Following his recent induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, El Pasoan Nolan Richardson will return to the Sun City to lead the 78th edition of the FirstLight Federal Credit Union Sun Bowl Parade as grand marshal on Thanksgiving Day.
“It’s an honor to have Nolan Richardson as the grand marshal for the FirstLight Federal Credit Union Sun Bowl Parade,” said Karl Murphy, President and CEO of FirstLight Federal Union. “He was born in El Paso and played for Don Haskins. Furthermore, being inducted into the hall of fame for winning a championship at every level shows his amazing talent as a coach and mentor. It’s a pleasure to have him come back to El Paso.”
Born and raised in El Paso, Richardson attended Texas Western College (now the University of Texas at El Paso) where he played two years under fellow hall of famer Don Haskins.
He began his coaching career at Bowie High School before moving to the collegiate ranks to Western Texas College winning the National Junior College championship in 1980. He was the head coach at Tulsa from 1981 to 1985, leading Tulsa to the NIT championship in 1981.
In 1985, Richardson was named head coach at the University of Arkansas. He led the Razorbacks to the NCAA Final Four three times and claiming the national title in 1994. For that he was named the 1994 National Coach of the Year.
“Nolan Richardson is a true El Paso success story,” said Barry Kobren, President of the Sun Bowl Association. “The Sun Bowl is honored to have him as the grand marshal for this year’s First Light Federal Credit Union Sun Bowl Parade.
“Coach Richardson grew up in the Segundo Barrio and became one of the best athletes the City of El Paso has ever produced,” added Kobren. “Throughout the years he has always remembered his hometown having returned here frequently to help the community. El Paso and the Sun Bowl are proud of Coach Richardson’s accomplishments and we are pleased that he will be here Thanksgiving to participate in one of the city’s greatest traditions.”
His teams typically played an up tempo game with intense pressure defense – a style that was known as “40 Minutes of Hell.” He is the winningest coach in Arkansas history, compiling a 389-169 record in 17 seasons. Coach Richardson is the only head coach to win a Junior College National Championship, the NIT, and the NCAA Tournament.
“I have a feeling of such huge, tremendous pride-that the generosity of the Sun Bowl organization has selected me as their grand marshal of this very historic parade,” said Richardson. “I am overwhelmed with excitement and I look forward to being part of one of the greatest events in El Paso.”
Richardson served as head coach of the Panamanian National Team from 2005 to 2007. He was selected as the head coach for the Mexican National Team in 2007. In 2009 Coach Richardson assumed the head coaching position for the WNBA Tulsa Shock.
The 78th Annual FirstLight Federal Credit Union Sun Bowl Parade is November 28th 7at 10 a.m.
Review Stand tickets for the parade can be purchased now at FirstLight Federal Credit Union branches, Circle K locations and the Sun Bowl Association office. For more information call (915) 533-4416.
The Sun Bowl Association announced the coronation of the 2014 Sun Queen and Sun Court on Friday evening at the El Paso Country Club.
Rebecca Gutierrez, the daughter of Raul and Diana Gutierrez, was crowned the 2014 Sun Queen. She is a senior elementary education major at the University of Texas at El Paso.
A graduate of Americas High School, Gutierrez graduated in the top-10 percent of her class and was tabbed a Distinguished Achievement Diploma Graduate. While at Americas, she was a member of the National Honor Society, the National Technical Honor Society, the Business Professionals of America and a district and state winner as part of the DECA International Association of Marketing Students. Gutierrez was a two-time regional qualifier as part of the varsity cross country team and a district champion as member of the varsity basketball team.
She is the recipient of the Women’s Fund of El Paso and Center for Civic Engagement Scholarship, a member of the Alpha Xi Delta Women’s Fraternity and the Order of Omega Greek Leadership Honor Society.
Gutierrez is currently residing as the President of Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education at UTEP. She volunteers her time to UTEP’s Project Move, the UTEP Women’s Resource Center, the Lee and Beulah Moor Children’s Home, and the Center for Civic Engagement.
The 2014 Lady-In-Waiting is Elizabeth Vicencio, daughter of Rogelio Jr. and Irma Vicencio. She is a junior biological science major at the University of Texas at El Paso.
The Eastwood High School alum was a member of the National Honor Society, an all-academic honoree as part of the volleyball and softball teams, and captain of the softball squad.
