Broncos Sports First Blog

  • Bronco football slated for two BTN games under the lights

    Posted by Carolyn Binder

    WMU Football on BTN

    Note: For WMU Football score updates, text BRONCOS to 80373

    KALAMAZOO (WKZO) – In his first year as head coach of the Western Michigan football team, PJ Fleck and the Broncos are slated to appear in two Big Ten Network primetime games this season.

    The Broncos open their season on August 30th at Michigan State.

    READ MORE HERE

  • A pair of future Broncos ranked among North America's elite skaters

    Posted by Carolyn Binder

    KALAMAZOO (WKZO) – A report released by the NHL Central scouting department ranks two future members of the Western Michigan hockey team among the elite skaters in Northern America.

    With the 2013 NHL Early Draft coming up this summer, forward Michael McCarron has been ranked 35th while defenseman Paul Stoykewych is ranked 204th. Both players signed with WMUin November 2012.

    McCarron, a 6-foot-5 220-pound forward is a native of Macomb Michigan. He has skated in the United States National Team Development Program in both the USHL and internationally. Playing in 56 games total, he has tallied 34 points on 13 goals and 21 assists, racking up 174 penalty minutes. He has maintained a steady presence in the Central Scouting rankings all year. McCarron is currently with Team USA in the World U-18 Championships in Sochi Russia.

    Stoykewych, a 6-foot 200 pound defenseman has recorded 10 goals and 52 points in 109 games for the Winnipeg Blues of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Stoykewych is finishing his second season with the Blue.

    Western Michigan opens their first season in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, with the conference schedule slated to open on November 1st at home against Colorado College. WKZOis the flagship station for Bronco hockey. 

  • PJ Fleck - "It's what you do in Kalamazoo"

    Posted by Carolyn Binder

    KALAMAZOO (WQLR) – “Row the boat.”

    If you live in Kalamazoo, you know that these words are associated with the new look Western Michigan University football team and their new head coach, PJ Fleck. Fleck introduced a myriad of new sayings into our vocabulary during his introductory press conference in December, and he has a new one for the students at WMU.

    “It’s what you do in Kalamazoo.”

    Fleck vowed in December to fill the stands at Waldo this fall, and he’s turning to the students for help. As the team has started Spring Practice, they will host a special practice on April 12 under the lights called “Nekton Neon Night”. What exactly is a Nekton? Here’s the definition that Fleck and his staff hopes will come to fruition with this program this season:

    An actively swimming organism in a body of water, usually oceans or lakes, that is able to move independent of water currents, circumstances never dictate its behavior.  NEKTON’s are always attacking, and never full.  (Great White Shark)”

    This is the mentality that Fleck expects from his team, and is hoping to get from all WMU fans that come to Waldo Stadium this fall. The event on April 12th will allow students to interact with the team and Fleck, and also win some great prizes.

    The event will start at 9 pm. The team’s new DJ will perform, Fleck will address the crowd, and the team will conduct one of its spring practices to give students an idea what a game day experience will be like. Vendors will also be on hand with free food for everyone.

    Prizes can be won by interacting with many different forms of social media, here’s how to get in on the prizes:

    • Wearing neon
    • Wearing WMU football gear
    • Creative depiction of Row the Boat
    • Tweeting the definition of a NEKTON
    • Checking in at Waldo Stadium with a pic of the event
    • Submitting a video via Vine or Tout while at the event saying Row the Boat

    Leading up to April 12th, follow @WMUBroncoFans on Twitter for details, and use the hashtag #NEKTON when submitting pictures, videos and checking in for the event.

    Watch the latest Spring Practice recaps from WMU here.

    PJ Fleck talks about #NEKTON Neon Night:

     

     

     

  • Bronco fan hits half-court shot, wins Qdoba for a year

    Posted by Carolyn Binder

    With the support of a jam-packed student section, Steve Jarzambek gave them something else to cheer about besides the Broncos' seventh straight win. Jarzambek hit a lay-up, free-throw, three-pointer, and the all important half-court shot and won Qdoba for a year.

    Here's a birdseye view of the shot courstesy of Bronco Insider:

  • WMU Athletic Department asks Lunatics to clean up their act

    Posted by Carolyn Binder

    The Lawson Lunatics are well-known around the college hockey world for their loud cheers and wild antics. They are what makes Lawson Ice Arena one of the most formidable places to play in college hockey. However their behavior has crossed the line, and sparked this response from the athletic department:

    #Lawson Lunatics,

    You are the best student section in the land, but remember you need to do so in a positive and appropriate manner.

