Baseball a Winner at Halfway Point

Samford's baseball team owned a 16-12 record midway through the 2002 season, including wins over Auburn, 25th-ranked Stetson, and local rivals Birmingham-Southern and UAB. Pitcher Frank Allen Yeilding (31) was National Player of the Week after pitching a no-hitter against VMI in his first start. Six Bulldogs were hitting .300 or better, topped by catcher Grant Caldwell's .398. First baseman Heath Owen (8, scoring against UT-Martin) led in homers with five.

Baylor, Five Future OVC Foes
Highlight 2002 Football Slate

Samford will play I-A Baylor and five future Ohio Valley Conference opponents in football this fall. The 2002 schedule--the Bulldogs' last as a I-AA independent--also includes perennial I-AA power Youngstown State.

"This schedule is a good one for our kids, because it gives us good opportunities to grow our program," said Head Coach Bill Gray. "We open with three of our first four games at home, but it is killer at the end with four of five on the road."

Samford will play future OVC foes UT-Martin and Tennessee Tech at home, and Jacksonville State, Murray State and Southeast Missouri State away. The Bulldogs will visit Big 12 member Baylor Sept. 7 and end the season Nov. 23 at Youngstown State, last year's 15th-ranked I-AA team.

Other games are at home against North Alabama, Nicholls State and Alcorn State, and away against Morris Brown.

Samford was 5-5 last year, winning four of its last five. The bulk of that team returns. The Bulldogs will join the OVC in 2003.

Samford 2002 Football Schedule

Youthful Men's Basketball Team Finishes Higher Than Expected

Samford men's basketball coach Jimmy Tillette divides the 2002 season into three seasons: uncertainty, achievement, then disappointment.

With 10 freshmen and sophomores among 13 team members, the Bulldogs were picked to finish eighth in the Atlantic Sun Conference. They sprang to a 7-3 start and went on the finish in a tie for fourth But they lost in the first round of the conference tournament and finished 15-14.

"We've ratcheted up our expectations so that we think we can go to the [NCAA] tournament every year," Tillette said. "So, our finish was a disappointment. I don't think you can point to any one reason. We were a very young team. We had injuries and illness that took away some of our early momentum. Our league was its strongest ever."

Samford led the league in two statistical categories, scoring defense (allowing 60.3 points a game) and field-goal percentage (hitting 47.8 percent of its shots).

Senior guard Chris Weaver led the team in scoring (13.7) and was an all-conference second team selection. Freshman forward Jon Mills was named conference Newcomer of the Year.

As always, Tillette looks to next year. The team will be more experienced, but an "unsettled" situation in terms of who will start should provide a motivational advantage, he said. Eleven players return.

There's another factor Samford fans may remember. The last time Tillette had a team this young, it followed up with two consecutive conference tournament championships.

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Maintained by University Relations. Last updated: June 18, 2002

Spring 2002
Vol. 19, No. 1

Seasons Staff

William Nunnelley
Mary Wimberley
Associate Editor
Jack Brymer
Contributing Writer
Sean Flynt
Contributing Writer
Scott Camp
Multimedia Graphic Designer
Donna Fitch
Web Designer & Editor
Janica York
Editorial Assistant
Caroline Baird Summers

Samford University Alumni Association Officers 2002-03

Bennie Bumpers '63
Sonya Bumpers '63

Tom Armstrong '73
Vice President

Brooke Dill Stewart '95

Seasons is published quarterly by Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, Alabama 35229, and is distributed free to all alumni of the University, as well as to other friends. Samford University is an Equal Opportunity Institution and welcomes applications for employment and educational programs from all individuals regardless of race, color, age, sex, disability or national or ethnic origin.