UHV Sports Receives Major Gift & Signs Cuero Golfer

The future of University of Houston-Victoria athletics took a giant step forward Tuesday with the announcement of a 65-acre gift from the Bennett-Wood family for the athletic department to expand its program.

UHV President Vic Morgan, who is retiring at the end of August, made the announcement Tuesday evening during a special farewell retirement event in his honor.

The 65 acre donation is located across from the Victoria Regional Airport and will be used to construct the university’s own athletic complex.

“The future of UHV athletics will be changed forever with this gift,” said UHV Athletics Director Ashley Walyuchow. “It will transform the program as the possibilities are endless.”

UHV began its athletic program during the 2007-2008 school year with the start of its baseball and softball programs. The Jaguars then added men’s and women’s soccer and golf programs in 2010-2011.

The Jaguars can now look to expand the program even further with the possibilities of adding other sports including basketball.

“The land will allow us to build facilities for our existing sports and future sports growth,” said Walyuchow, who did not speculate on when new sports might be added to the program.

Assistant Athletic Director and head soccer coach Adrian Rigby also feels the gift will greatly benefit UHV and the athletic department.

“The 65-acre gift is critical for the growth and development of the University and the athletics department here at UHV,” said Rigby. “With this land, several of our current sports will be able to build collegiate facilities of their own and we’ll have space available to add potential new sports to UHV.”

Rigby also feels it will greatly enhance the recruiting process for all of the coaches at UHV.

“The addition will certainly help enable our coaching staff to be more competitive in the recruitment of top level student-athletes to UHV,” said Rigby. “It’s an exciting time to be a Jaguar.”

Through the years UHV programs have found much success on the field where five of the six teams have advance to NAIA National Championship play. The UHV softball program has earned six NAIA championship appearances, the baseball program three, men’s soccer one and women’s golf one.

The men’s and women’s golf programs have also each sent one individual medalist to the NAIA championships.

The UHV softball program has also won two Association of Independent Institutions Conference titles, along with two Red River Athletic Conference titles. The baseball program has claimed two A.i.i. Conference titles, while the men’s soccer team won the RRAC regular season and tournament titles in 2017.

“I’m very happy for the student-athletes who will be calling these facilities “their home,” said UHV baseball coach Terry Puhl. “It’s important for the athletes to know they can have a set practice schedule. It also gives the coaches a valuable recruiting tool and it is a powerful step to making UHV a Destination University.”

The land, across from Big Bend Road, is valued at $820,000 according to Jesse Pisors, vice-president for advancement and external relations for UHV, and is the second-largest gift to the school in UHV history.

“This is a milestone day for our athletics department,” said UHV softball coach Lindsey Ortiz. “I am so excited for the future of our program, and the new heights we will be able to reach with the addition of our own facilities. Our athletes work so hard and represent our university so well, and I know they will be thrilled to have a space of their own.

“As an alum, it’s fantastic to see our programs growing and developing in such an impactful way. I can’t wait to share this news with future recruits. It’s a great day to be a Jaguar.”

UHV golf coach Christi Cano echoed Ortiz’s sentiments.

“This is an exciting time to be a part of Jaguar athletics,” said Cano. “The addition of this generous gifted land along with the addition of other sports will help us gain more national exposure and attract stronger recruits for all other sports. We are looking forward to the future and what this will bring to all of athletics.”

University of Houston-Victoria head golf coach Christi Cano today announced the commitment of Cuero’s Mary Kate Krueger to the UHV women’s golf team.

Krueger is a 2016 graduate of Cuero High School and has attended UHV for one year. She was a member of Cuero’s 2013 and 2015 state qualifying teams and earned academic all-state honors her senior season.

“It will be a great way to finish out my college education and play the sport I love,” said Krueger in making her commitment to play golf at UHV.

Krueger will join fellow Cuero golfer Jocelyn Villafranca on the 2018-19 UHV team.

Krueger plans to study pre-allied health while attending UHV.