What a difference a year can make. In 2011, North Texas hosted the Super Bowl, TCU won the Rose Bowl, the Mavericks were NBA champions and the Rangers went to their second straight World Series. There weren't that many highs in 2012. TCU put together an impressive inaugural season in the Big 12 but never had the BCS in its sights. The Mavericks and Rangers were knocked out of the first round of the playoffs and followed with rough off-seasons. The Cowboys, meanwhile, haven't changed, walking the dubious line between .500 and fringe playoff team. Here's a look at the area's sports stories of the year:
Texas A&M wins the Meineke Car Care Bowl under interim coach Tim DeRuyter. ... The Cowboys fall to the Giants 31-14 on New Year's Day as they are eliminated from postseason contention. ... Houston defeats Penn State to win the TicketCity Bowl in Dallas, as quarterback Case Keenum leaves a winner. ... Arkansas rolls to a 29-16 victory over Kansas State in the Cotton Bowl. ... Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, fresh off winning the Heisman Trophy, announces he'll enter the NFL Draft. ... The Cowboys name Bill Callahan as offensive line coach and Jerome Henderson as secondary coach. ... The Rangers sign Japanese sensation Yu Darvish to a six-year, $60 million contract. The contract comes after the team bid a record $51.7 million posting fee. ... Texas Hall hosts its final men's basketball game, as UT Arlington pulls off a 63-54 victory over Stephen F. Austin. ... Rangers manager Ron Washington wins the C.I. Taylor Award from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum as the American League's top manager. Days later, the Rangers and Washington reach a two-year extension that will keep him with the club through 2014. ... Rangers star Josh Hamilton has a relapse with alcohol at a Dallas bar.
UT Arlington opens its $78 million College Park Center. The Mavs men's team has a thrilling 67-66 victory over UTSA. ... Josh Hamilton makes a public apology for his relapse, and the Rangers say negotiations of a contract extension will be put on hold. ... Former University of Texas great Ricky Williams retires from the NFL. ... The Rangers and shortstop Elvis Andrus reach a three-year deal that takes him through his arbitration-eligible years. The Rangers also reach a two-year deal with Nelson Cruz. ... North Texas football coach Dan McCarney is hospitalized after he suffers a stroke. ... TCU drug bust leads to arrest of four football players -- Tanner Brock, D.J. Yendrey, Devin Johnson and Ty Horn. ... The Rangers begin spring training with more media than ever, as just about every Japanese outlet is on hand to cover Yu Darvish's first MLB days. ... Josh Hamilton, at a spring training press conference, says he doesn't feel like he "owes" the Rangers in terms of giving them a hometown discount on an extension. ... Kolin Styles wins the Cowtown Marathon after Scott Downard is disqualified for not being a registered runner. Beth Cooper wins the women's marathon.
Baylor wins the women's Big 12 tournament, keeping its perfect record intact going into the NCAA Tournament. ... The Baylor men's team, meanwhile, reaches the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament for the second time under Scott Drew. ... Mansfield Summit girls basketball team wins the 4A state title, defeating Rockwall 45-42. ... The Cowboys place the franchise tag on linebacker Anthony Spencer. They release kicker David Buehler and cornerback Terence Newman. ... TCU makes the College Basketball Invitational, losing in the second round to Oregon State. ... Texas suffers a first-round knockout by Cincinnati in the NCAA Tournament. ... The Rangers sign Derek Holland to a five-year, $28.5 million contract. ... The Cowboys reach deals with free agents Brandon Carr and Kyle Orton. ... The Texas A&M women's team is knocked out in the Sweet 16 by Maryland, ending its hope of winning back-to-back national titles. ... The Baylor women reach the Final Four for the second time in three years. ... Mansfield Legacy's Shelbi Vaughan sets a national discus record at the Texas Relays.
Greg Biffle wins the Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. ... TCU men's basketball coach Jim Christian takes job at University of Ohio. ... The Baylor women complete a perfect season, winning the national championship. ... The Dallas Stars are eliminated from postseason contention with a 2-0 loss at Nashville. It's the third straight season of missing the playoffs for the Stars. ... The Rangers open the season with a 3-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox. Colby Lewis gets the win and Joe Nathan saves his first game for the Rangers. ... Rangers agree to five-year, $75 million extension with Ian Kinsler through 2017 with a club option for 2018. ... Popular Cowboys assistant coach Joe Avezzano dies. ... Trent Johnson is hired from LSU as TCU men's basketball coach. ... The Mavericks end the Lamar Odom saga, placing him on the inactive list. ... Yu Darvish has a rough start in his major league debut against the Mariners, but rebounds and earns a win. ... High school baseball coach Tommy Elliott announces his retirement after 30 seasons at Fort Worth Arlington Heights. He led Heights to the 1996 Class 4A state title. ... The Cowboys use their first-round draft pick on LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne. Baylor's Robert Griffin III is selected second overall by the Washington Redskins, and Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill is taken eighth by Miami. ... The Mavericks reach the playoffs, and begin a first-round series at Oklahoma City. ... Longtime Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez announces his retirement at Rangers Ballpark.
