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Bob Nichols Court in Savage Arena to Feature New Design

The University of Toledo’s Savage Arena will feature a new design on Bob Nichols Court for the upcoming men’s basketball, women’s basketball and women’s volleyball seasons.

The design change to the court is the first since a slight modification in 2013 from the original surface when the new Savage Arena debuted in 2008. The entire process took approximately two weeks and was performed by a Toledo-area business, Robert’s Floors.

Originally known as Centennial Hall when it was built in 1976, the arena was renamed Savage Hall in 1988 and then became Savage Arena in 2008 as part of a $30 million renovation project. With that project, the facility was expanded to include the adjoining Sullivan Athletic Complex.

“I think the court looks phenomenal. It looks clean. It looks bright. It looks fresh,” Head Men’s Basketball Coach Tod Kowalczyk said. “I know our players are really excited about it, and I think the community will absolutely love it.”

“I love the new, clean and sleek look of the floor,” Head Women’s Basketball Coach Tricia Cullop said. “I appreciate the fact our administration is always looking for ways to enhance and improve our already first-class facility.”

“Everything Toledo does is top-notch, and the new court design is no different. I think it looks terrific,” Head Women’s Volleyball Coach Jason Oliver said. “Savage Arena is an amazing venue, and the new court design will be a great focal point for both spectators and recruits.”

The women’s volleyball program will open its 2019 season in Savage Arena when it holds the Blue & Gold Tournament Friday and Saturday, Aug. 30 and 31. The Rockets also will host the University of Indianapolis in an exhibition match Saturday, Aug. 24.

To purchase tickets for volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball, visit the Rocket Athletic Ticket Office at the Sullivan Athletic Complex in Savage Arena, contact the Rocket Athletic Ticket Office at 419.530.GOLD (4653), or go online to the Toledo ticket central website

UToledo employees can purchase tickets at half price; and UToledo students are admitted free with ID.

Downtown Coaches Association Luncheons to Kick Off Aug. 26

The Downtown Coaches Association of The University of Toledo will hold its first luncheon for the 2019-20 athletic year Monday, Aug. 26, in the Savage Arena Grogan Room.

A buffet lunch is available beginning at 11:30 a.m. for $15. The program featuring Head Football Coach Jason Candle will start at noon.

Football Coach Jason Candle will be the guest speaker at the Downtown Coaches Association luncheon Monday, Aug. 26.

Anyone interested in Rocket athletics is encouraged to attend. Annual membership dues are $40, and a joint membership for couples is available for $50.

Each week, members will hear from Rocket coaches, student-athletes and other special guests.

Due to Labor Day, the second meeting of the Downtown Coaches Association will be held Tuesday, Sept. 3, and then will meet every Monday after that.

Fans can join at the first meeting, online at the Downtown Coaches Association website, or by calling 419.530.5087.

Coach’s Radio Show Moves to Stubborn Brother Pizza Bar

The University of Toledo Coach’s Show will kick off the 2019 season at a new home — The Stubborn Brother Pizza Bar, 3115 W. Bancroft St., on Main Campus.

The live radio show features Toledo coaches and student-athletes, and is carried on the Rocket Sports Radio Network (WSPD AM 1370 in Toledo) every Monday from 6 to 7 p.m. The show features interviews, highlights, previews, and a chance for Rocket fans to ask the featured coach questions in person or by phone.

The show will make its 2019 debut Monday, Aug. 26, with host Brent Balbinot and Head Football Coach Jason Candle.

“The Stubborn Brother Pizza Bar owners and staff are thrilled to be connected to The University of Toledo through the Coach’s Show,” said Stubborn Brother owner Gabrielle Mancy. “Each day, as our business has grown, our location has proven to be a great spot for us to connect to the neighborhoods around us, as well as the University community. We are grateful for their continued support.”

The Stubborn Brother’s location on campus and across from the Old Orchard neighborhood is easy to access for UToledo students, faculty, staff and community members. Ample parking is located in the rear of the building.