Vicencio is a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha Women’s Fraternity and is involved with the Susan G. Komen foundation, the North American Food Drive, the Multiple Sclerosis Association, UTEP’s Project Move and Cheer for the Cure.
The 2014 Sun Princesses are Daniela Alvidrez, Cassidy Daw, Amanda Guillen, Christina Gutierrez, Cassandra Hernandez, Kayla Mehl, Brittany Prater, Destinee Russell, Cindy Van and Elizabeth Villalba.
Judging is based on poise, appearance, personality, communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to demonstrate knowledge of El Paso. Contestants must be enrolled as full-time students. The coronation has been a tradition in El Paso since the first collegiate Sun Bowl game in 1936.
Sun Court members serve as ambassadors for the Sun Bowl Association, as well as for the City of El Paso. The Sun Queen and Sun Princesses will attend various community events, such as the Hyundai Sun Bowl, FirstLight Federal Credit Union Sun Bowl Parade, WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational, Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic, Academy Sports + Outdoors Sun Bowl International Soccer Tournament, Price’s Creameries Sun Bowl youth camps and clinics and other various events throughout the community.
The Sun Bowl Association and WestStar Bank are pleased to announce the field for the 2014 WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational. North Dakota State, Kent State and Alcorn State will join UTEP on Dec. 21-22, 2014 at the Don Haskins Center.
“We are truly honored to be a part of this special event and our relationship with the Sun Bowl Association is something we value tremendously,” says Larry L. Patton, CEO and President of WestStar Bank. “El Paso has been home to this iconic holiday basketball tournament since 1961, and we’re pleased to be a part of the tournament’s history and in continuing a tradition that marks our commitment and involvement in the community.”
North Dakota State and Kent State will open the 53rd edition of the invitational with a 5 p.m. tip-off on Sunday, Dec. 21, to be followed by UTEP vs. Alcorn State at 7 p.m. The consolation game is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 22, at 5 p.m. prior to the championship game at 7 p.m.
“We are excited to be participating in the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational for the 53rd year and look forward to creating more holiday basketball memories for the people of El Paso,” said UTEP Head Coach Tim Floyd.
North Dakota State was one of the Cinderella stories of the 2014 NCAA basketball tournament with their last second bracket-busting win over Oklahoma. NDSU, coming off a 26-7 campaign, will be one of the highest ranked teams to participate in the Sun Bowl Invitational finishing the regular season ranked 35th in the final RPI standings.
The Bison had one of its best seasons in program history after sweeping The Summit League regular season and tournament titles to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The Bison finished the year ranked first in the nation in team field goal percentage (50.5) as the only Division I team over 50 percent. North Dakota State’s free throw percentage (75.1) ranked 16th in the country. With the nation’s 37th-toughest schedule, the Bison finished the 2013-14 season with the 20th-best winning percentage (.788) and was one of just 22 teams with over 10 road wins.
NDSU will be led by first year head coach Dave Richman, the associate head coach for the past seven years has spent a total of 11 seasons in Fargo. North Dakota State set single season program records for field goal percentage and blocks (145). With 50 victories over the last two seasons, the Bison had the most successful two-year stretch in program history.
Kent State returns to the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational having won the 1999 edition of the event with a 90-80 victory over UTEP in the championship game. That began a string of unprecedented success for the Mid-American Conference power that included 10 consecutive 20-win seasons, five NCAA tournament appearances and an Elite Eight run in 2002. KSU, always atop conference standings, produced five MAC titles during this span and has competed in postseason play 14 of the last 16 seasons (5 NCAA, 6 NIT and 3 CIT).
Kent State will head to El Paso following a 16-16 season as coach Rob Senderoff enters his fourth year at the helm of the program. The Golden Flash return 2014 All-Mid-American Conference Honorable Mention selection Kris Brewer. The senior guard led the team in scoring averaging 11.8 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. Brewer is joined by fellow senior guard Derek Jackson. A starter for 31 of 32 games, Jackson averaged 10.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and two assists per game while posting 17 double-digit games.
Coach Senderoff has added transfer guard Deon Edwin. A First Team All-Region IX selection, Edwin scored a Laramie County single-season record 675 points in his lone year at the school. He averaged 21.8 points per game, which ranked 10th in the country, while also leading the Golden Eagles in rebounding at 7.4 rebounds per game and handing out 3.0 assists per game.
