UNK Today | August 2014 - page 17

Plinske: UNK close
Great things await on field, court, athletics director believes
UNK
Today
:
Loper Lineup
FOOTBALL
Sept. 4.......at Northwest, Missouri State, 7 p.m.
Sept. 11.....................................Washburn, 7 p.m.
Sept. 20.................. Missouri Southern, 3 p.m.
Sept. 27 ....................at Central Missouri, 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 4........................Central Oklahoma, 2 p.m.
Oct. 11 ...... at Northeastern (Okla.) State, 1 p.m.
Oct. 18 ..................................Lindenwood, 1 p.m.
Oct. 25 ..................at Pittsburg (Kan.) State, 2 p.m.
Nov. 1 .................................Fort Hays State, TBA
Nov. 8....................... at Missouri Western, 1:30 p.m.
Nov. 15 ............................ Emporia State, 1 p.m.
VOLLEYBALL
Sept. 5-6 ......New Victorian Inn, Suites Classic
Sept. 5 .....................Western State, 12:15 p.m.
Sept. 5 ...................Newman University, 7 p.m.
Sept. 6 .......South Dakota Mines, 12:15 p.m.
Sept. 6 ............................ Northern State, 7 p.m.
Sept. 12-13 ....... at CSU-Pueblo/UCCS Classic
Sept. 12 ..................................at CSU-Pueblo, 11 a.m.
Sept. 12.............................. Adams State, 9 p.m.
Sept. 13.................................. St. Martin’s, 1 p.m.
Sept. 13....Colorado-Colorado State, 7 p.m.
Sept. 16.........................Fort Hays State, 7 p.m.
Sept. 19...................Central Oklahoma, 7 p.m.
Sept. 20....................Missouri Southern, Noon
Sept. 23........................... Emporia State, 6 p.m.
Sept. 26 ............................... at Pittsburg State, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27 .......................at Southwest Baptist, 1 p.m.
Oct. 3.............................................at Lindenwood, 7 p.m.
Oct. 4...................................at Central Missouri, 3 p.m.
Oct. 10 ..................Northwest Missouri, 7 p.m.
Oct. 11 .......................Missouri Western, 7 p.m.
Oct. 14 .......................................Washburn, 7 p.m.
Oct. 17 ...........................at Central Oklahoma, 7 p.m.
Oct. 18 .......................... at Missouri Southern, 5 p.m.
Oct. 24 ............................Pittsburg State, 7 p.m.
Oct. 25 .................... Southwest Baptist, 4 p.m.
Oct. 28 .................................at Fort Hays State, 7 p.m.
Oct. 31 ..................................Lindenwood, 7 p.m.
Nov. 1 ...........................Central Missouri, 7 p.m.
Nov. 7.......................... at Northwest Missouri, 7 p.m.
Nov. 8................................at Missouri Western, 7 p.m.
Nov. 14 ................................... at Emporia State, 7 p.m.
Nov. 15 ..............................................at Washburn, 3 p.m.
SOCCER
Sept. 5..............................................at Sioux Falls, 6 p.m.
Sept. 7....at Southwest Minnesota State, 1 p.m.
Sept. 10............................... Wayne State, 7 p.m.
Sept. 19 ..............................at Fort Hays State, 6 p.m.
Sept. 21.....................................Washburn, 1 p.m.
Sept. 25 ....................... at Missouri Southern, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27 ........................at Southwest Baptist, Noon
Oct. 3...................................at Central Missouri, 7 p.m.
Oct. 5.................................................at Lindenwood, TBA
Oct. 10 .....................Central Oklahoma, 2 p.m.
Oct. 12 ...................Northeastern State, 1 p.m.
Oct. 15 .............................at Hastings College, 7 p.m.
Oct. 17 .......................Missouri Western, 7 p.m.
Oct. 19 ..................Northwest Missouri, 1 p.m.
Oct. 24 ........................................at Emporia State, TBA
Oct. 26 ...............................................at Washburn, 2 p.m.
Oct. 30 .................... Fort Hays State, 6:30 p.m.
Nov. 2 ............................... Emporia State, 1 p.m.
CROSS COUNTRY
Sept. 20 .......Woody Greeno Invitational, Lincoln
Oct. 18 .............Fort Hays Tiger Open, Hays, Kan.
Nov. 8..............MIAA Championships, Bolivar, Mo.
Nov. 22 ................NCAA Central Regional, Wayne
Dec. 6 .......NCAA Championships, Louisville, Ky.
