FOOTBALL: Coming off back-to-back 11-win seasons, consecutive bowl victories, two straight Mountain West Conference titles, and starting the 2008 campaign with the longest active winning streak in the nation, anticipation for the upcoming football season in Provo is building.
With less than six week remaining until the Cougars' season-opener against Northern Iowa at Edwards Stadium, season-ticket sales are on pace to surpass last year's total by well over 5,000 season tickets.
According to BYU ticket manager Clark Livsey, over 38,500 season tickets have been sold to date, which represents an increase of over 3,300 tickets from this time last season. Livsey said sales remain brisk and, as the season gets closer, season-ticket sales will set an all-time record.
"We always see an increase in sales as the season gets closer," Livsey said. "Based on our projections, it's likely our numbers will reach somewhere between 55,000 and 57,000 season tickets, maybe even a little more."
In 2007, Edwards Stadium (64,045) was sold out for all six homes games for the first time since the 1991 season. Since 1990, there have been a total of 52 sellouts at Edwards Stadium. Of those 52 sold-out games, the Cougars have posted a record of 39-13 (.750), including a current streak of 6-0. Overall, BYU has won 12 straight home games over the past two seasons.
Fans interested in season tickets can purchase them online at www.byutickets.com or by calling the Marriott Center ticket office at 801-422-BYU1.
The 2008 season will officially get under way Friday when the team reports for fall camp. Their first practice is scheduled for Saturday beginning at 3:30 p.m.
SOFTBALL: Southern Utah University has named Julie Strand as its head softball coach, SUU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Ken Beazer announced Wednesday.
Strand replaces Jodi Jackson, who left SUU earlier this month to take the reins of the softball program at Ohio University.
Strand has served the past four seasons as the No. 1 assistant with SUU's softball program. During her tenure with the Thunderbirds, Strand had a major roll in helping SUU to back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances and conference tournament crowns as well as a pair of regular-season conference titles.
She has helped lead the team to Summit League tournament berths all four of her seasons, a pair of NCAA tournament berths and has also helped oversee a squad which has virtually rewritten the Southern Utah record books in the past four years.
"I'm thrilled," Strand said. "This is a great opportunity for me personally. I couldn't ask for a better place to be for my first head-coaching job. I know the girls and they know me and I really like it here.
"My philosophy as to how the program will be run will be similar to Jodi's, with school and academics holding a high priority. We'll also play much the same type of softball on the field.
"One thing I would like to change is to get our players more involved in community service, to get our girls out in the public more, however," she added.