Monday, May 21, 2018
Colleges

NCAA hockey committee praises Tampa as Frozen Four host

TAMPA — Would the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Committee consider a return Frozen Four trip to Tampa?

"Absolutely," Sean Frazier, the head of the committee, said Saturday.

"(This year's has) been outstanding. It has exceeded every expectation that I've had. The attention to detail has been off the hook."

Frazier, also the deputy athletic director at Wisconsin, cited the signs around town, events at Channelside and overall hospitality. And he wasn't the only impressed member of the committee.

"I've played in a Frozen Four. I've coached in one, and I've attended several. And Tampa has done an excellent job," Vermont coach Kevin Sneddon said. "The community certainly showed everyone that hockey is special here."

From the minute teams stepped off the plane, the Tampa Bay Sports Commission made them feel welcome. They passed through a tunnel of youth hockey players and were handed Florida oranges as a band played tropical music.

"It was pretty exciting when we first got off the plane," Minnesota defenseman Nate Schmidt said.

Wednesday's players reception took place on a yacht, and each team walked down a red carpet into the Tampa Bay Times Forum before their games. Before Saturday's title game, fans lined up several rows deep to greet Boston College and Ferris State. Thursday's semifinals drew 18,605 and Saturday's final 18,818 (both about 1,000 shy of a sellout).

Fans, too, enjoyed the change of pace from the traditional northern locales — even if the idea seemed a bit far-fetched at first.

"At first, I was skeptical of having the Frozen Four in an area that doesn't have snow and cold temperatures," said Bob Gerencser, 66, a New Haven, Conn., native who started attending the Frozen Four in 1995 in Providence, R.I.

"However, after being here for a few days, enjoying the warmth of the sun and walking around in shorts, I have found that this has been a very welcome change."

The committee already has awarded the Frozen Four to Pittsburgh in 2013 and Philadelphia in 2014. Beyond those dates, nothing is set — other than the NCAA's desire to come back to Tampa.

"Top to bottom, it's been fantastic," Frazier said. "This puts Tampa in a position where it's clear that this is a place that we would come back to."

Comments
Willie Taggart will take more fourth-down chances than Jimbo Fisher. But how many more?

Willie Taggart will take more fourth-down chances than Jimbo Fisher. But how many more?

TAMPA — Florida State coach Willie Taggart fielded an interesting question near the end of his Q&A with fans during Sunday's booster stop at Armature Works.Are the Seminoles going to be going for it more on fourth down?"We will be goin...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Athlon: Florida Gators, FSU and Miami will all finish in top 20

Athlon: Florida Gators, FSU and Miami will all finish in top 20

One of the first big nuggets from preseason college football magazines is out: Athlon's top 25.The site considers its rankings a prediction of where teams will be at the end of the year, not the beginning.Alabama and Clemson are 1-2 (no shock). Miami...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Taggart delivers a bolt to area

Taggart delivers a bolt to area

TAMPA — After spending four years as USF’s football coach, Willie Taggart knows what to expect this time of year in the area, so it’s no surprise how he began a chat with reporters Sunday before a booster stop at Armature Works."Go Lightning," he sai...
Published: 05/20/18
Willie Taggart: ‘Pretty cool’ to be back in Tampa as FSU coach

Willie Taggart: ‘Pretty cool’ to be back in Tampa as FSU coach

TAMPA – After spending four years as USF's football coach, Willie Taggart knows what to expect this time of year in the area, so it's no surprise how he began a chat with reporters Sunday before a booster stop at Armature Works."Go Lightning," ...
Published: 05/20/18
ACC football announces early kickoff times, TV info for FSU, Miami games

ACC football announces early kickoff times, TV info for FSU, Miami games

The ACC has released some kickoff and TV information for the first three weeks of the season:Week 1 (previously announced)Miami vs. LSU (in Arlington, Texas): Sunday, Sept. 2, 7:30 p.m., ABCVirginia Tech at Florida State: Monday, Sept. 3, 8 p.m., ESP...
Published: 05/18/18
Why FSU playing Boise State in Jacksonville is a smart risk

Why FSU playing Boise State in Jacksonville is a smart risk

Old, unofficial news is expected to become old, official news today with a formal announcement that Florida State and Boise State are kicking off the 2019 season in Jacksonville.  A lot has changed since the schools announced the series (FSU pla...
Published: 05/16/18
FSU-Boise State to open 2019 season in Jacksonville

FSU-Boise State to open 2019 season in Jacksonville

What had been an open secret for months is now open and shut: Group of Five power Boise State will face FSU at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville in the teams' 2019 opener.A formal announcement is expected Wednesday, but the '19 schedule on Boise's offi...
Published: 05/15/18
RHP Mark Moclair’s versatility proves valuable to University of Tampa

RHP Mark Moclair’s versatility proves valuable to University of Tampa

TAMPA — He’s the accidental pitcher who can’t be pigeonholed into a defined role. He’s a well-spoken economics major who morphs into fire-breathing intensity on the mound. And he’s one of the biggest reasons why the University of Tampa Spartans are p...
Published: 05/15/18
Police: Florida Gators recruit Justin Watkins kicked female’s car, broke her phone

Police: Florida Gators recruit Justin Watkins kicked female’s car, broke her phone

One of the Florida Gators' top incoming recruits was released from jail early Wednesday after police allege he kicked a female's car and broke her phone after an argument.Justin Watkins — a four-star athlete from Clermont — and ...
Published: 05/10/18
Why Gators’ Dan Mullen still name-drops his second grade teacher

Why Gators’ Dan Mullen still name-drops his second grade teacher

When first-year Gators coach Dan Mullen spoke to a packed crowd at the Tampa Yacht and Country Club this winter, he told stories about the stars Florida fans recognize instantly.Tim Tebow. Steve Spurrier. Percy Harvin.Then he name-dropped someone els...
Published: 05/10/18