Alcorn State, under the direction of head coach Luther Riley, will make its second consecutive appearance in the Sun Bowl Invitational. The Braves are led by first team All-SWAC and 2013 WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational All-Tournament Team selection LeAntwan Luckett. Luckett paced the Braves in scoring averaging 16.0 points per game shooting just over 42 percent from the field. Luckett scored over 20 points in nine games and scored in double figures 26 times in 31 games. Senior forward Octavius Brown was second on the team in scoring averaging 13.5 points per game while leading the Braves in rebounding with 6.5 rebounds per game.
Sophomore forward Marquis Vance averaged 10.0 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. He scored in double figures in 15 of the 31 games the Braves played during the 2013-14 season.UTEP, 78-22 all-time in the tournament claiming 30 titles, will host this year’s classic for the 53rd year.
The Miners head into the 2014 season following what may have represented one of Coach Floyd’s finest coaching performance as he was named the NABC UPS District 11 Coach of the Year. With lone point guard C.J. Cooper on the roster forced to play 38 or 40 minutes, the Miners came within one win of tying for the Conference USA regular season championship.
UTEP won its first five league road games for the first time in school history and had an eight-game C-USA winning streak, its second-longest since joining C-USA, from mid-January to mid-February. The Miners had three All-Conference players, including returning forward and C-USA Freshman of the Year Vince Hunter. UTEP led Conference USA in both field goal percentage (.465) and field goal percentage defense (.382), and the Miners rated among the national leaders in both field goal percentage defense (sixth) and three-point field goal percentage defense (ninth, .295).
“We are very excited about this year’s field for the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational,” said Barry Kobren, Sun Bowl Association President and Basketball Chairman. North Dakota State is coming off their best season in program history and a win over Oklahoma in the NCAA tournament. Kent State is a perennial power in the MAC and is a fixture in post season play.
“We are also excited that Alcorn State and Coach Luther Riley will be returning to El Paso to join coaches Dave Richman (NDSU) and Rob Senderhoff (KSU),” Kobren added. “Coach Riley has some great players returning and has added a great recruiting class at Alcorn State."
North Dakota State will be making their first appearance in the event, while Kent State and Alcorn State will both be returning for their second trip to the nation’s oldest holiday tournament.
Fans can reserve their tickets beginning Oct. 1 by calling the Sun Bowl Association office at (915-533-4416 or 800-915-BOWL). Tickets are also included in UTEP season ticket packages.
The Sun Bowl Association has elected Barry Kobren as President for the 2014-15 year.
“The Sun Bowl Association is comprised of dedicated individuals with the common goal of providing quality events for the El Paso community while showcasing the best our city has to offer,” said Executive Director Bernie Olivas.
“With nearly 30 years of volunteer experience, Barry Kobren exemplifies the standards of our organization and we are very proud to announce his leadership for the upcoming year.”
Kobren, along with the 2014 Board of Directors and Advisors, were officially introduced Thursday at the Oasis Bistro and Lounge in Downtown El Paso.
An active member of the Sun Bowl Association since 1988, Barry Kobren began volunteering as a team host for the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational. In 1994, he was named Team Host Committee Captain and served as Tournament Chairman in 1998. Kobren has also served as the Tournament Selection Chairman since 1997. He was originally appointed to the Sun Bowl Association’s board of directors in 1993 and has served, at different times, as Vice Chairman Basketball, Treasurer, Executive Vice President and President Elect.
In 2012, the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational Most Valuable Player trophy was named the Barry Kobren Most Valuable Player Trophy to recognize the 25-years of Kobren’s dedication to the organization.
“Love for my community, and the Sun Bowl specifically, was instilled in me at a young age,” said Kobren. “Some of my earliest memories are of attending the football game, basketball tournament and the parade. As a child, I remember my father, Sam Kobren, working at home on the script for the Sun Bowl luncheon. He also served for many years on the CBS Host Committee and the Sponsor Host Committee.
“There has been a Kobren involved in the Sun Bowl for over 50 years and even my son has been a basketball host committee member making it three generations of Sun Bowl Kobrens.”
A lifelong El Pasoan, Kobren graduated from Coronado High School in 1980 and attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he graduated in 1984 Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He is a Certified Public Accountant and is the Senior Vice President of Sanders Partners Incorporated where he has been since 1990.
Kobren has been active in the El Paso community in civic and religious organizations. He is a past president of Congregation B’nai Zion where he served on the board in numerous capacities. Kobren is also a past president of the El Paso Chapter of the Ex-Students Association of the University of Texas at Austin and a past chairman of the El Paso Cancer Treatment Center Benefit.