    Gestures and Language

    We have received multiple complaints about your language and gestures towards the visiting teams, and especially the young children riding on the back of the Olympias during intermission. Due to the immature gestures used by you, The Lawson Lunatics, we have suspended the tradition of having young Bronco fans ride the Olympias for at least the remainder of the season.

    We want you to be loud, Bronco proud and cheering FOR your Broncos. You need to do this in such a way that you are building up your Broncos, not using inappropriate language and putting down our opponents.

    Make Lawson Ice Arena a place that Bronco Alumni and fans are proud to bring the young children and friends too. We want to show you off and promote you as the best student section in the land, but your behavior has to change. You are all old enough to know what is appropriate and what is not. PLEASE CLEAN IT UP!

    Again, thank you for your support of our Bronco Hockey Team. Your attendance and passion is appreciated, but we need you to do so in a positive and appropriate manner.

    Sincerely,

    Western Michigan University Athletics

  • Broncos hope to change history with Bowling Green this weekend

    Posted by Carolyn Binder

    Note: For WMU hockey updates, text BRONCOS to 80373

    KALAMAZOO (WKZO) – Following a shootout loss Friday night and 3-1 win Saturday with Lake Superior State over the weekend, the 10th ranked Western Michigan hockey team starts their preparation for this weekend’s home-and-home series with Bowling Green.

    “Bowling Green has a tremendous sophomore class,” Western Michigan Head Coach Andy Murray said at the weekly press conference, adding “Their physical style of defense makes it really hard on your team. We’re looking for a battle this weekend.”

    Although the Falcons sit at the bottom of the CCHA rankings, the Broncos haven’t notched an outright win against them since November 25, 2003, a 4-3 OT win at Bowling Green.

    “They have an old building and a great crowd behind them and that makes it an extremely tough place to play on the road,” Junior Forward Chase Balisy said.

    Lawson Ice Arena represents another formidable place for visitors, boasting 4,000-plus both nights over the weekend.

    “It’s a lot of fun for our players to be able to have this type of atmosphere,” Murray said of the crowd at Lawson, “It’s by far the best part of our program.”

    This weekend’s series presents an interesting chance for Western Michigan to gain some ground in the conference standings with Miami (#2) playing out of conference in Wisconsin, but the Broncos are only looking at one game at a time.

    “We don’t really focus on rankings,” Murray commented. “We’re just trying the beat the next team we play. All I know is if you win the next game you play; you’re going to be in pretty good shape at the end of the year.”

    The Broncos and Falcons open in Bowling Green Friday night, and finish in Kalamazoo on Saturday. Both games can be heard on 96.5 FM WKZO

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  • Broncos beat the buzzer to edge High Point at home

    Posted by Carolyn Binder

    Note: For WMU men’s basketball score updates, text BRONCOS to 80373

    KALAMAZOO, MI (WKZO) - When the dust settled Thursday night at University Arena, it was an Austin Richie layup with five seconds remaining to pull Western Michigan over High Point 54-53. The Broncos are now 3-0 under Steve Hawkins against the Big South Conference. 

    The first half was dominated by Western Michigan who led by as many as 14 in the first half, and took a 12 point lead into the locker room.

    The Panthers were resilient, coming out of the gate in the first four minutes of the second half, taking the lead halfway through the second, but the Broncos late life overpowered High Point down the stretch. 

    Western Michigan relied on their strong post presence to not only get the high percentage shot, but also get to the free-throw line. Brandon Pokely led the way from the stripe, finishing 6-for-8 with 12 points on the night. As a team, the Broncos finished 12-for-20 from the line, and scored 16 points in the paint. Darius Paul was the only other Bronco in double figures, finishing with 10 points.

    Trailing by a point with 16 seconds to go, Coach Hawkins called a timeout and drew up a play designed for Nate Hutcheson. The Panther defense smothered Hutcheson on in-bounds, so it was Richie who had the ball with time winding down. Austin drove through the defense, throwing a reverse layup off the glass and through with five seconds left.

    The win lifts the Broncos record to 5-1. They host in-state rival Oakland Saturday afternoon at 2 pm.

