Karen Chisum and her assistant coaches stand in front of four Bobcat volleyball players in maroon jerseys with white lettering and numbers on the sideline in a match at Strahan Arena.

Texas State Athletics Top 10 Moments of 2019

By Garrett Martin, Connor MacKinnon, Jude McClaren and Josh Orozco
Sports Director and Assistant Sports Directors

Narrowing the list down to only 10 of the best moments within Texas State sports was challenging yet exciting when reflecting on the entire year. Not to forget the incredible performances by underrated sports such as soccer, golf, and track and field, our “last three out” barely missed the cut within the top 10, but they at least deserve recognition. 

Honorable Mentions

Coach Cat Osterman Joins Team USA

Associate softball head coach Cat Osterman is arguably one of the greatest pitchers in collegiate history. Osterman has the opportunity to showcase greatness with her 2020 Tokyo Softball Olympic Games selection earlier this year. 

Micah Dinwiddie Breaks Program’s All-Time Digs Record

While senior defensive specialist Micah Dinwiddie may have not repeated as the Sun Belt’s defensive player of the year, she did etch her name in the Texas State history books. On Oct. 19, the Bobcats beat South Alabama 3-1 and Dinwiddie recorded 13 digs to break the record, finishing her career with 1,716 digs.

Toshua Leavitt’s 35 Point Performance 

Nearly one year ago on Jan. 5, senior guard Toshua Leavitt poured in a career-high 35 points against Coastal Carolina. Accounting for half of the Bobcat points in their 69-60 rout, Leavitt shot 10-for-16 from beyond the three-point line and finished with a positive assist-turnover ratio. 

Top 10 Greatest Moments in Texas State Athletics in 2019

10. Texas State Claims 2019 Vic Bubas Cup 

Date: May 14, 2019

Why It Was Powerful: Around college athletics, the Sun Belt is known as one of the most competitive group of five conferences behind the American. While the Sun Belt is yet to host a team from their own conference that has won a national championship, the “#FunBelt” has brought in a number of schools that have many in their past with 11 combined between the league’s current schools. 

Every year, the Sun Belt gives out an award to the best athletic program in the conference overall named the Vic Bubas Cup. Texas State won that award for the first time this May because of sports like volleyball, track and field, and men’s basketball all winning conference championships.

9. Women’s Basketball Downs Little Rock Short Handed

Date: Feb. 16, 2019

Why It Was Powerful: With the loss of point guard Taeler Deer in the previous year, the Texas State women’s basketball team was trying to find a new identity in the 2018-19 season. Before they faced Little Rock, the Bobcats had a conference record of 4-8 and lost five of their last six games.

To make matters worse, the ‘Cats went into Strahan Arena without multiple key players against the Sun Belt Conference-leading Little Rock Trojans. Their upset over the Trojans marked a turning point for the season, where scrappy and persistent defense would be the staple diet for Texas State. 

The season came up short in the second round of the 2019 Sun Belt Conference Championship, but the emergence of the younger players showed a bright future for the Texas State program. 

8. Bryan London II Becomes TXST All-Time Tackles Leader

Date: Nov. 30, 2019

Why It Was Powerful: The 2018-19 season was quite the year for Bryan London II, finishing third in the Sun Belt in total tackles and setting his Texas State career-high of 22 tackles against Georgia State. London broke the program’s all-time record with 459 tackles in his collegiate career during his final game in maroon and gold against Coastal Carolina on the road.

London lead the team in tackles in all four seasons as a member of the Bobcats from 2016-2019 passing Greg Pitts (1999-2002). The senior from Converse, Texas cements himself among one of the Bobcat greats with this accolade being the cherry on top of his Texas State career.

7. Men’s Basketball Reaches the 23-Win Mark 

Date: Feb. 28, 2019

Why It Was Powerful: There’s a reason coach Danny Kaspar stayed at Texas State for the majority of this decade. Kaspar ranks third in all-time wins for a Bobcat head coach and last season led the Maroon and Gold to their most successful regular season ever.

In a dominating performance, the ‘Cats beat Troy 58-44. The only downside of the victory was that the game wasn’t played in San Marcos. Regardless, the Bobcat trio of Tre Nottingham, Alex Peacock, and Nijal Pearson will be remembered as one of the best in school history.

6. Football’s Triple Overtime Win Against Georgia State 

Date: Sept. 21, 2019

Why It Was Powerful: Texas State fans got to enjoy victory once again… only for a bit.

Texas State started 0-3 in non-conference play in the 2019 season. Joshua Rowland’s game-winning kick against the Georgia State Panthers was not only the first of the season, but the first in conference play across the Sun Belt.  At the same time, it was the first win for first year head coach Jake Spavital, one he said was crucial.

“I thought this was a pivotal moment for us,” Spavital said. “If they didn’t pull this one off, there was going to be some tough conversations and you could’ve possibly lost a team.”

