Sports Summer 2011
UCSB Men's Basketball Advance to Back-to-Back NCAA Tournaments
The 2011 UCSB basketball team became the first in program history to advance to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments and also the first to win consecutive league crowns. The Gauchos stormed through the Big West Tournament with resounding wins over Pacific, Cal State Northridge, and regular season champion Long Beach State. The team was led by junior Orlando Johnson, who was named Big West Tournament Most Valuable Player.
Mekia Valentine Chosen by New York Liberty in WNBA Draft
Mekia Valentine was chosen in the third round of the WNBA Draft by the New York Liberty, capping off a tremendous career at UCSB. The senior from Greensboro, N.C. was the 34th overall selection the draft, becoming the first UCSB player chosen by the league since Kristen Mann in 2005. Valentine was named the Big West's Defensive Player of the Year and is a two-time All-Big West selection.
UCSB Swimmers Break School Records at Pac-10 Championships
The UCSB men's swim team wrapped up its first Pac-10 Swimming Championships by setting two more school records. Junior Chris Peterson broke the UCSB 100 freestyle record with a time of 43.35 seconds, surpassing Jason Lezak's 1998 record by .05 seconds. In the 400 free relay, the Gaucho 'A' team – which consists of Peterson, Ryan Hanni, Garrett Thompson, and Kevin Ferguson – placed fourth with a school-record time of 2:52.90.
Four Gauchos Named to the AVCA All-American Team
Members from the UCSB men's and women's volleyball teams have been named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-American team. On the men's side, senior outside hitter Jeff Menzel was named a first-team All-American, while senior libero Andy McGuire was named to the second team. From the women's team, Dana Vargas and Stacey Schmidt were selected to the All-American Honorable Mention squad.
UCSB Hires Checketts as New Baseball Coach
Andrew Checketts was named UC Santa Barbara's new head baseball coach Director of Athletics Mark W. Massari announced on Wednesday.
Checketts, who has spent the past three seasons as the top assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Oregon, becomes the ninth head coach in Gaucho baseball history and takes over a program that has produced the third-most Major League Baseball players in the Big West.
"I am thrilled at being given the opportunity to lead Gaucho baseball," Checketts said. "UCSB is a place of excellence, both academically and athletically. I can't think of a better place in the Big West Conference to build a championship baseball program.""
"Besides the type of talent he has on the field, what kept being repeated by anyone who knew Andrew was what type of person and communicator he is and the strong family values he possesses," Massari said. "Those are some of the traits we looked for in the search. We'd like to welcome his wife Michelle and his daughter Amelia Anne to the Gaucho family."