Ask the AD -- November, 2017
Houston Vice President for Athletics Hunter Yurachek answers the questions of Houston fans on UHCougars.com's Ask the AD. Click on the graphic above to submit your question to Hunter. You can also follow the Houston AD on twitter at @HunterYurachek.
Will there be shuttle service from UH to the arena at TSU? If so, where will we park to catch the shuttle? How often will shuttle run? Thanks in advance.
Paul, yes we have shuttle service that operates from the TDECU Stadium parking lots to-and-from Texas Southern's HP&E Arena for both our men's and women's basketball games. Shuttles will run continuously beginning 90 minutes before men's basketball games and one hour before women's basketball games. They will continue their runs postgame for one hour.
We will also have parking available at HP&E Arena for our Cougar Pride donors on the Director's level ($5K and above) who have men's basketball season tickets. For more information on reaching the Director's level Cougar Pride member, please contact our Cougar Pride office by phone at 713-743-GoUH (4684), by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting UHCougarpride.com.
Full information on the shuttles and parking can be found here.
I have a question about the capacity of the new Fertitta Center. I realized that the capacity will be reduced in the new arena. Does it have the ability to be expanded, should it be needed in the future?
Jesse, the capacity of over 7,000 for the Fertitta Center does not have the ability to expand. Prior to finalizing the plans for the arena, we studied several new or renovated collegiate facilities along with attendance trends from across the country. With our setting, we believe the final capacity will give our basketball and volleyball programs tremendous support while creating a raucous atmosphere.
Another exciting baseball regular season - I can't wait for next weekend!
Todd Whitting has put UH baseball back on the map. This year's squad is the most athletic looking group I've seen at UH and Todd has opened the pipeline for more. I hope that we are able to find a way to continue to reward Todd for his success. Todd can bring a national title to Houston, we all know it. I hope we add to his contract after this year and find additional ways to improve Schroeder Park.
We can't do much, but we will add an additional Dugout club donation for 2018 season.
Justin, first off, we cannot thank you enough for your support of the Houston Baseball program with your Dugout Club membership. Without your support and those of others like you, we would not be able to provide the best student-athlete experience and recruiting tools available. The support of our Dugout Club and Cougar Pride members have enabled us to continue to add to Schroeder Park with new fieldturf, the Sander-Guiterrez scoreboard and the Player Development Center and Clubhouse to make it one of the premier college baseball facilities for both our student-athletes and fans.
Coach Whitting and his program start each year with goals of winning the American Championship, hosting an NCAA Regional and making a trip to Omaha. We are on the doorstep of reaching Omaha and are looking forward to taking that next step. We encourage all Houston fans to take the journey with us as Houston Baseball season tickets start at just $100 for 29 games. That's less than $3.50 per game! Please call our ticket office at 713.462.6647 or visit UHCougars.com/tickets to secure your seats now!
Mr. Yurachek, could you discuss the Universities prospective upgrade to a Power conference outside the Big 12? We are all ready to move past the Big 12 discussions.
Chad, our mindset has always been to put the University of Houston in the most competitive position for national success and that will not change. We are currently in a very strong Power 6 conference in The American Athletic Conference and as our league has shown across all sports, we are a conference to be reckoned with.
As a whole, we have to focus on being at the top of The American, on and off the field, including fan support in the stands. Currently we are sixth in The American in football average attendance, fifth in men's basketball average attendance, seventh in total donors and fifth in annual donations. We are constantly pushing to increase all of those numbers to make the University of Houston an attractive conference member.
Can we get some more P5 non-conference games? Colorado State has a home and home with Arkansas, I would like the same. Would like Miami, Miss State, any ACC, Big 10, SEC, PAC 12 would be welcomed. I know it isn't as easy as some think, but I see other AAC teams getting good P5 games on their schedules and don't see why we can't have more. I don't think we should ever play FCS teams.
Mike, thanks for the question. As you'll note on the future non-conference schedule page, we have upcoming non-conference matchups with fellow Power 6 members such as Oklahoma, Washington State, Texas Tech, Arizona, Kansas and Vanderbilt.
We are constantly working on adding non-conference games against Power 6 opponents who see the advantage of heading to the nation's fourth-largest city and one of the most fertile recruiting grounds nationally to play a game against a strong opponent who will boost strength of schedule ratings for postseason implications. Unfortunately that challenge sometimes supersedes the goal of total wins in a season.
The 2014-16 seasons that saw our program defeat seven straight non-conference Power 6 opponents was both a blessing and a curse for us, the curse portion coming in non-conference scheduling where some programs see the University of Houston as too formidable of an opponent.
Why does UH have a women's swimming & diving program, but not have a men's program?
Thanks & Go Coogs
Casey, while the University of Houston achieved great success with a men's swimming & diving program in the 1970s and 80s, we were not able to sustain the program with budgetary and Title IX limitations in place. To maintain Title IX compliance, adding an eighth men's program would require adding women's programs with comparable numbers of scholarship student-athletes and that would not be fiscally responsible at this time.
I used to love going to volleyball matches in Hofheinz Pavilion but when they moved to the Athletics/Alumni Center, it just wasn't the same atmosphere. I can't help but think that having to tell potential recruits their home court is a practice facility has hurt the program. When renovations to Hofheinz are complete, will Cougar Volleyball be played there?
David, you are in luck. Beginning with the 2019 season, we are planning on our volleyball program playing its home games in the Fertitta Center. While Yeoman Fieldhouse has been an adequate facility, our new facility will certainly boost the atmosphere.