The pizza bar is open Sunday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Former Soccer Player Signs to Play With Sevilla in Spain

Former University of Toledo women’s soccer player Isa Echeverri has signed to play for Sevilla FC in Spain.

Echeverri previously played for the Greek club Elpides Karditsas FC and the Columbian national team. Echeverri will join Natalia Gaitan, former Rocket and fellow Columbian native, in the Primera Division. Gaitan plays for Valencia CF Femenino.

“It’s no surprise that Isa is getting this opportunity in Spain. She was an unbelievable player during her time with the Rockets,” said Head Coach TJ Buchholz. “She is very deserving of getting to play with one of the best teams in the world. This is a tremendous honor and opportunity for her. Sevilla is getting an exceptional player and fantastic leader. We are looking forward to watching her do great things in Spain this season.”

A 2017 graduate, Echeverri built an impressive resumé as a Rocket that includes multiple conference and regional recognitions. Leading the offense during the 2017 season, Echeverri scored six goals, including three game-winners, helping the Rockets to their fifth Mid-American Conference Tournament title. Echeverri’s efforts earned her a spot on the All-MAC Tournament Team, All-MAC First Team, and All-Region Great Lakes Third Team.

The Medellin, Columbia, native was named to the All-MAC First and Second Team twice during her career, as well as two All-Region Great Lakes Third Team accolades. In 2014, Echeverri scored four goals and earned a spot on the All-MAC Freshmen Team. She was named the Rockets’ Offensive Most Valuable Player her sophomore year, finishing fourth in the MAC in scoring. She also earned the team’s MVP in her final season in the Glass City. Echeverri finished her Rocket career with 14 goals, including seven game-winners, and five assists.

Echeverri was successful off the field as well, earning Academic All-MAC and Distinguished Scholar Athlete honors during the 2015, 2016 and 2017 seasons.

Professionally, Echeverri competed for the Columbian national team at the 2015 World Cup and 2016 Rio Olympics. She also competed at the 2014 Copa America Femenina Tournament and the 2015 Pan-American Games. As a member of the Houston Aces, the 2018 United Women’s Soccer National Champions, Echeverri scored three goals in seven games.

UToledo Schedules Three-Game Football Series With Kentucky

The University of Toledo football team will play a three-game series with the University of Kentucky beginning in 2025.

The Rockets will host the Wildcats in 2027 and will travel to Lexington in 2025 and 2028.

The Rockets will open their 2019 season at Kentucky Saturday, Aug. 31.

The three-game series is in addition to a game already scheduled between the two schools this year. Toledo plays at Kentucky in the 2019 season opener Saturday, Aug. 31, the first ever meeting between the Rockets and Wildcats. Kickoff is set for noon on the SEC Network.

Kentucky will be the second SEC school to visit the Glass Bowl. Missouri played at Toledo in 2014.

“We are very pleased to enter in this three-game series with the University of Kentucky,” Toledo Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien said. “Bringing an SEC opponent into the Glass Bowl is huge for our football program and for our fans. We look forward to an exciting series with the Wildcats, beginning with the game in Lexington this fall.”

Following the Kentucky game Aug. 31, the Rockets will host Murray State Saturday, Sept. 14.

UToledo students are admitted free with their Rocket ID; faculty and staff can buy tickets half price with ID.

For season tickets or single-game tickets, go to the Toledo Football Central website or call 419.530.GOLD (4653).

Former Rockets to Tee Off Aug. 22 in California

Former Rockets Pimchanok Kawil and Pinyada Kuvanun are set to embark on their path to becoming professional golfers. The duo will participate in the first stage of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament this week at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., and Shadow Ridge Golf Club in Palm Desert, Calif.

The 72-hole, four-day tournament will begin Thursday, Aug. 22, with a cut after 54 holes. The top 60 finishers will advance to Stage II, which will be held Oct. 12-17 in Venice, Fla.

Pimchanok Kawil, left, and Pinyada Kuvanun will play in the LPGA Q School Qualifying Tournament this weekend.

