March 8, 2001
The Huskers will face Texas Christian University in the 73,918-seat Memorial Stadium. The game will be nationally televised on ABC Sports on Saturday, August 25 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Tickets, which cost $38, will be sold as part of Nebraska's season ticket package.
Nebraska completed the 2000 season with an overall record of 10-2 and a season-ending victory over Northwestern in the Alamo Bowl. It was the Husker's 32nd consecutive appearance in a bowl game. Nebraska completed the season ranked eighth in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and ninth in the AP poll.
"We are pleased to be able to take part in the 2001 Pigskin Classic," says Bill Byrne, director of athletics at the University of Nebraska. "With the addition of Texas Christian University, we believe we have the most attractive home football schedule in the country. We are glad to have an opportunity to partner with our friends from NACDA."
TCU completed the year with an overall record of 10-2 and was 7-1 in the Western Athletic Conference, earning a share of the conference title. The Horned Frogs were ranked 18th in the ESPN/USA Today poll and 21st in the AP poll. They completed the season with a loss to Southern Mississippi in the Mobile Alabama Bowl. This year marks TCU's first season in Conference USA.
"Having the opportunity to participate in the Pigskin Classic is in keeping with where we want our football program," says TCU Director of Athletics Eric Hyman. "Playing against Nebraska is a validation of our program and recognition of the commitment TCU has made to football. This game will be a wonderful opportunity to be measured against the best."
This is the first appearance in the Pigskin Classic for both teams, although Nebraska has played in NACDA's Kickoff Classic three times, with victories over West Virginia in 1994; Texas A&M in 1988; and Penn State in the inaugural game in 1983.
Nebraska leads the series with TCU, which dates to 1951, 5-1. The most recent game occurred in Lincoln in 1975, with a victory for the Huskers.
Nebraska Head Coach Frank Solich enters his fourth year with the Huskers, with a school and career record of 31-7. After winning the conference championship, Solich was named the 1999 Big 12 Coach of the Year by AP and his league peers. He had previously been an assistant at Nebraska for 19 years. A graduate of Nebraska, Solich is one of 15 current Division I-A football coaches who played and coached for their alma mater.
"We look forward to kicking off the season against an excellent opponent such as TCU," says Nebraska Head Coach Frank Solich. "The Pigskin Classic provides a very attractive game for our fans. While it makes for a very challenging schedule this season, the team feels it will be a benefit for our program. We believe that an additional game will give our younger players a chance to gain valuable experience."
TCU Head Coach Gary Patterson begins his first full year at the helm, although he assumed the position of head coach in the Frog's bowl game last season. Patterson had been an assistant coach for 18 years, including the last three as TCU's defensive coordinator and safeties coach. He had previously coached at New Mexico, Kansas State, Tennessee Tech, Pittsburg State, UC-Davis, California Lutheran and Sonoma State.
"This will be a good measuring stick for us," says Gary Patterson, TCU head coach. "We have been working to build our program to get to that higher level and Nebraska represents that level which we are trying to reach. This is an outstanding opportunity for us and gives our fans, alumni, players and recruits a chance to see where this program is and where we are going. We're looking forward to the challenge."
Proceeds from the Pigskin Classic go to the participating institutions, the American Football Coaches Foundation, NACDA and the NACDA Foundation. As a result of this game and the NACDA-sponsored Kickoff Classic, close to $500,000 in postgraduate scholarships are awarded annually. This includes a $5,000 postgraduate scholarship being awarded one student-athlete from each of the four schools participating in the preseason games. Since 1983, the NACDA Foundation has provided more than $9.5 million in postgraduate scholarships.
The NACDA Foundation provides educational assistance to NACDA members and to student-athletes. The Foundation annually sponsors workshops and clinics to continue in the educational efforts of its member athletic directors, assistants and associates. This includes workshops for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA); marketing, facilities and fund raising workshops; and seminars on the administrative issues of interest to athletic directors. The Foundation also sponsors an internship program for aspiring athletics administrators. Currently, more than 100 students have benefited from this program, working from three to nine months at NACDA's national office.