Monday, January 05, 2009

Basketball Greatness!

Well, I got to sit on the bench for the very first time on New Year's Eve in San Antonio. We lost 75-57 to Incarnate Word but it was fun to be on that side of the ball game.

Enough about that game though. The last two games the Wildcats have played have been unbelievable, to say the least. On Saturday afternoon, we won 104-95 despite allowing a player on the other team to set a Lone Star Conference record with 53 points. That record, however, would only last barely 48 hours!

Tonight, the Wildcats faced off against Texas Woman's University. Despite being down 12 at the half, the Wildcats came charging back to take a lead before settling for overtime....well, four overtimes to be exact!

Long story short, ACU won tonight in record fashion, 147-143 in 4 OT's. It was easily the most remarkable game I have ever seen! And that's saying a lot considering I was at the Rose Bowl a couple of years ago when Texas beat Michigan.

Needless to say, I am completely wiped out...and didn't even have to play. And oh yeah, that LSC record of 53 points in game? Gone. The new record is now 63 points by a TWU player. Jamie Meyer for ACU had 49 - a new ACU record for most points in a game. Overall, there were 18 NCAA, LSC and ACU records set in the game.

ACU has now won 6 of their last 7 games. Their only loss in that stretch? The game I sat on the bench. I guess my permanent spot from here on out will be in the stands!

Read the ACU article here - ACU Web Site

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Coaching Greatness

Pat Summitt (Tennessee). Geno Auriemma (Connecticut). Gail Goestenkors (Texas). Mark Lavender (Abilene Christian). Granted, I'm probably not at a point in my career to be mentioned in the same sentence as these great women's college basketball coaches. You see, greatness has to start somewhere. Some achieve fame quicker than others. Some ascend the ranks of coaching immortality faster than others. But for each coach that takes their seat on the bench, there has to be a first time. Just like each of them had to do, I too will "coach" my first game in just over two weeks when the Wildcats travel to San Antonio for a rematch with Incarnate Word.

The ACU Wildcats played easily their best game of the young season last night when they defeated a good Incarnate Word team 68-53 in Moody Coliseum. Many will say that a good week of practice highlighted by the end of the semester and finals week was all the motivation the Wildcats needed to get the victory last night. However, I say that deep down, even if each player didn't realize it, they played with an anticipation and an excitement knowing that the next time they hit the court with Incarnate Word, I would be making my coaching debut.

As for now though, I will take my familiar place behind the wheel of the bus tomorrow morning as we travel to Oklahoma for a couple of games this week. However don't be surprised if December 31, 2008 becomes a date for sports trivia lovers to remember -- the date I, Mark Lavender, began his hall-of-fame coaching career in San Antonio, Texas.

If you're coming to the game, be sure you hang on to your ticket stub. There's no telling how much that will be worth some day! If you can't be there, be sure to tune in to ESPNEWS around 4:00 pm for my press conference. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my 39th birthday to be exact. I can remember when my parents turned 40 and I thought they were old. Now, I am one year from that historic age and am determined not to feel old. There's a lot I want to accomplish in the next 365 days so here's my Top 39 things to do before turning 40 (in no particular order):

39. Read 4 books
38. Eat healthier
37. Eat more Mexican food (I know, but this is my life!)
36. Do not watch sports as much on TV
35. Complete 750 miles of aerobic exercise (running, elliptical machine, etc.)
34. Weigh 185 pounds at some point this year
33. Say I love you to Shawna more often
32. Wake up happy every morning
31. Update my Blog more often
30. Drink fewer mochas
29. Run a sub 71 second 400 meters (Ha!)
28. Be the assistant basketball coach for one game (December 31)
27. Shoot a 77 or better in golf
26. Drink more water
25. Sit quietly through a basketball game
24. Go to an ACU National Championship Football Game
23. Celebrate an ACU Football National Championship
22. Always wear my seat belt
21. Birdie the first hole at Maxwell
20. See the stock market rise back above 11,000
19. Figure out a way to start my own business without going bankrupt
18. Eat another Hot Hamburger in Bartlesville, OK (yum!)
17. Drive the ACU bus without hitting an animal
16. Be more spontaneous
15. Kick a 40-yard field goal
14. Save more money
13. Go on more dates
12. Take a nice vacation
11. Eat ribs at the Country Tavern outside Tyler
10. Laugh every day
09. Spend more time with Austin
08. Sincerely tell an official "good game"
07. Care less about fantasy football
06. Win my fantasy football league this year
05. Take Austin to another Texas Ranger game
04. Pray more
03. Give up Dr. Pepper
02. Be a better father and husband
01. Go to Las Vegas to usher in year #40

So, there you go. Obviously some of these items will be easier than others. I'll try (#31) to keep you updated on my progress. But for now, there's a lot of good food outside my office that needs to be consumed!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"The Bet"

For those that know me well, you know I have a propensity for opening my mouth and making "guarantees" that sometimes I can't deliver. Well, it happened again!

