Countdown to Conference USA: Get To Know North Texas

July 1 will be an important day for the Charlotte 49ers as it will be their first back in Conference USA. So running until the 30th, we’re taking a look at all the C-USA teams going in alphabetical order-from ECU to UTSA. We’ll also profile the affiliate members (Kentucky, New Mexico and South Carolina-men’s soccer; Colorado College-women’s soccer).

Get caught up: ECU | FAU | FIU | Louisiana Tech | Marshall | MTSU

University of North Texas
Nickname: Mean Green
Location: Denton, TX–pop. 113,383
Enrollment: 28,911 (fall 2012)

North Texas, making the jump from the Sun Belt along with FAU, FIU and MTSU, definitely holds the title for the most unique nickname out of all the C-USA schools.  They actually got it in 1966 as a nickname for their highly-touted defensive unit.  Pro Football Hall of Famer “Mean Joe” Greene actually got his nickname while in the NFL when the Steelers fans thought he had picked up that nickname while at North Texas.  Of course, “Mean Joe” is known outside of sports circles for this:

Sport-by-sport year in review
Football (4-8, 3-5)
Home field: Apogee Stadium
Things have been tough for the football team in recent years, and with a move to C-USA pending, it probably won’t get much easier at least for the foreseeable future.  They haven’t enjoyed a winning record since 2004 (7-5), a season that ended in a loss in the New Orleans bowl.

Men’s Basketball (12-20, 7-13)
Home court: UNT Coliseum (The Super Pit)
A bumpy year, coupled with a disappointing season by highly-touted sophomore Tony Mitchell, saw the Mean Green get booted from the Sun Belt Tournament in the first round.  They’re only two years removed from an NCAA bid by way of a conference championship and a year removed from a SBC runner-up showing.

Women’s Basketball (11-19, 10-10)
Home court: UNT Coliseum (The Super Pit)
Despite a 1-9 non-conference schedule, the women rallied to a .500 conference season, dropping a double-OT matchup to Louisiana-Lafayette in the first round of the conference tournament.

Baseball (N/A)
North Texas does not field a baseball team.

Softball (29-24, 12-9)
Home field: Lovelace Stadium
The softball team dropped a semifinal contest to South Alabama in the Sun Belt Tournament, the second straight year the squad has lost in the semis.  But they have shown the ability to compete with (and beat) some top-25 ranked teams in recent years.

Men’s Soccer (N/A)
North Texas does not field a men’s soccer team.

Other sports
Women’s soccer (16-4-2, 9-1-1) departed the Sun Belt as the conference tournament champion.  They would fall to Texas Tech in the NCAA first round but should be poised for success in C-USA…Nearly earning an NCAA bid: the volleyball team (26-12, 9-5), who slipped in the conference finals to Western Kentucky and will be another tough team to beat for Charlotte this fall…Men’s golf, who ended the season nationally-ranked, won its second-straight SBC tournament; they placed 12th in the NCAA regionals.  Rodolfo Cazaubon garnered the lowest individual score of regional golfers not in the top 3 and advanced to the national championship…Women’s tennis went to the NCAA Tournament as well by going back-to-back themselves in SBC conference tourneys.  They lost to TCU in the first round…Track and field showed well in the outdoor SBC meet, with the women winning it and the men placing 4th.  Several athletes advanced to the NCAA Championships from regionals, including Steven White (3rd in 400-m hurdles at NCAAs, qualifying for the USA Outdoor Championships).  Both the men and women took 2nd in the SBC indoor meet…In cross country, the men (2nd) and women (6th) each saw strong showings at the SBC meet in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  Jo Adams would then finish 16th overall for the women at regionals in Fayetteville, AR.

Topics: Conference USA, North Texas Mean Green

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  • THOR —

    North Texas didnt get its nickname from Joe green

  • Steve

    “Mean Green” was coined for the defense by then-AD’s wife, Sidney Sue Graham. Joe Greene was playing DL at the time, but was known only as Big Joe until he was drafted by Pittsburgh.

    It’s a common misconception (fueled by Hayden Fry’s biography), but one that should be noted and – if at all possible – corrected.

  • PickAxeDigest

    Corrected. Thanks guys.

  • GREENJOE

    The fact in the story have been corrected and are now accurate. Thanks.

  • North Texan

    Thanks for the corrections. It is a common mistake.

  • Jim

    Thanks for making the correction. As has been said, it is a common misconception but we are a little sensitive about this. One other small point, La Tech came from the WAC, not the Sun Belt. I live in Roxboro and look forward to some UNT-Charlotte games.