The Mean Green men's basketball team secured their title as the 2019-20 Conference USA Regular Season Champions on March 1, marking their first regular season conference championship in 31 years.
The Mean Green defeated second-place Western Kentucky 78-72 in overtime to clinch the title. The team's 14 conference regular season wins is a program record for North Texas.
"This championship is about and for everyone," says third-year head coach Grant McCasland. "There are so many people over the years who have put their sweat and soul into this. We wouldn't be here without them."
Redshirt junior Javion Hamlet, pictured, led all scorers with 25 points and had nine assists. Junior Thomas Bell chipped in a career-high 20 points and eight rebounds. The Mean Green's victory against Western Kentucky marked the end of an 11-game losing streak to the Hilltoppers.
"We never stopped believing," Hamlet says. "From the first day we got here during the summer to when we were trailing at the last timeout. We never stopped believing."
Head football coach Seth Littrell named five new assistant coaches to his staff this spring.
Clint Bowen returns to North Texas as defensive coordinator after spending several years in the same capacity at Kansas. Bowen coached one year at UNT in 2011 before leaving for Kansas.
Former Tulsa assistant Mike Bloesch was named the new offensive coordinator, while Mike Ekeler is the new special teams coordinator. Ekeler was an assistant under Littrell in 2016 before leaving for an assistant job at North Carolina. Littrell also hired Tate Wallis to coach Mean Green quarterbacks in 2020 and Eric Mathies to coach the defensive line.
Soccer player Dominique James ('19) was named the 38th best player in the nation by Top Drawer Soccer in its postseason ranking. This is the second year in a row James, a back-to-back first team all-region selection and 2018 All-American, has been ranked in the top 60.
James, who in December graduated magna cum laude from the G. Brint Ryan College of Business, concluded her college career as one of the most successful student-athletes in UNT history.
When Jeffery Wilson Jr.'s team, the San Francisco 49ers, played in Super Bowl LIV in Miami on Feb. 2, he became the first former Mean Green football player to play in a Super Bowl since 1996. Wilson ranks No. 4 on the all-time leading rushing list in UNT history, gaining over 3,200 yards from 2014 to 2017. The Elkhart, Texas, native was undrafted after his college career, but he signed with the 49ers in 2018 and was a backup running back the past two seasons. Wilson had one catch for 20 yards in the Super Bowl, where the 49ers fell to the Kansas City Chiefs 31-20.
For the first time ever, the Mean Green softball team was selected as the preseason favorite to win a Conference USA championship, and the team had a history-making win over the Oklahoma Sooners on Feb. 29. The win over Oklahoma became the first win by a North Texas intercollegiate athletics team over a top-five opponent on the road. The Mean Green also became the first team to beat Oklahoma in the Courtyard Marriott Tournament since its inception in 2014. UNT will look to win its first-ever C-USA championship at the conference tournament in May in Bowling Green, Kentucky.