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    State of the Pack: May 18

    May 18, 2023

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    Arkansas State University


    Congratulations to head coach Jim Patchell and our men’s and women’s track and field teams on sweeping the Sun Belt Conference Outdoor Championships last week at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium in Myrtle Beach.  Our women’s program captured a fourth consecutive outdoor title, while our men’s program claimed a third championship in four seasons en route to their first triple crown in school history.  Dating back to 2019-20, our Red Wolves have now won 18 of the last 22 SBC track & field and cross country titles.

    The Sun Belt also announced its outdoor track and field awards today, and A-State was well represented with multiple student-athletes recognized and Coach Patchell taking both the Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year honors.  In addition to our 20 combined men’s and women’s all-conference choices, Colby Eddowes was named Men’s Freshman of the Year, Pauline Meyer was tabbed Women’s Track Performer of the Year, Camryn Newton-Smith earned Women’s Field Performer of the Year and Jaybe Shufelberger was selected Women’s Newcomer of the Year. Congrats to all our award winners!

    Additionally, we have 16 student-athletes who are set to compete at the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds, which will be held May 24-27 in Sacramento, Calif.  One of those 16, Camryn Newton-Smith, also earned a bid to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the heptathlon.  Our 16 competitors make up 19 total entries at the four-day event and marks the eighth consecutive season we will have 14 or more entrants.


    We remain excited about our upcoming coaches-caravan tour, which gets underway this week in Jonesboro at Tomlinson Stadium before our baseball team’s game on May 20.  Rebranded as the “Howl on Wheels: Red Wolves Road Show,” our tour will also take us to Bryant on May 22, Little Rock on May 23, Fayetteville on June 1 and Memphis on June 6.

    I’m looking forward to being joined by Chancellor Dr. Todd Shields and several of our head coaches, including Butch Jones, Bryan Hodgson and Destinee Rogers, and we look forward to visiting with each of you on the caravan stop closest to your home.  Each of our “Howl on Wheels” events is free and open to the public.


    With 37 of our student-athletes earning their degree from Arkansas State University this spring, I was proud to watch them walk across the stage at commencement earlier this month. We’re also proud of the way our Red Wolves performed in the classroom last semester as they combined to post a 3.165 all-department GPA.

    Including football, women’s soccer, volleyball, women’s bowling, men’s and women’s cross country, women’s track & field, men’s and women’s golf, baseball and women’s tennis, we had 11 teams record at least a 3.0 GPA.  We also placed 210 student-athletes on our spring Athletics Director’s Honor Roll, representing 70 percent of all our Red Wolves.  Sixty-two of them earned a 4.0 GPA, which is 12 more than we had last semester, and that group was our second largest in over a decade for a fall term.


    It was announced last week that our women’s bowling team is one of nine programs that will join Conference USA beginning with the 2023-24 season.  The move comes after spending the last nine years in the Southland Bowling League, which we won in 2016, 2018 and 2023.  Six of the nine programs that will comprise the bowling membership were part of the 2023 NCAA Championship, including our national runner-up Red Wolves.


    Saturday is set to be a busy one at Tomlinson Stadium. In addition to being the site of our first Howl on Wheels stop, our baseball team will hold its Senior Day festivities prior to the 1:00 p.m. first pitch. We hope you’ll join us there on the final day of the season as we thank six players and a manager for their commitment and dedication to A-State Baseball. 


    The men’s golf team is having a busy postseason, which is always a good thing. Senior Luka Naglic climbed 20 spots on the leaderboard during the final day of the NCAA Auburn Regional. His 28th-place finish was the best by an A-State golfer competing as an individual in program history. This concludes a phenomenal collegiate career for Naglic that saw him earn All-Sun Belt honors four times.

    Meanwhile, the rest of our men’s golf team was chosen to participate in the inaugural Golfweek National Golf Invitational (NGI). We’re appreciative of the work Lance Ringler and the folks at Golfweek put into giving additional deserving teams across the country the opportunity to extend their seasons. Our Red Wolves went 61-23-1 in the spring, and we wish them the best as they compete out in the desert this weekend.


    We were excited to announce a couple of new additions to our staff over the last few days. Logan Kidd is joining us as the Assistant AD for Development and Major Gifts. Logan has spent the last four years at Indiana State, where he worked in revenue generation in the areas of sponsorships and major gifts and had great success in both.

    Women’s golf coach M.J. Desbiens Shaw has named Zane Wright as her new assistant coach. Zane makes the short trip to A-State after a successful stint leading the men’s and women’s golf programs at Williams Baptist University, where he was the 2022 American Midwest Conference Coach of the Year.


    On behalf of our entire athletics administration, coaches and student-athletes, we would like to thank Allen Engineering Corporation (Jay and Lesle Allen) for their $48,000 commitment to our track & field program and Steve and Courtney Griffin of Jonesboro for their $25,000 commitment that will help support general needs of all our student-athletes and athletics programs. Both commitments were previously announced by our Red Wolves Foundation, but we want to take this opportunity to once again show our appreciation for their generous contributions to A-State Athletics.


    Earlier this week, Arkansas State University recognized employees from all areas of the campus who had achieved career milestones, either for their years of service, retirement or other accomplishments. In all, the 27 retirees recognized put in a total of 575 years of service to A-State. We certainly wish them the best in retirement.

    We also congratulate every employee that was honored, including those who won or were nominated for Distinguished Service Awards. This includes our own Jessica Heuertz, Assistant AD for Student Services, who was up for the Rookie of the Year award.


    This week’s #WolvesUp photos features KFIN’s Brandon Baxter, who does a great job as our football in-game host, with A-State alumnus and football letterman Phillip Butterfield. As he steps away from his analyst position on our football radio broadcasts, we would like to thank him for the tremendous job he did on the EAB Red Wolves Sports Network.  We appreciate everything he did to help make our radio broadcasts first-class and look forward to still seeing him often at our A-State events.

    Our second photo feature Kendall Lee with his #WolvesUp and a swag pack he won at our Pack Day Spring Game. Congrats Kendall, and we appreciate your support!

    Remember to use the hashtag #WolvesUp in your social posts and tweet your photos to me @JeffPurinton if you have any pictures with your Wolves Up! or promoting A-State.  We will select photos to feature in each edition of State of the Pack.


    View the list of scheduled events, broadcast information, start time and stat links on our composite calendar.  (Note:  All times are listed in Central Time.)  Access live stats from your desktop or mobile device by visiting


    Season and single-game tickets for our fall and winter sports are available by visiting or calling the A-State Ticket Office at 870-972-2781.  You can contact the Red Wolves Foundation at 870-972-2401 for additional information and/or to purchase tickets in our premium areas.

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    State of the Pack: May 18. Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council

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