Live scoring for the Q school qualifying can be found on the LPGA and Symetra Tour website.

“The opportunity for Pim (Pimchanok) and Bright (Pinyada) is incredible for them and our program,” Head Coach Jenny Coluccio said. “The time and dedication these two have invested in themselves and their games is a key reason why they have reached this level. We enjoyed every minute of their senior years and worked from the very beginning to prepare them for the start of their professional careers.”

Coluccio said that an objective she has for the Rockets’ program going forward is providing graduates the opportunity to play at a professional level if they desire.

“One goal we have for each player to enter our program is to love the game even more than when they leave our program, even if it doesn’t become their profession,” Coluccio said. “I’m thrilled these two have a continued passion for it, and we are here to support them along the way.”

Kuvanun already has been playing some professional events this summer, highlighted by a fifth-place tie at a Cactus Tour event in Rancho Mirage, Calif. July 30-Aug. 1. The Khonkean, Thailand, native carded a three-under 213 (73-70-70) on one of the courses that will be utilized in the qualifier.

“I have tried to gain information from playing at the courses that are used in the qualifier,” said Kuvanun, who holds school records for season (72.9) and career (73.7) stroke average. “I played them in tournament mode, and I imagined how I was going to play during Q-School. Playing well at the Cactus Tour event helps me feel more confident with my shot and my course management overall.

“The key for me at the qualifier is to remind myself of my goal and to never give up,” Kuvanun continued. “I know that it is going to be challenging, and I believe coming to The University of Toledo has helped me prepare me for this great opportunity.”

Kawil also played the Cactus Tour event in Rancho Mirage and tied for 36th place with a seven-over par 223 (75-73-75). The Chiang Mai, Thailand, native holds the Rockets’ school records for lowest 18-hole (65) and 54-hole (208) rounds.

“I am excited and looking forward to play in the Q-School, and I want to thank The University of Toledo for giving me the opportunity to come and experience college golf in the United States,” Kawil said. “Having a chance to play a tournament on the Cactus Tour helps me with my confidence and helps me get to know what I need to practice in order to be ready.

“It is going to be one of the most challenging tournaments I’ve played, but I have put all the work in and did everything that I need to do in order to feel prepared” Kawil said. “I am going to just do my best, play easy golf, have fun and enjoy my game.”

UToledo Theatre Assistant Professor’s Work Plays in Chicago

An adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s classic novel, “All Quiet on the Western Front,” by Matt Foss, UToledo assistant professor of theatre, will receive its professional premiere in Chicago Friday, Aug. 16.

It will open the season of Red Tape Theatre and is a co-production between Red Tape, the Greenhouse Theatre Center, and The University of Toledo, and run through Saturday, Sept. 14.

The production represents a unique collaboration between a public university and professional theatre, allowing a showcasing of work incubated in Toledo to be shared with a larger audience.

Along with Chicago-based professional actors and designers, Stephen Sakowski, UToledo assistant professor, is serving as the production’s lighting designer, and recent UToledo graduates Austin Rambo and Bianca Caniglia round out the acting ensemble.

The story is centered on the experiences of 2nd Company on the German Front lines during the last year of World War I as they navigate the vicious cycle of tedium, boredom behind the lines, and constant terror when installed in the trenches at the font. The adaptation closely follows the events of the novel, as the central storyteller, Paul, speaks to the loss of friends, the deepening of human connections, and the growing realization of what is true and what is not in the face of war.

“It speaks to the cycles of history from which we are charged to learn, and our approach to the play seeks to gather the threads of this cycle — from the time of Remarque’s writing and to our immediate present,” Foss said.

The play was created with permission and in association with the Remarque estate and was initially produced at The University of Toledo on the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI last November. It featured a set design by student Kevin Upham, sound by student Ryan Peters-Hieber, and costumes by Lecturer Kelly McBane.

