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Men's Basketball Blog: On the Road in San Marcos
Courtesy: Denver Athletics  
Release: 02/02/2013
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SAN MARCOS, Texas - Perhaps the best part of this trip - aside from Thursday night's win and the perfect weather - is that San Antonio and San Marcos are only about 45 minutes apart, so the travel logistics are nearly nonexistent. It also allowed us to drive back to San Antonio for last night's dinner.

The Pioneers generally eat pretty well on the road, but not like they did last night.

The family of Cam Griffin invited everyone over to his aunt and uncle's house for barbequed chicken, ribs, sausage and a lot of delicious sides. It was a great change of pace from the usual chain restaurants, and the hosts could not have been more welcoming.

Thanks to Cam's large cheering section, as well as the families of Royce O'Neale, Chase Hallam and Marcus Byrd, the game at UTSA featured a great Denver section. We're hoping for another good one this afternoon.

With the early tip time, we are flying out late tonight, although to do so we need to drive about three hours east to Houston. No problem. It's always better to get back so the players can sleep in their own beds.

About Texas State: Texas State seems like a somewhat new college, but that's because of fairly recent name change.

The school opened its doors in 1903 as Southwest Texas State Normal School, and it was Southwest Texas State in various forms until 2003, when the Texas legistlature changed it to Texas State University-San Marcos.

As you drive into San Marcos, which is roughly halfway between San Antonio and Austin, you pass the beautiful Bobcat Stadium, which was built in 1981 and expanded to 30,000 seats in 2011-12. Fans of the television show Friday Night Lights might remember it as the stadium for the ficticious Texas Methodist University, where Eric Taylor accepted a job as quarterbacks coach.

With 34,225 students, Texas State is the fifth largest college in Texas and the 75th biggest in the nation.

President Lyndon B. Johnson did his undergraduate studies here when it was Southwest Texas State Teachers' College. A life-size statue of the 36th president sits on campus.

Former college basketball coaches Billy Gillipsie (UTEP, Texas A&M, Kentucky and Texas Tech) and Ronnie Arrow (South Alabama and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi) both hold degrees from this university.

Country superstar George Strait went here before going on to put out more number one albums than anyone other than Elvis Presley and the Beatles.

Single-songwriter Charlie Robison played football for a semester at Southwest Texas State.

While arenas often have retired numbers hanging from the rafters, usually accomplishments by individuals are not. Strahan Arena, however, has a banner for Charles Austin hanging in the corner, and for good reason. Austin won Olympic gold in high jumping at the 1996 Atlanta Games, setting an Olympic record at 7'10". Five years earlier, shortly after graduating from Southwest Texas State, Austin set the American high jump record at 7'10 ½". Both records still stand.  

Three-time WWE champion Shawn Michaels attended the school for a short time, while his name was still Michael Shawn Hickenbottom and not "The Heartbreak Kid."

Last, but certainly not least, Texas State can also boast about television and film actor G.W. Bailey, who is probably best known for his role as Leiutenant Thaddeus Harris in Police Academy 1-6. Bailey actually started college at Lamar University and transferred to Texas Tech before dropping out. He went back to school at Southwest Texas State and graduated with a degree in fine arts in 1994, just before the release ofPolice Academy: Mission to Moscow.

Yearly travel totals:

Total Flights - 16

Total Mileage by Air - 13,875

Total Mileage by Bus - 1,814

Total Number of Hotels - 14

Total Number of Different Airlines - 5 (Southwest, United, Frontier, Alaska, American)

Total Number of Different Airports - 10

Total Number of Airline Delays - 4

Total Number of Cancelled Flights - 0

Total Number of Bags Lost - 2

As always, please feel free to send any questions or comments tomichael.kennedy@du.edu.

 

Follow DU athletics on the web at www.DenverPioneers.com

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