Josh Hamilton has a remarkable four-homer game at Baltimore. He becomes the 16th player in history to accomplish the feat. ... North Texas announces it will join Conference USA in 2013. ... Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne announces his retirement after 10 years at Texas A&M. ... The Red River Rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma will remain at the Cotton Bowl through 2020. ... The Mavericks and coach Rick Carlisle reach a four-year extension. ... The Dallas Stars name Hall of Famer Bob Gainey a senior adviser to the team. ... Jason Dufner wins the Byron Nelson, while Zach Johnson wears the plaid jacket a week later as Colonial champion. ... Roy Oswalt signs with the Rangers, who had placed Neftali Feliz on the DL earlier in the month with elbow discomfort.
Arlington Martin makes state tournament run in baseball before falling in semifinals to Houston Cypress Ranch. ... TCU's Whitney Gipson, a Birdville High graduate, wins the NCAA title in the long jump. She also defended her indoor title in February. ... As a final tune-up before World Cup qualifying, Mexico beats Brazil 2-0 in a soccer match at Cowboys Stadium. ... The Rangers draft -- and eventually sign -- high school prospects with their first five picks in Lewis Brinson, Joey Gallo, Collin Wiles, Jamie Jarmon and Nick Williams. ... Justin Wilson goes from 17th to first to win the Firestone 550 at TMS. TMS also hosts its first Global RallyCross event at the track. ... TCU baseball is swept by UCLA in the NCAA Super Regional. ... TCU coach Gary Patterson is chosen as cover boy for Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine. ... Rangers TV broadcaster Dave Barnett has a bizarre on-air moment with what is believed to be related to migraine headaches. He doesn't return to the booth the rest of the season. ... TCU great LaDainian Tomlinson retires from the NFL. ... Roy Oswalt makes his Rangers debut, allowing one run over 6 2/3 innings in a winning effort against Colorado. ... The Mavericks have a trade-filled draft that eventually lands them Bernard James, Jae Crowder and Jared Cunningham. ... Longtime Trimble Tech football coach John Naylor dies. ... Texas A&M names Eric Hyman as new athletic director. ... The Mavs officially rid themselves of Lamar Odom by trading him to the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Rangers have an American League-leading seven All-Stars selected -- Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre, Mike Napoli, Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler, Matt Harrison and Joe Nathan. Yu Darvish makes it eight later in the month as the Final Vote choice. ... High school baseball coach Tommy Elliott has a short retirement, returning as an assistant at Fort Worth Southwest Christian. ... Deron Williams opts not to sign with his hometown Mavericks, instead choosing the Brooklyn Nets. It's just the beginning of bad news for the Mavs, as Steve Nash heads for the Lakers and Jason Kidd bolts for the New York Knicks. ... Aledo star running back Johnathan Gray named the Gatorade high school male overall athlete of the year. ... Former Arlington Martin volleyball coach Joni McCoy is inducted into the Texas Girls Coaches Association Hall of Fame. ... After months of investigation, MLB upholds the Rangers' $4.5 million deal with Dominican prospect Jairo Beras, who receives a subsequent one-year suspension. ... The Mavericks have an off-season rebound by adding Chris Kaman, Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones. They then land Elton Brand off amnesty waivers and sign guard O.J. Mayo. ... Texas A&M takes part in its first SEC media days with new coach Kevin Sumlin. ... The Rangers lose Colby Lewis for the season with a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow. ... Delonte West re-signs with the Mavericks. ... The Rangers miss out on Zack Greinke but add Ryan Dempster and Geovany Soto at the trade deadline.
The Rangers open the month with one of their biggest wins of the season, an 11-10 victory over the Angels in extra innings. Afterward, the team announces it will bring up highly touted prospect Mike Olt. ... It's revealed that TCU quarterback Casey Pachall admitted to police that he used drugs and failed a drug test, but the team does not suspend him. ... Mavericks assistant coach Terry Stotts leaves to become Trail Blazers head coach. ... Cowboys waive former TCU running back Ed Wesley. ... Former Mavericks forward Eduardo Najera announces his retirement and becomes coach of the Mavs' D-League team, the Texas Legends. ... Lance Armstrong receives a lifetime ban and loses his seven Tour de France titles after he abandons his fight with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. ... Allen opens its $60 million football stadium against Southlake Carroll.