Red Tape Theatre is a free venue committed to the creation of new and experimental work through collaborations with ensembles, playwrights, musicians, dancers and visual artists.
All tickets are free to every performance and can be reserved through the Red Tape Theatre website.

Foss is no stranger to the Chicago theatre scene. His work as a director and adaptor there has received critical praise, and his own production of his adaptation of Upton Sinclair’s groundbreaking exposé novel about the working conditions in the meat-packing industry, “The Jungle,” received multiple Joseph Jefferson Award nominations for best production, best director and received the city’s top theatre prize for best new adaptation.

“The Jungle” will open UToledo’s Theatre season in November.

Men’s Basketball Places MAC-High Four Honorees in National Honors Court

University of Toledo men’s basketball players James Gordon IV, Luke Knapke, Spencer Littleson and Matt Schaffer have been named to the 2018-19 National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court.

To be eligible, a student-athlete has to be a member of the varsity squad with junior or senior status and hold a cumulative 3.2 GPA or higher at the conclusion of the academic year.

Knapke and Gordon each earned their bachelor’s degrees this past spring with grade-point averages of 3.409 and 3.208, respectively. Littleson possesses a 3.455 GPA, while Schaffer holds a 3.417 mark.

Toledo was one of three Mid-American Conference programs recognized by the National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court, joining Central Michigan and Western Michigan. The Rockets led the way with four representatives with the Broncos ranking second with three and the Chippewas third with two.

The National Association of Basketball Coaches also honored the Toledo men’s basketball program recently with the Team Academic Excellence Award, an honor for programs that post a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or better for an entire academic year.

The Rockets have received the award in four of the last six seasons and were one of two Mid-American Conference schools to be honored this year. Toledo also was one of 40 NCAA Division I-affiliated programs to notch a 3.0 GPA or higher.

Satellites to Hold Shoe Sale to Raise Scholarship Funds

It’s coming back: The 43-hour shoe sale will start at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14, and run through 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, in The University of Toledo Medical Center’s Four Seasons Bistro Atrium.

The Satellites Auxiliary and the UToledo Retirees Association in conjunction with Outside the Box Shoes will present the popular event.

“Our employees love the convenience of being able to shop for good work shoes at the hospital,” Lynn Brand, president of the Satellites, said. “That’s why we have two shoe sales each year.”

Brand names will include Clarks, Klogs, Skechers, Merrell, Jambu, New Balance, Dansko, Kamik, Grey’s Anatomy Softwalk and more.

Cash, credit cards and payroll deduction will be accepted.

Profits will benefit the auxiliary’s and association’s campus scholarships.

The Satellites Auxiliary promotes education, research and service programs; provides support of patient programs in accordance with the needs and approval of administration; conducts fundraising events; and offers volunteer services.

For more information on the shoe sale, contact Brand at lynn.brand@utoledo.edu.

UToledo to Participate in Toledo Pride Parade, Festival

Students, faculty, staff and alumni are invited to join The University of Toledo to march in the Toledo Pride Parade Saturday, Aug. 17.

“The University of Toledo has maintained a presence at pride parades and festivals in past years with our LGBTQA+ initiatives and our student organization Prism, formally known as Spectrum,” said Dr. Michele Soliz, UToledo assistant vice president for student success and inclusion. “We invite everyone in the UToledo community to join us to celebrate our inclusive campus and city.”

A group of UToledo students, employees and alumni participated in the 2018 Columbus Pride Festival. Rocky and Rocksy also were in the state capital for the parade.

UToledo community members are asked to meet at 11 a.m. to check in for the parade at the corner of Adams and Warren streets. Look for the rainbow UToledo shirts to find the University’s spot in the parade.

The parade will start at noon on Adams Street and head toward Promenade Park, where the Pride Festival will take place until midnight.

“The Office for Diversity and Inclusion will sponsor several tables at the festival, which will feature food, vendors and family activities,” Soliz said. “Help us show our Rocket pride and Toledo Pride.”

Sign up to receive a free UToledo Pride T-shirt while supplies last: Go to The University Toledo Pride Parade website.