MEN’S GOLF
Sept. 8-9.......Lincoln Univ. Invit., Jefferson City, Mo.
Sep
t. 15-16 ..................... UNK Invit., Awarii Dunes
Sept. 22-23 .....NE State Invit., Tahlequah, Okla.
Oct. 11-12.....Nebraska Intercollegiate, Norfolk
Oct. 13-14....Regional Crossover, St. Joseph, Mo.
WOMEN’S GOLF
Sept. 8-9 .......Bellevue University Invit., Papillion
Sept. 15-16 .....NE State Invit., Tahlequah, Okla.
Sept. 29-30 ...Fort Hays State Invit., Hays, Kan.
Oct. 13-14...... NW Missouri Invit., Maryville, Mo.
Oct. 20-21.. Lindenwood Invit., St. Charles, Mo.
North 2nd Ave., Kearney • 308-236-9798
New Look and New Stores!
Old Navy • JCPenney • Herberger’s • Buckle • Gap
And All 40 Great Stores
Connect With Us
Here’s where to find Lopers in action this season
By BUCK MAHONEY
Hub Sports Editor
KEARNEY — This spring, Wis-
consin-Whitewater accomplished an
all-time first: the NCAA Division III
school swept the national champi-
onships in football, men’s basketball
and baseball.
The feat didn’t go unnoticed by
University of Nebraska at Kearney
Athletics Director Paul Plinske, who
came to UNK a year ago after nine
years at Whitewater.
“At first, I felt a great deal of
pride. Then I thought, ‘What did I
do wrong that now all of a sudden
they can win all three in one year?’”
Plinske said. “However, I did hang
my hat on the fact that while I was
there, we did win all three but we
won them in different academic
years.
“I was proud of it but I came to
the realization I’m in
the right place and
Kearney is on the
verge of some great
things. We’re going
places here at UNK.”
While UNK
may never match
UW-Whitewater’s
success of last year,
Plinske plans to make the Lopers a
fixture on the championship scene,
and it starts with being competitive
in the Mid-America Intercollegiate
Athletics Association, one of the
premier conferences in Division II.
This will be UNK’s third year in
the MIAA, and the transition from
the Rocky Mountain Athletic Con-
ference has been a challenge.
“The conference definitely is all
it was expected to be,” Plinske said.
“But what I found is that UNK is
closer than we think we really are.”
Seven of UNK’s 17 sports teams
finished in the top three in the
MIAA standings. Eleven Loper
squads competed in NCAA champi-
onships.
“We have a nice little athletic
department going that has really
high-performing student-athletes
that are great in the community and
great in the classroom,” Plinske said.
“So, I was real pleased with where
we’re at, but I’m also not satisfied.”
The seven teams in the top three
in the MIAA did not include foot-
ball, men’s basketball, baseball or
women’s basketball. When Plinske
met with fans, those sports dominat-
ed the conversations.
“I appreciate the fact the visible
sports get a lot of attention, but ...
my focus has always been on total
program development and seeing all
sports be able to get better,” Plinske
said. “But I do believe that a rising
tide raises all ships, so when football
gets really good, it raises everybody
else up.”
UNK has had back-to-back 3-8
football seasons, which is about the
same record Wisconsin-Whitewater
had in 2003. That program went 7-3
the following year and 14-1 the year
after that. While those expectations
may not be realistic at the Division
II level or in the MIAA — which
Plinske says is a tougher conference
— Loper fans can expect an increase
in the level of play in several pro-
grams.
“Nothing ever happens overnight.
It’s a process and it takes time. If
you can get the right people in place
and have the right type of envi-
ronment, things can progressively
change and get to a point it’s truly a
dominating machine,” Plinske said.
What UNK has in its corner is a
supportive community and a sup-
portive administration, Plinske said,
and compared with UW-Whitewa-
ter, UNK has a stronger position in
its university system. There are 12
schools in the Wisconsin university
system. UNK is the lone Division II
school in the University of Nebraska
system.
UNO’s recent move to Division
I, which included the elimination of
the Maverick football and wrestling
programs, opens many new areas for
UNK.
“We’re in a position right
now where we should be able to
take advantage and bring in any
low-level Division I and Division
II student-athletes from the state
of Nebraska to be able to compete
here,” Plinske said. “But we have
to be competitive. We have to put
resources on the table for our per-
spective student-athletes to want to
Paul Plinske
GREAT THINGS, PAGE 5
1...,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16 18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,...66
Powered by FlippingBook