This turn of fate late in September brewed up hope for this team. The win against Nicholls State, a television game on ESPN U against ULM on Oct. 10 and two bye weeks in October gave the Bobcats and the fanbase a lot of time to chew on this key victory against the Panthers.

5. Baseball Wins the Sun Belt Regular Season 

Date: May 17, 2019

Why it was Powerful: Not only was this the first ever Sun Belt title since joining the conference in 2014, the Bobcats also concluded their season in spectacular fashion.

The “Cardiac ‘Cats” came alive in the double-header finale against UT Arlington as shortstop Dalton Shuffield and outfielder Travon Benton combined for three RBI’s in the bottom of the eighth inning after trailing 9-7, sealing the outright regular season conference crown. Following a quick celebration with the 2019 championship banner, the Ty Harrington-lead squad would once again rally in the eighth inning with six runs later that night, defeating the Mavericks 13-11. 

The maroon and gold would ultimately lose two straight in the postseason, however, the narrative of the “never say die” attitude perfectly defined the true end of an era for Bobcats baseball. Texas State’s double-header victories marked the most amount of regular season wins since their Southland conference championship run in 2011.

4. Men’s Basketball Double Overtime Loss to UT Arlington

Date: Feb. 2, 2019

Why It Was Powerful: The Texas State Men’s basketball team was number one in the Sun Belt Conference heading into the match-up against number two ranked UT Arlington. This was a battle for the number one seed in front of a record setting crowd at Strahan Arena. 

The story of the game was the performance of the opposing team’s player Bryan Warren. Warren was unstoppable as he scored 30 points and any defender coach Kaspar threw at Warren was not enough. 

This game was impactful because it was announced for the 2019-20 season the game against the Mavericks will broadcast on ESPN2. This provides an opportunity for the maroon and gold basketball team to get exposure on a national stage that they have not gotten in some time. 

3. Baseball’s Walk-off Against the University of Texas

Date: April 23, 2019

Why It Was Powerful: Whenever you’re a school from the group of five, if you go down big to power five opponents (especially the likes of University of Texas, a perennial college baseball powerhouse) you’re most likely not coming back.

The opposite was true for the Bobcats on the night of April 23 earlier this year. The ‘Cats pulled off a come from behind victory after being down three runs in the top of the ninth. Texas State athletics legend Ty Harrington called the victory “a great thing for San Marcos.”

2. Volleyball Wins the 2019 Sun Belt Volleyball Championship

Date: Nov.24, 2019 

Why It Was Powerful: The Bobcats won back-to-back Sun Belt Championships after beating Coastal Carolina and went to the NCAA tournament for the second time in a row. The Texas State Volleyball team is the second team to win back-to-back Sun Belt titles since the Chaunticlers did back in the 2016-17 seasons. 

Senior Cheynne Huskey was named Most Outstanding Player and sophomore setter Emily DeWalt earned All-Tournament Team for their efforts. This win was more powerful because of the retirement of legendary head coach Karen Chisum, shortly after. Texas State has arguably been considered a volleyball school because of the success they have had in recent years. This win marked the end and beginning of an era for Texas State volleyball. 

1. TXST Coaching Legends Retire 

Coach: Ty Harrington

Date: June 20, 2019

Why It Was Powerful: Ty Harrington left Texas State with 621 career wins, four regular season conference titles, two conference tournament titles and a tremendously passionate farewell address.

His farewell address back in June brought us all to tears with his passion and inspiration. His phone calls and conversations with loved ones, parallels to his father and anecdotes about his time at Texas State were all shared with the audience at the press conference.

Harrington had 49 former players taken in the MLB Draft over the course of his career, including four this past summer (Hunter McMahon, Nicholas Fraze, Jaylen Hubbard, Connor Reich).

Coach: Karen Chisum

Date: Dec. 9, 2019

Why It Was Powerful: Karen Chisum coached in San Marcos for 42 seasons and is the most beloved athletics coach in Texas State history by far. Coach Chisum totaled 11 conference championships throughout the years in San Marcos. 

She also brought the Bobcats and her program it’s first ever NCAA tournament win in 2018 in a 3-1 victory in the first round over Rice. Her retirement was a tearjerker for generations of Bobcats, making both retirements the top moment of 2019.

Both coaches set the standard for leadership and coaching Bobcat athletics by leaving a giant footprint on the program at Texas State. Harrington and Chisum both retired from coaching at the top of the Sun Belt Conference.

  • Both left on high notes
  • Both left following long tenures
  • Both new hires were assistants
  • Both left on their own terms
  • Both left as the program leader in wins in their sport

In a year filled with championships, record breaking performances and key retirements, we look forward to the next decade of unforgettable Texas State athletics moments.

For more coverage and updates on all things Bobcat sports heading into 2020, you can follow @KTSWSports on Twitter and tune into Bobcat Radio every Monday, Wednesday and Friday next semester on KTSW-FM 89.9.

Featured image courtesy of Texas State Athletics.

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