Nick Bray delivered, so we have a new name for my monthly series… (drumroll for effect)… State of the Panthers! So in this spirit, I offer this month’s quote: “Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up!” Thessalonians 5:11
It’s amazing to realize that next week is the Sun Belt Conference basketball tournament in New Orleans. Post-season is especially exciting, but even more so this year. Both our men’s and women’s teams can win the tournament, especially when one considers how balanced the league is this year on both sides. And it will get off to an exciting start this Saturday as The School Down South comes to the Sports Arena. We are proud to announce that the game sold out this morning and I have no doubt the atmosphere will be electric.
Secondly, yesterday continues our momentum to the start of the 2017 football season with the announcement of our schedule. For those who did not see the release, the schedule can be viewed here. Mark those dates on your calendar. At minimum, prioritize the six home games because we also appreciate fans who travel to our away games. It’s all part of building a fan base. To that end, under the direction of Brian Kelly, we have established a Fan Council with the simple objective of creating a network of supporters willing to be extensions of our marketing efforts and PAC initiatives. We are looking for doers because we need the help in growing our fan base. The first meeting is March 22 and fans can register here.
Our third Spring Tour of coaches and PAC staff begins Monday, April 10 at Berkeley Hills Country Club in Duluth and concludes Friday, April 21, at Ghost Coast Distillery in Savannah. There are five other stops in between, including Stockbridge, Atlanta, and Cobb County. Registration information is included here. The cost is only $10 and it is a great way to meet our coaches and staff, learn about the excitement around GSU Athletics and network with other Panthers.
Fourth, I hope all of you witnessed the tremendous academic honorees at our men’s basketball game versus Texas State. More than 200 of our student-athletes were recognized on court for their great accomplishments this past semester. There is a long history at Georgia State for academic achievement and we continue to outperform our peers. Each year, our goal is to be the top performing ATHLETIC and ACADEMIC program in the Sun Belt Conference.
Finally, speaking of record setters, I congratulate one of those top academic performers, softball player Ivie Drake. This past week, Ivie set a new school record for home runs by hitting her 39th in a little over two seasons no less. Ivie and the rest of her teammates are off to a great start on the season and we appreciate her and the rest of Coach Roger Kincaid’s team for what they do on and off the diamond.
See you Saturday. I understand we have some guests in town?! Wear your blue.
Director of Athletics