“I am looking forward to the coming year and working with the great staff at the Sun Bowl and all of the exceptional volunteers,” added Kobren. “I want to thank my wife, Robin, without whose support and understanding all these years, I would not have been able to reach this day.”
Kobren and his wife Robin, a teacher, have a son, Aaron who is also a past host committee member for the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational.
Joining the 81st president of the association on the board of directors are Marilyn Munden (President Elect), Steve Beltran (Executive Vice President), Walker Crowson (Immediate Past President), Jimmy Rogers, Jr. (Chair Emeritus), Natalia Flores (Secretary), Ric Siefkas (Treasurer), Bryan Crowe (VP Community Relations), Stuart Sliva (VP Marketing), Scott Mann (VP Legal Affairs), Wayne Thornton (VP Public Relations), Bill Coon (VP Volunteers), Linda Smith (Coronation), John101 Folmer (Football Chairman), Jim Lawrence (Parade Chairman), Art Muñoz (Special Events Chairman), Asher Feinberg (CBS Host Chairman), Gary Hanson (Golf Chairman), Allen Rystad, John Aranda, Larry Duncan, Robert Dunlop, Michael Guerra, Drew Hawley, Mary Kipp, Andre Miranda, Victor Rueda, James O. Stewart III, Ernest Eisenberg, Tamara Gladkowski and Travis Hughes.
The 2014 Sun Bowl Association Board of Advisors is made up of Amen Ayoub, Frank Bates, Ruben Batista, Bill Blaziek, Edward Davis, Richard Dayoub, Linda East, Sarah Enriquez, Veronica Escobar, David Forti, Brian Kennedy, Monica Lombraña, Tommy Lewis, Charles Lopez, Jr., Agustin Montes, David Morales, Chris Mott, Major General (USA Ret.) John Oblinger, Jean Offutt, Cindy Ramos Davidson, Terri Rangel, Jimmy Rogers III, Mike Rogers, Mike Rosales, Victor Salazar, Bob Stull, Brad Taylor, Pat Valdez-Rios, Joe Valenzuela, Charles Vass and Mario Vega.
Twenty-nine of the 97 golfers competing at this week’s Masters Tournament have made the trip to El Paso to take part in the Sun Bowl Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic. Three of the All-America alumni taking Augusta National Golf Course have already earned their green jacket. Craig Stadler and Mark O’Meara won the event in 1982 and 1998, respectively; Phil Mickelson claimed Masters’ titles in 2004, 2006 and 2010.
At 60 years of age, Stadler is the oldest All-America alum to compete at the 2014 Masters. He competed in the inaugural All-America Classic in 1974. The youngest All-America alum taking the big stage in Georgia tomorrow comes from the latest group of All-Americans to visit the Sun City. Oklahoma State sophomore Jordan Niebrugge is one of the youngest competitors this week.
Below is the full list of All-America Alumni in the Masters:
Jonas Blixt (Florida State – 2007)
Stewart Cink (Georgia Tech – 1993)
Tim Clark (North Carolina State – 1996, 1997)
Brendon de Jonge (Virginia Tech – 2002)
Jason Dufner (Auburn – 1997)
Harris English (Georgia – 2009, 2010)
Derek Ernst (UNLV – 2010)
Matt Every (Florida – 2003, 2005)
Rickie Fowler (Oklahoma State – 2008)
Jim Furyk (Arizona – 1990)
Lucas Glover (Clemson – 2000)
Bill Haas (Wake Forest – 2001)
Russell Henley (Georgia – 2008, 2009, 2010)
Billy Horschel (Florida – 2006, 2007, 2008)
Dustin Johnson (Coastal Carolina – 2005, 2006)
Chris Kirk (Georgia – 2005, 2006)
Matt Kuchar (Georgia Tech – 1999)
Graeme McDowell (UAB – 2001)
Phil Mickelson (ASU – 1987)
Ryan Moore (UNLV – 2002, 2003)
Jordan Niebrugge (Oklahoma State – 2013)
Mark O’Meara (Long Beach State – 1976)
Patrick Reed (Augusta State – 2010)
Webb Simpson (Wake Forest – 2005, 2007)
Brandt Sneder (Vanderbilt – 2002)
Jordan Spieth (Texas – 2011)
Craig Stadler (USC – 1974)
Scott Stallings (Tennessee Tech – 2006)
Nick Watney (Fresno State – 2001)