• Report: Strong to be fired in wake of loss to Kansas

    Update (6:30 p.m.): Athletic director Mike Perrin denied reports of Strong's firing in a statement. He said Strong is preparing to coach against TCU on Friday. 

    “There are a number of rumors out there about the status of Coach Strong," Perrin said in his statement. "I’ve said it all along, we will evaluate the body of work after the regular season. We have a game to get ready for against TCU on Friday, and I hope our fans will come out and support our team. We’ll discuss where things stand after that.”

    Update (6:26 p.m.): Strong will coach the team's final regular season game before stepping down, according to the Brian Davis at the Statesman and ESPN.

    Original story: Texas will fire head coach Charlie Strong before the team’s final game, according to the Austin American-Statesman. However, the announcement may not come until Monday, according to the report.

    The decision comes after the team fell 24-21 to Kansas on the road, the biggest upset loss against the spread in program history.

    Strong entered the 2016 season with pressure to turn the program around after finishing 6–7 and 5–7 in his first two years, respectively. However, the team fell short of expectations with a 5–6 record with one game to play. The loss to a one-win Jayhawk team — Kansas hasn’t beaten an FBS team since November 2014 — puts Texas in danger of missing a bowl game for the second straight season.

    Strong will finish with a 16–20 record in just under three seasons as Texas’ head coach.

  • Divers prep for Texas Diving Invitational

    The Longhorn men’s diving season heats up as the team competes in the Texas Diving Invitational on Thursday.

    The meet will give Texas a tuneup before upcoming national meets in December. 

    “Well it’s a great opportunity to have an invite this close to a U.S. Nationals which is a real important event for us,” head coach Matt Scoggin said. “It’s a great dress rehearsal opportunity to dive against some of the best divers in the country.”

    Senior Mark Anderson, the two-time reigning Big 12 Diver of the Year — more recently the Big 12 Men’s Diver of the Week — looks to lead his team against a very competitive field in Austin. The Longhorns will face a slew of schools near the top of the Pac-12 rankings in Arizona, Arizona State and California.

    The divers will compete in preliminary rounds before diving in the finals later in the day. They will compete in the one-meter on Thursday, three-meter on Friday and the platform dive on Saturday. The meet marks the first time the divers will enter their meet fresh after lessening their weight-lifting routines. 

    “They’ve been diving tired at all the meets,” Scoggin said. “You want some pep in your step so that [you can make] dives that maybe are difficult to make on a daily basis in practice.”

    Sophomore Meghan O’Brien, the reigning Big 12 Women’s Diver of the Week, and freshman Alison Gibson will lead Texas’ women. So far this year, O’Brien and Gibson have combined to win seven of the twelve possible diving events this season. Gibson, an Austin native, placed sixth at the U.S. Olympic Diving Trials in June.

    The Longhorns begin competition on Thursday at 11 a.m. and wrap up with the final round on Saturday.

  • Longhorn men clinch spot in NCAA Championships

    The Longhorn men’s cross country team breathed a sigh of relief on Friday as they advanced to the NCAA Championships for the eighth straight year. 

    Thanks to an explosive performance from senior Nate Moore, the team finished the South Central Regional Championship in second place with 81 points.

    Moore, who crossed the line of the men’s 10,000-meter run in fourth place, stuck with the lead pack from beginning to end. Coach Brad Herbster said the performance gave the team the necessary confidence to keep the eight-year streak alive.

    “You don’t want to be the team that ends the streak,” Herbster said. “This year’s team with two freshmen, two sophomores, two juniors and one senior is pretty well balanced. The future is really bright.”

    However, the women’s team wasn’t so fortunate, finishing in fourth place with a total of 108 points. The Longhorn women fell short of an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships and haven’t collected enough votes from previous meets to qualify.

    It was a bittersweet moment, especially for senior Sandie Raines, whose cross country career came to an end this weekend. Despite her 12th-place finish — short of an individual invite to the national championships — she earned all-region honors.

    “Losing Sandie next year is a big loss,” Herbster said. “But I think we’ve got women to step up and fill that role.”  

    Though the season is over for the women, the men remain excited for a shot at redemption. After finishing 31st in the 2015 NCAA Championships, they’re ready to prove they’re in a much better place.  

    “Some things didn’t go our way [last year] like having to stay the night at the Atlanta International Airport,” Moore said. “We don’t want people thinking that South Central is a weak region. We are a serious team.”

    The NCAA Championships begin Nov. 19 Terre Haute, Indiana.

  • Texas strides to keep its momentum in the pool

    Texas left No. 14 Texas A&M and No. 4 NC State in its wake last week. In light of their dominating performance, the Longhorns jumped three spots to No. 4 in the nation. 

    National Swimmer of the Week Madisyn Cox and co. look to maintain their winning ways in California as they take on No. 9 Cal and No. 1 Stanford in a dual meet this weekend. 

    Multiple Olympians will compete in the same pool this weekend in Berkeley, California. Cal’s Kathleen Baker won a gold medal and added a silver in Rio de Janeiro this past summer. Stanford’s Katie Ledecky captivated the world with four gold medals of her own in Rio, and she’ll also compete against Texas this weekend. 

    The meet is almost like a homecoming for head coach Carol Capitani, who was a collegiate swimmer for Cal in 1991, where she was an eight-time All-American. This is the Longhorns’ last dual meet of the year. 

    Texas comes home for its next meet, the Texas Invitational, which takes place Nov. 30 through Dec. 3. The Longhorns will play host to a bevy of teams from across the nation in a competitive four-day meet.

  • Texas battles Bobcats in fall-season finale

    The Longhorns (6–0) will close out the fall season on Thursday with a matchup against Texas State, heading home after a two-game series with UTSA. Texas dominated the Road Runners in San Antonio over the weekend, winning by scores of 6-0 and 13-5, respectively. 

    “I’m pretty happy with the way we played,” sophomore outfielder Reagan Hathaway said. “We’re getting better and better each game our defense has been really solid lately, so it’s all coming along for us.”

    The Longhorns faced a four-run deficit in the second game of the weekend, but never faltered. The burnt orange maintained their composure and stuck together, executing their game plan as a team to stage a comeback victory

    “Once we get it going, it’s not hard to stay locked in at all,” freshman infielder Kaitlyn Slack said. “We had to work through a little bit of adversity for the first time this fall, but we got through it together.”

    Texas hopes to cap off their fall season with one more win in front of their home crowd, but it won’t be easy. The team has had trouble with the Bobcats before, losing 6-0 in last year’s fall season and splitting the regular season series 1-1. 

    “It’s always a tough matchup,” senior outfielder Stephanie Wong said. “They’re a really good team that always brings a fight to us, so we’re all excited about it.”

    Aside from the Bobcats talented roster, Texas will also face former Longhorn Cat Osterman. The three-time USA Softball National Player of the Year helps call the shots from the Texas State dugout as an assistant coach. 

    “That’s always a fun side note that she’s coaching over there,” head coach Connie Clark said. “She’s done a really nice job with her pitching staff, so we’ll be challenged up.”

    Texas draws closer to regular-season form with every contest, but still sees room for improvement. The Longhorns will look to further polish their game on Thursday and finish the fall with a strong final performance.

    “Really, it’s about us,” Clark said. “We have to run bases better and keep making adjustments at the plate regardless of who is in the other dugout.”