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  • Bronco hockey welcomes challenge of Northern Michigan in weekend series at home

    Posted by Carolyn Binder

    Note: For WMU hockey score updates, text BRONCOS to 8037.

    KALAMAZOO (WQLR) – It’s been what seems like a lifetime since the Bronco hockey team has played at home. Following two games in Alaska, followed by the Thanksgiving break, they return this weekend for a pair of games with Northern Michigan, and coaches and players alike are glad to be back at Lawson Ice Arena.

    “Our team is certainly looking forward to playing at home,” head coach Andy Murray said at theweekly press conference. “Northern Michigan is coming off of a 5-point weekend themselves, so having them at home for both games will hopefully work to our advantage.”

    Northern Michigan played Alaska over the Thanksgiving weekend at home, skating to a 4-3 overtime win Friday and a shootout win on Saturday.

    “They are balanced on all of their lines, and they are a physical team that will present its challenges to us,” Murray said, “Our job is to play Bronco hockey for 60 minutes.  With the practices we had going into the break and this week, we’re looking forward to the challenge this weekend.”

    Western Michigan brings a 6-3-1 record into the weekend, 3-2-1 in the CCHA despite playing five of their last six on the road. The Broncos are ranked ninth in the latest national polls, holding that position after the Alaska series. They’ve been ranked in the top 15 every week this season, and are now in the top 10 for the third week in 2012. Coach Murray attributes the early success and resiliency to the improved play of the sophomores, and in particular defenseman Jordan Osterle.

    “He (Osterle) has improved dramatically in his physical presence from his freshman year to this season, and he is a leader on the ice.”

    Osterle has netted a goal on 14 shots, and tallied three assists on the season. He has a team-best +2 plus/minus rating along with Dane Walters.

    “I definitely made it a deliberate effort to work in the offseason to get bigger and stronger, and I am happy it’s paying off to help the team,” Osterle said. “I feel more confident with the puck, and the coaches have emphasized me shooting more from the point and I feel that I can do that now that I’m more mature.”

    Despite all of the down time since their last game, Osterle said the weekend in Alaska left the team with confidence.

    “As a team, we put an emphasis on competing in practice going into the break. It’s important that we don’t give Northern the edge from beginning to end.”

    Both games Friday and Saturday can be heard on 96.5 FM WKZO at 6:30 pm. 

  • Bill Cubit addresses football team for final time Sunday

    Posted by Carolyn Binder

    KALAMAZOO (WQLR) -- Following the termination of his contract, former WMU head football coach Bill Cubit addressed the team Sunday, and released the following statement to the media:

    I was informed on Saturday, November 17th, after the game and its press conference that the administration had reached a decision on my termination on Thursday, November 15th, before the last game took place.

    While I am deeply saddened, I wish to thank some special people who have provided unbelievable support during my career in Kalamazoo. The outstanding academic support staff led by Jeff Stone has always had the best interests of our student athletes in mind as evidenced by our outstanding APR numbers and our football team having the highest G.P.A. in the Mid American Conference. I also would like to thank people who work behind the scenes like Robin Hook, Dennis Corbin, Kyle Blecha and Mat Kanan for all they have done for our players. They were always supportive and helpful in developing the player to his fullest. I would like to thank the Kalamazoo leaders who have given support to my family and myself. Thanks to numerous friends and people in the community who are too numerous to mention for fear of missing someone. I always have appreciated their support in reaching out to Nancy and myself to make sure we are doing well. All last evening and today, we have been receiving constant messages thanking us for all we have done in Kalamazoo, and we thank you all for the supportive and encouraging calls and messages.

    We have developed many wonderful and important relationships during our time here and hope we can continue these friendships wherever our next destination may be. Thank you to our fans. I am sorry that we did not deliver what was expected to this administration, but it was not for lack of trying by myself or our staff. We have put our hearts and souls in to making this a first-class program. Our football team has overcome many obstacles that were set forth in front of them but have distinguished themselves in the classroom and in the community. We recently passed the 9000-hour mark of giving back to the community, of which they should all be proud.

    Lastly, the most important people who are directly affected by this termination are my coaches and their familes, along with the players. I cannot thank my coaches and players enough who have been part of our lives for the last eight years and three years prior as offensive coordinator at WMU. The determination and willingness to try to achieve our goals despite all the adversity will always be the true measure of a man. I have had the good fortune to see many players come in to the University with very little but hope they graduate and go on to be very successful people. They look to guidance and support to further themselves, and the coaching staff has always been there to guide our players. I am so proud of our players and coaches as our players have gone on to become great ambassadors for their university.

