ARLINGTON, Texas – When Michigan defeated Florida in Sunday’s NCAA Regional Final basketball game at Cowboys Stadium, they had the McMurry University 2012 NCAA Division III men’s outdoor championship track and field team in their corner…literally. The War Hawks’ squad was honored for its title won last spring and was seated courtside next to the Wolverines’ bench during the region finale.
McM’s student-athletes and staff were introduced to the large Cowboys Stadium crowd at halftime. CBS sideline reporter Craig Sager also took a moment to pose for photos with the War Hawks.
“I was not really sure what to expect,” said McM head track and field coach Barbara Crousen of being invited for recognition by the NCAA. “But to be seated on the floor level behind the media and next to the Michigan bench was tremendous! The atmosphere was electrifying.
“Our athletes just received one more chance to relish the feat of a national championship and the NCAA’s efforts to recognize its champions.”
The McMurry title last spring was the second for the school, with both coming from Crousen-led teams, as the 2008 men’s track team brought home McM’s first-ever NCAA crown. Crousen is the first-ever female – in any sport and at any level – to coach a men’s sport to an NCAA team championship.
The 2012 McMurry team crowned a total of three individual national champions and one relay team champion en route to the title. Graduated senior Kevin Cunningham, who brought home first place in both the 400 meters and 400 meter hurdles, was the meet’s “Outstanding Performer” and Crousen earned the national “Coach of the Year” award.