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UNT homecoming promises excitement

We plan to wear our green this weekend and urge everyone to join us.

The annual homecoming celebration at the University of North Texas is already in full swing, with alumni and friends of the university gathering in Denton to take part in a variety of festivities.

If you’ve never been involved in a UNT homecoming, this is a great year to get caught up in the excitement.

The theme of this year’s homecoming is “Mean Green on the Big Screen,” a nod to Hollywood and film and a celebration of UNT’s star power. In our view, it’s a fitting choice, especially considering the Mean Green’s nationally televised victory over Rice on Halloween night at Apogee Stadium.

The win, UNT’s fourth straight, not only helped the Mean Green close in on securing its first bowl berth since the 2004 New Orleans Bowl, but it also kept alive the team’s hopes of making a run at the Conference USA West Division title.

Football will also play an important part in this weekend’s activities, of course, as fans return to Apogee Stadium to cheer on the Mean Green in the homecoming game against the University of Texas at El Paso at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

We believe this team deserves and has earned the community’s support after a string of victories culminating in the win over Rice before a national television audience and one of the bigger crowds of students in recent memory.

UNT doesn’t have a player on its roster who has played in a bowl game as a member of the Mean Green, and the win over Rice was just another step toward ending that streak.

“The seniors on this team — they have never been a part of a winning season or a team that’s bowl-eligible, so I’m really happy for them,” UNT head coach Dan McCarney said. “This is a major milestone for them, a major accomplishment. And there’s a lot of hunger in that locker room. The guys want more.”

Senior linebacker Zach Orr was around for the tough times in recent program history and could sense just how big the last win was, not only because of what the victory meant for UNT’s prospects this season but also because of how the Mean Green finished it off.

“It’s the best feeling I’ve had since I’ve been at this university,” Orr said. “We have worked so hard. The last couple of seasons we have caught some unfortunate breaks. This team has worked so hard this winter, spring and in two-a-days. We knew it was bound to happen because we all believe that hard work pays off.”

But there’s much more to homecoming than football, and alumni and friends of the university will be celebrating in many ways as the excitement continues to build and the weekend winds down.

They’ll be paying tribute to UNT’s finest homecoming traditions including the Spirit March, pep rally and bonfire tonight, and the annual parade through downtown Denton on Saturday

The big parade is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Saturday at Welch and Hickory streets. The procession will travel around the downtown Square before proceeding to the UNT campus and ending at North Texas Boulevard and Highland Street.

For complete details about homecoming, visit

We encourage the entire community to be a part of the excitement and the fun that is UNT homecoming.

After all, homecoming only comes around once a year, and what a year this has been — it’s well worth celebrating.

We’ll see you at the festivities.