
Tenn., native earned second- team conference honors for his
Right-hander Stephen Gostkowski landed on the conference
all-freshmen team. He finished the season with a 3.99 earned
run average and a 4-5 record.