In a season that included Conference USA's new bonus play format -- grouping teams by standings in the final weeks so the top teams can play each other -- the Mean Green men's basketball team racked up several impressive accomplishments.

The 16-1 start to the season was the best in school history, and the Mean Green tied the school record for the fastest to 20 wins -- 24 games. The average attendance for games at the Super Pit was 3,494, the best for a men's basketball team since 2010-11.

In the team's game against Florida International on Feb. 16, UNT's Umoja Gibson set the school record for most three-pointers in a season by a freshman with his 78th of the year. In the game against Western Kentucky Feb. 9, junior Ryan Woolridge (pictured) became just the 22nd player at UNT to score 1,000 points in his career and junior Roosevelt Smart became the 23rd in the final regular season game against FIU March 9.

The team then headed into the C-USA championship tournament at The Star in Frisco.

Alums join football coaching staff
Patrick Cobbs and Clay Jennings
Patrick Cobbs and Clay Jennings. (Photo by Michael Clements)

Former Mean Green and NFL running back Patrick Cobbs (pictured) was named the Mean Green's running backs coach, and former Mean Green defensive lineman Clay Jennings (right) was named cornerbacks coach, head coach Seth Littrell announced in February.

Cobbs ('05), who joins the Mean Green staff following five seasons as the running backs coach at Denton Ryan High School, learned under coaching legends Bill Belichick and Nick Saban during his six-year NFL career with the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins. In 2010, Cobbs was inducted into the UNT Athletics Hall of Fame and in 2013 was named to the UNT All-Century Football Team. He earned the national rushing title with the Mean Green in 2003.

One of the top secondary coaches in the country, Jennings ('96) returns to Denton after spending the 2018 season as the defensive backs coach at Texas Tech. Prior to his arrival in Lubbock, he spent the 2017 season as the co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach at the University of Houston. He also has previous stops in the Big 12 Conference with Baylor, TCU and Texas.

In addition to Cobbs and Jennings, Eastern Washington's Bodie Reeder joins the Mean Green as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Softball starts season strong

The UNT softball team's win over Northwestern State in mid-February capped a 4-0 record for UNT in the 2019 Mean Green Classic, just one of many accomplishments the team racked up under new head coach Rodney DeLong heading into conference play.

The Mean Green faced a difficult early schedule with five games against opponents ranked in the top 20. UNT defeated No. 20 Texas A&M and No. 10 Louisiana-Lafayette -- the first time in program history the Mean Green has defeated two top-20 teams in the same season.

Mean Green teams grab victory

UNT's swimming and diving team completed its best season ever under head coach Brittany Roth and finished third at the Conference USA championship, its highest placing since entering C-USA. The team set six new school records at the championship and qualified for nationals in the 200-yard medley relay and the 800-yard freestyle relay. Roth was named co-Coach of the Year.

In tennis, a healthy round of wins this season has included a 4-0 victory over Arizona. Maria Kononova and Tamuna Kutubidze earned a program-record No. 19 national doubles ranking in February from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

And the track and field team made history this indoor season with seven school records broken -- in the pole vault, 60-meter hurdles, 200-meter dash, weight throw, 5,000-meter run, shot put and 4x400-meter relay. The team began the outdoor season in March and hosts the North Texas Classic on April 6.

Empowering female athletes

In honor of the 33rd annual National Girls & Women in Sports Day (NGWSD), UNT athletics hosted several hundred middle school girls Feb. 2 to give them the opportunity to learn about Mean Green sports.

NGWSD empowers women and girls to get moving, reap the benefits of physical activity and push past their limits both in sports and in life.

Before the Mean Green women's basketball team defeated Charlotte in the Super Pit, the girls interacted with several UNT student-athletes.

Following the UNT win, head coach Jalie Mitchell ('02) and players Callie Owens and Charlene Shepherd hosted a Q&A with the attendees.

The 2019 Mean Green football schedule has been released. Check out the upcoming game dates and opponents -- six of which are from Texas -- and get updates on all Mean Green teams.

Continue Reading