Resolution Congratulating UD Basketball Team Passes the House
By Congressman Michael Turner
On July 26, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 1456, legislation I introduced earlier this year congratulating the University of Dayton’s Men’s Basketball team for winning the 2010 National Invitational Tournament (NIT). The bill passed unanimously, on a bipartisan basis, with the support of the entire Ohio delegation.
The National Invitational Tournament (NIT) is the oldest tournament in college basketball, having originated in 1938. It was the first national postseason collegiate tournament to be played in the country.
This past season, the Dayton Flyers men’s basketball team won it’s the third NIT Championship in school history. The team won the championship game on April 1st -- its first NIT championship in 42 years -- defeating the 2009 NCAA Tournament National Champion North Carolina Tar Heels 79 to 68 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The University of Dayton’s men’s basketball program boasts the all-time 2nd- -highest number of games won during the NIT, with 40.
In addition to their success on the court, the University of Dayton men's basketball team upholds a high standard of academic excellence. The program has graduated every senior student-athlete since Brian Gregory was named head coach in 2003, including seven players this season. UD graduated 96 percent of all its student-athletes in 2008, the most of any Atlantic 10 Conference school, and tied for 10th in the nation.
The University of Dayton is one of the nation's 10 largest Catholic universities and Ohio's largest private university, with an enrollment of more than 10,000 students. It ranks as one of the most selective 10 Catholic Universities in the nation according to US News World Report; second among all colleges and universities in the United States for sponsored materials research, according to the National Science Foundation; and 14th in federally sponsored engineering research and development among all U.S. colleges and universities.
The University of Dayton is a center of research excellence, and the nationally-renowned University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) is a major contributor to research and development supporting our national security. Plans are underway for UDRI and the Air Force Research Laboratory to construct and operate the nation's first federal research facility designed to create jet fuel from coal and biomass in a program aimed at creating a viable, home-grown alternative to increasingly expensive foreign petroleum-based fuel. The State of Ohio has designated the Dayton region as Ohio's Aerospace Hub and the University of Dayton is an integral partner in those efforts due to its strengths in aerospace-related research and technology-based economic development.
The UD students and faculty have been extremely active in community revitalization. In 2009, the “Savior of Our Cities” national survey ranked the University of Dayton No. 1 among Catholic universities, and No. 2 overall in positive impact on their urban communities, including both commercial and residential activities such as revitalization, cultural renewal, economics, and community service and development. In addition, the University was named to the President’s 2009 Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.
The men’s basketball program has played a major role in attracting people from the surrounding area into the city. The Flyers men’s basketball team has been one of the biggest sports attractions in the Dayton area for years. Since UD Arena opened in 1969, Dayton has been in the NCAA's top 35 in home attendance every season. This past season, the Flyers led the Atlantic 10 Conference in attendance for its 13th straight season.
As a proud alumnus of the University of Dayton MBA program, it is my privilege to congratulate University President David Curran; Vice President and Director of Athletics Tim Webler; Coach Brian Gregory and his coaching staff, including assistant coaches Billy Schmidt, Jon Borovich, and Cornell Mann, director of basketball operations Matt Farrell, strength and conditioning coach Mike Bewley, and athletic trainer Nate Seymour; and players Mickey Perry, London Warren, Rob Lowery, Chris Johnson, Dan Fox, Josh Parker, Paul Williams, Luke Fabrizius, Luke Hendrick, Logan Nourse, Marcus Johnson, Chris Wright, Devin Searcy, Matt Kavanaugh, Peter Zestermann, Kurt Huelsman, and Josh Benson on their successful season.