During the Olympics, I smarted off that I could run the 400 meters in less than 65 seconds. After Shawna stopped laughing, she somehow managed to get out that not only could I not run it under 65 seconds, I couldn't run it under 75 seconds. With my competitive nature, I immediately accepted and demanded that if I could manage to run the 400 meters in less than 75 seconds, I should be allowed to sit on the bench during a road ACU women's basketball game this year. Deal!

So, Sunday afternoon, Austin and I headed up to the ACU track. Shawna was already there meeting with her basketball team. I was so focused on the race I guess that I slammed into the back of a car at the intersection of Judge Ely and Highway 80 (I'll blog about that later). After a 1 hour delay, we managed to make it to the track. I tried to back out as I was not in the right frame of mind. My wife, being the loving and caring and supporting person she is, said absolutely not.

To make a long story short, I somehow managed to make it around the track in 71 seconds! While I did not best my personal goal of 65 seconds, I did manage to beat 75 seconds and secure my spot on the bench for the December 31 game at Incarnate Word. For those of you that don't have New Year's Eve plans, it might well be worth the trip to San Antonio to witness my debut as "Assistant Coach"!

There is an actual video of my journey around the track but I am having a difficult time uploading it. In the meantime, here are a couple of pre-race pictures. The first is one of Austin giving me some advice. In the second, you will see what Shawna thinks my actual chances are of making it in 75 seconds or less!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Dear Austin,

Happy birthday little buddy. It seems almost impossible to think that you are turning two years old today. I really think that this past year went by faster than the first! You are growing up so fast!

I have enjoyed watching you grow into a little boy these past twelve months. Just one short year ago you were barely able to walk from one end of the room to the other. Today, you are running all over the place and jumping off the furniture. You seem to have no fear!

You have also developed such an awesome personality. I guess you get that from your mommy! I love how people are drawn to you because of your smile and your laughter. It's so much fun to be in the mall or the store and watch how you smile and wave and say hello to complete strangers. You can bring a smile to even the most distant stranger.

You have also become quite the little athlete this year -- again, you get that from your mommy! You love kicking the soccer ball, hitting a baseball and swinging the golf club. You can see any sport on television and immediately call out which sport it is you are watching. You have no idea how much your daddy loves that!

I am so thankful that God entrusted your mommy and I to take care of you. You'll never know how much we love you. While you continue to grow and learn everyday, I think you teach us more than we will ever realize.

I can't wait to see what the next twelve months have in store for you. Thank you for being my little man. I love you more than you will ever know! Happy birthday kiddo!


Mommy and Daddy

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Josh. Being. Josh.

There's a 10 year old waking up Christmas morning to find that brand new bicycle he so desperately wanted.

There's a 18 year old driving off the lot with his first car to truly call his own.

There's a a 30 year old hearing the love of his life say yes to the most important question he will ever ask.

And then there was last night. You would have thought I had won the lottery!

See it for yourself -

Hear it for yourself -

The legend continues to grow........

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Prayers of a 22 Month Old

I love getting Austin ready for bed at night. My favorite part is when he says his prayers. You never know what he is going to be thankful for from night to night. Here's a list of his top 5 things he has said thank you for over the past few nights:

Thursday, June 5
1. Mama
2. Water
3. Clock
4. TV
5. Dada

Saturday, June 7
1. Mama
2. Baseball
3. Rangers
4. Juice
5. Dada

Sunday, June 8
1. Mama
2. Cheese
3. Shoes
4. Dada
5. Golf

Monday, June 9
1. Mama
2. Dada
3. Fan
4. Book
5. Baseball

Besides the fact that I have finally made it up the list to the #2 spot behind Mama, I think I was most proud of the fact that he mentioned the Rangers on Saturday night. I just hope the Lord was listening and will answer this little one's prayers for a team in desparate need of pitching!

Seriously though, there is absolutely no better way to end a day than to have Austin curled up in my lap and thanking God for all the little things in his life. Thank you God for giving me a son that is teaching me in ways I never thought possible.