The University of Northern Colorado Bears open their 2004 season, their second of reclassification to Division I-AA, with a familiar foe in North DakotaStateUniversity. The Bears and Bison are used to going at it on the gridiron as they battled each other in the North Central Conference from 1980 until 2002 (when the Bears left the conference). The game also marks the first-ever game in the newly formed Great West Football Conference.
The Series: 28th Meeting; NDSU leads the series 20-7, including an 8-5 record in Greeley
The Coaches: O. Kay Dalton (age 72) is 32-15 in his fifth season with Northern Colorado and 65-27 in his 10th year overall.Craig Bohl is 9-3 in his second season at North DakotaState
Radio: Bears' Radio Network (Flagship Station - Newstalk KFKA 1310-AM in Greeley).Mike Rice (play-by-play) and KFKA News/Sports Director Troy Coverdale (color) will have the call.
Television: Fox Sports Rocky Mountain (Channel 37 in Greeley)/Fox Sports North
Internet: Log onto UNCBears.com for the latest information on the Bears program including rosters, bios, statistics, releases, feature stories, box scores and much, much more.
Tickets: Call 970-351-BEAR (2327)
THE BEAR FACTS
Longtime Conference Foes Reunite Today North DakotaState and Northern Colorado are far from strangers on the gridiron. Both squads are former members of the North Central Conference and have met 27 times prior to today's contest. The Bison hold the all-time series lead with a 20-7 advantage including an 8-5 record in Greeley. But the Bears have won four of the last five meetings.
Great West Conference Debut Both the Bison and Bears helped create the newest I-AA football conference in the offseason. Since the South Dakota State-UC Davis game will kickoff later tonight, the NDSU-UNC game will serve as the first game in the inaugural year of Great West conference play.
New Look to UNC Uniforms The Bears will have a new look in the field in 2004 as they show off their new uniforms today. The players fund-raised all the money needed to purchase new uniforms.
Bears on TV in 2004 The University of Northern Colorado football program will be on TV at least three times (and possibly a fourth) in 2004. Today's game will be broadcast live by FoxSportsRockyMountain and Fox Sports North. UNC will also play two games on Altitude Sports (Dish Network - Channel 410) in contests against Idaho State (Sept. 18) and Southern Utah (Nov. 6). The start time for IdahoState will be at , while the SUU contest is still to be determined. UNC officials are in conversation with FoxSportsRockyMountain in regard to the Oct. 16 game against Florida Atlantic but no deal had been struck at press time.
Nottingham Field Celebrates its 10th Anniversary This Year The UNC Bears will be playing their 10th season in Nottingham Field this year. The Bears have tallied a 50-5 overall record at Nottingham. UNC has won 15 straight home games heading into the 2004 season. The Bears last tasted defeat at home on Sept. 29, 2001, when Nebraska-Omaha scored a 29-27 triumph. North DakotaState owns one of the five victories by opponents in Nottingham as they tallied a 28-24 win on Oct. 4, 1997.
Jackson Looks to Build Upon Record-Breaking 2003 Season Senior wide receiver Vincent Jackson (Colorado Springs, Colo./Widefield HS) broke nearly every UNC receiving record in the book last season with his 21-touchdown, 1,462-yard performance in 2003. Jackson is widely regarded as the No. 1 wide receiver at the I-AA level and will be in the running for the Walter Payton Award (I-AA's version of the Heisman Trophy).
Jackson Earns Preseason Honors Vincent Jackson has been named to four first-team preseason All-America squads. Jackson earned first-team honors from The Sports Network, Street & Smith's, I-AA.org and Don Hansen's Pro Football Gazette.
Out for the Year The Bears will be without the services of two players head coach O. Kay Dalton expected to help the squad in 2004. Sophomore defensive back Jason Hildenbrand (Wheatridge, Colo./Pomona HS)) suffered a shoulder injury in the offseason and will not this year. Redshirt freshman defensive lineman Vinny Pallone (Broomfield, Colo./Broomfield HS) had foot surgery in the offseason and will also not see action this year.
Bears Radio Network All UNC football games will be broadcast on Newstalk 1310 KFKA (1310-AM) and KSIR (1010-AM) this season. Mike Rice will handle the play-by-play duties and Troy Coverdale will provide color analysis. Gameday coverage begins 60 minutes prior to kickoff with the Bears' Pregame Show, hosted by Rice and Coverdale.
The UNC Coaches Radio Show Join UNC head coach O. Kay Dalton on Newstalk 1310 KFKA (1310-AM) and KSIR (1010-AM) on the Bears Radio Network every Tuesday at during the season for The UNC Coaches Radio Show. Broadcast live from The State Armory in Greeley, this 60-minute show is an in-depth look at UNC football and the rest of the UNC fall sports.
Blue & Gold Luncheon Every Monday at , head coach O. Kay Dalton, along with all the in-season UNC coaches, will speak at the Blue & Gold Luncheon. Held every Monday at Old Chicago (2349 W. 29th Street), you can get a great lunch for $7 and hear all about UNC Athletics.
Bears on the Move to Division I-AA The University of Northern Colorado athletic department is in the midst of a four-year transition to NCAA Division I and the 2004 season will be year two of four. While the UNC football squad competes at the I-AA level, all other UNC sports compete at the Division I level. The football squad is a member of the Great West Conference, while all other UNC squads compete as independents.
UNC Names New Director of Athletics The University of Northern Colorado athletic department named Jay Hinrichs as its new Director of Athletics on Aug. 23 at a press conference in Denver. Hinrichs comes to UNC after a two-year stint as an associated athletic director at the University of Kansas. Hinrichs replaces Jim Fallis, who took over as the Director of Athletics at NorthernArizonaUniversity this past spring.
UNC Inducts Six Individuals, 1974 Baseball Team into Athletics Hall of Fame The University of Northern Colorado Athletic Department inducted six individuals and one team into its Athletic Hall of Fame last night at the UniversityCenter on the UNC campus. All of the inductees will be honored at halftime of today's game. The six individual inductees includes: Tom Beck (Football, 1993-1996), Dennis Colson (Basketball/Track & Field/Baseball, 1963-1968), Gerry Dattilio (Football, 1971-1974), Alexis Gardner (Softball, 1976-1979), Terry (Wenzinger) Goldwater (Women's Swimming (1990-1994), Mike Rogers (1967-1969). The 1974 baseball team was also inducted into the Hall of Fame. The 1974 squad reached the College World Series under the direction of head coach Tom Petroff. It marked the 11th time a UNC team had reached the College World Series.