April 3, 2012

“Firebird Nation Sports Update” Episode Three Recaps Historic Basketball Season, Previews Spring Sports

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WASHINGTON, DC - The University of the District of Columbia Department of Athletics, in conjunction with UDC-TV, aired episode three of "Firebird Nation Sports Update" on Sunday, April 1st. Episode three covers a host of topics in University of the District of Columbia Athletics, including a recap of the Firebird men's and women's basketball seasons and a look-ahead to this year's Spring Sports.

Host Matt Rienzo interviews head men's basketball coach Jeff Ruland, head women's basketball coach Jay Butler, and conducts a roundtable discussion with men's and women's tennis coach Dickie Mahaffey and women's track and field coach Alton McKenzie.

Coach Ruland discusses the program's outstanding turnaround from a 1-20 season three years ago to a 22-6 season and first Division II NCAA Tournament berth in a quarter century in 2011-12. He also talks about the future of the program and his graduated seniors, namely First Team All-East Region point guard, Nigel Munson.

Meanwhile, Coach Butler also reflects on a tremendously successful 2011-12 campaign during which the Firebirds also made the Division II NCAA Tournament - its second in the last four years. Butler credits his team, particularly his senior leaders, for stepping up in the absence of the team's "go-to" scorer, Jamilia Bonner, who suffered a season-ending ACL injury halfway through the season. He also acknowledges Firebird Nation for their support throughout the season, particularly at the team's NCAA Tournament Send-Off Pep Rally.

Lastly, Rienzo has a sit-down discussion with Mahaffey and McKenzie, during which the two Spring coaches talk about their team goals for the Spring season and highlight individual athletes to watch in the coming weeks.