The Rangers call up top prospect Jurickson Profar, who homers in his first big league at-bat in Cleveland. ... Alabama rolls to a 41-14 victory over Michigan to kick off the college football season at Cowboys Stadium. ... The Cowboys show promise to start the season with a 24-17 victory at the New York Giants. ... The NHL lockout begins, as the Dallas Stars' 2012-13 season is put on hold. ... TCU unveils the $164 million refurbishing at Amon G. Carter Stadium by beating Grambling State. ... TCU wins its first Big 12 game at Kansas. ... Rangers agree to terms with Colby Lewis on a one-year deal for 2013. ... Billy Gillispie resigns as Texas Tech men's basketball coach, citing health concerns. ... The Rangers clinch a third consecutive playoff berth by splitting a doubleheader with the Angels on the final day of the month.
The Rangers have a shocking collapse to end the season, losing nine of their final 13 games. Oakland sweeps Texas in the season-ending series to win the AL West. Texas is then eliminated from the postseason by Baltimore in the inaugural one-game wild-card round. ... Days after the season-ending collapse, the Rangers announce they won't make a pre-emptive offer to Josh Hamilton and will let him test the free agent market. There is a mutual understanding, at the time, that Hamilton and the Rangers will talk before he makes a final decision. ... TCU suspends quarterback Casey Pachall after he is arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Pachall then withdraws from school to seek drug/alcohol treatment with an opportunity to enroll and rejoin the team in the spring. ... Rangers name Dave Magadan hitting coach. ... Mavericks suspend guard Delonte West for conduct detrimental to the team and waive him later in the month. ... Oklahoma routs Texas 63-21 in the Red River Rivalry. ... Cowboys Stadium learns it won't host a Super Bowl again until at least 2018. ... The Mavs receive bad news on star Dirk Nowitzki, who will miss at least six weeks after arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. ... The Cowboys receive bad news, too -- Sean Lee is out for the season as he requires surgery on his toe. They sign veteran LB Ernie Sims.
The Rangers announce Gary Pettis will be their third-base coach in 2013, as Dave Anderson moves to first. ... Jimmie Johnson wins the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, leading a race-high 168 laps. ... Texas A&M pulls off one of the biggest upsets of the college football season, winning 29-24 at then-No. 1 Alabama. ... Trent Johnson wins his first two games as TCU men's coach over Cal Poly and Centenary College. ... SMU coach Larry Brown returns to the college ranks by winning his first five games, including wins over Loyola Marymount and TCU. ... Legendary University of Texas football coach Darrell K Royal dies. ... Baylor upsets top-ranked Kansas State on the same day No. 2 Oregon loses. ... Bob Schieffer is awarded the Bobby Bragan Lifetime Achievement Award. ... TCU men's basketball loses star Amric Fields for the season with a knee injury in a game against SMU. ... The TCU football team pulls off one of its biggest wins in program history, a 20-13 victory at Texas on Thanksgiving. It's the Frogs' first win in Austin since 1967. ... Mavs sign veteran guard Derek Fisher.
The Rangers re-sign catcher Geovany Soto and also reach a deal with reliever Joakim Soria. ... The Rangers trade fan favorite and face of the franchise Michael Young to the Phillies. ... Tony Romo throws three TD passes against Philadelphia, breaking Troy Aikman's franchise record for most career TD passes. ... Stephenville wins the 3A football title with a 70-35 victory over El Campo. ... Tommy Tuberville leaves Texas Tech for Cincinnati. The Red Raiders respond by hiring former star quarterback Kliff Kingsbury, who is Texas A&M's offensive coordinator. ... Tragedy strikes the Cowboys when practice squad member Jerry Brown is killed in a single-car accident. His friend, defensive lineman Josh Brent, who was driving, is charged with intoxication manslaughter. ... The day after the tragedy, the Cowboys have an emotional win at Cincinnati, 20-19. ... Texas A&M freshman sensation Johnny Manziel wins the Heisman Trophy and Davey O'Brien Award. ... Josh Hamilton bolts the Rangers for the division rival Angels, leaving without giving the Rangers a chance at a final offer. ... The Cowboys, on the brink of playoff elimination, come through with a 27-24 victory over the Steelers. ... Cowboys tight end Jason Witten sets an NFL record for most catches in a season by a tight end, hauling in his 103rd against the Saints. ... The Rangers sign catcher A.J. Pierzynski. ... Former Rangers owner Brad Corbett dies. ... Mavs waive Derek Fisher at his request. ... Former Mavs coach Avery Johnson is fired by the Brooklyn Nets. ... Texas suspends and sends home quarterback Case McCoy and linebacker Jordan Hicks from the Alamo Bowl for breaking team rules. ... Rice routs Air Force 33-14 in the Armed Forces Bowl. ... Texas beats Oregon State 31-27 in the Alamo Bowl.
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760