    I hope this University will support these players in the future and wish the team much success in all of their endeavors.

    Thank you.

    Bill Cubit

    A nationwide search for the program's 15th head coach is currently underway.  

  • Fourth straight win give Broncos USF Invitational title

    Posted by Carolyn Binder

    Note: For WMU men’s basketball score updates, text BRONCOS to 80373

    TAMPA, FL (WQLR) – The Western Michigan men’s basketball team used a late game scoring run to finish off the University of South Florida Bulls 58-53 on their home floor Sunday. The win gives the Broncos their fourth straight, and the USF Invitational crown.

    Brandon Pokley led the Bronco offense with 15 points, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range. Darius Paul added 14 points, and Nate Hutcheson recorded 11. Western Michigan finished 38.9 percent shooting from the field, making eight 3-pointers.

    Battling a 2012 NCAA tournament team, the Broncos held South Florida to 37 percent from the floor and outrebounded the Bulls 39-26.

    Short scoring runs in the second half were the difference, led by Nate Hutcheson. Following a three minute scoring drought for both teams, the senior forward hit a layup to give Western Michigan the 49-48 lead. USF cut the lead to two at 55-53 with time winding down, but Hutcheson put the game out of reach, drawing a foul on a layup with 24 seconds to go in the game.

    Western Michigan is off until November 29th when they host High Point at University Arena.

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  • Strong second half powers Albany past Lady Broncos

    Posted by Carolyn Binder

    Note: For WMU women’s basketball score updates, text BRONCOS to 80373

    KALAMAZOO (WQLR) – The Western Michigan’s women’s basketball team saw a nine point lead slip away in the second half Sunday, dropping a 68-54 decision to the Albany Great Danes at home. 

    10 different Broncos scored in the game, led by junior guard Corie Buchanan with 10 points. Sophomore Julia Henson followed close behind, pouring in three shots from long range to record nine points. Western Michigan held a 22-13 lead halfway through the first half, but Albany closed out the opening session with a 14-5 run to tie the game at the break 27-27.

    A much bigger Albany squad outrebounded the Broncos 38-29, and dominated points in the paint by a 32-16 margin. The Great Danes outscored the Broncos in the second half 41-27, gaining a double-digit lead in the first six minutes of the second half.

    “I knew we were going to struggle rebounding against these guys because they are relentless and come from everywhere,” head coach Shane Clipfell said after the game, “We’ve been outsized every game this year, and we’ve been able to manage the interior part of that. I think if we made a few more buckets when they were pulling away things would have been different.”

    Western Michigan shot 24.1 percent in the first half, finishing 30.4 percent from the floor. They improved in the turnover category, committing a season best 14 in the game.

    “Every game should be a learning experience,” Clipfell said. “As a team we’re not quite to the point of laying it on the line for others. We’re quick to find fault in others, but as things start to go wrong we have to stop that mentality. That is the challenge for this team right now."

    The loss drops the Broncos to 1-2 on the season. They travel to Flagstaff Arizona later this week to take part in a Thanksgiving Tournament at Northern Arizona. 

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  • Western Michigan head football coach Bill Cubit fired after 4-8 season

    Posted by Carolyn Binder

    KALAMAZOO, MI (1660 THE FAN) - Western Michigan University has announced today it has terminated the contract of WMU head football coach Bill Cubit. In eight seasons with WMU, Cubit carried a 51-47 record but failed to win a bowl game in his tenure.

    Along with Cubit, the entire WMU football coaching staff will not return.

    WMU Athletic Director Kathy Beauregard said in a statement the mission of Bronco football has not changed despite the changes at the coaching position.

    "Although this is a time of transition, the expectations of our department remain the same," Beauregard said. "Our vision and mission is winning division and conference titles and growing our number of postseason bowls.  We continue to value student-athlete success academically and expect them to be great citizens in this community.”

    The team will begin searching for a new head coach immediately, though WMU Athletics Director of Media Relations Mat Kanan said there is no early favorite for the coaching position.

    Cubit boasts the fifth-most wins in WMU football history and the second-most Mid-American Conference wins in program history.

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