As we conclude the spring semester, I am proud to present this month's State of the Panthers update.
First, I want to talk about WHY do we do what we do? Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in a character development and leadership training event at the U.S. Air Force Academy. As you can imagine, these are crucial training tools for our nation's military. They are also critical learning tools for college students. It was a fascinating experience that will benefit GSU athletes going forward.
In one of our sessions, the following John Scharr quote was shared: “The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made. And both the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination.” This is WHY coaches' coach, teachers' teach, and the rest of us support that mission. Georgia State is an institution that changes lives for thousands of kids daily. It's WHY we ask you to be Panther Athletic Club members to support our scholarship goals, it's WHY we ask you to buy tickets and enjoy the competition, it's WHY we spend countless hours working to build our fan base. Every dollar we generate is efficiently used to the benefit of our student-athletes. We thank everyone who gives and know that we will keep working until our ticket base and PAC donor levels exceed that of our peers. So, THANK YOU TO THOSE ALREADY ON BOARD and I challenge all who are reading, but not involved TO JOIN THE PAC AND BECOME A TICKET BUYER!
Secondly, I want to congratulate coaches Brett Ross and Joe Inman for recent Sun Belt Conference Championships. Men's Tennis plays Kentucky in Winston-Salem N.C. on Friday, May 12, while Men's Golf plays in the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional on May 15-17. If you're in either area, please come support the Panthers. Because of their championships as well the success of our other teams, we currently stand in second place in the Sun Belt Conference all-sports championship chase. This is our highest spot since joining the league and we look to gain additional points as softball, women's outdoor track and field, and baseball conclude their seasons. Hopefully, additional NCAA participants come from these teams as well.
Third, we recently hosted our annual Golden Panther Awards banquet on campus. A highlight of the night was the induction of our second Hall of Fame class. It is a great feeling to see those so connected to the history of our athletics program celebrated at an event involving our current student-athletes, coaches, and staff. A second highlight is to watch an event so well produced that is 100% orchestrated by our student-athlete leaders. Special recognition goes to Trey Payne (football) and Sarah Renner (court volleyball) for their outstanding work as MC's for the event. I also want to recognize several of our award winners, including women's cross country (3.97 cumulative team GPA); men's golf (3.81 GPA); Sarah Agnew (beach volleyball) for winning our Student-Athlete Inspiration Award; Bob Murphy (athletic trainer award); Erik Paz (administrator award); coach-of-the-year Ricardo Page (women's track and field); and Gary Wilson for the Maria Urbina Award. Again, these fantastic people plus hundreds more like them are the WHY we do what we do.
Fourth, all is well with the GSU Stadium construction. Great opportunities exist for ticket buyers to come select their seats and see first-hand the progress. We also have suites available for sale. The PAC staff is ready to be your one-stop shop for tickets and parking for the upcoming football season, which will be here before we know it.
Last, but certainly not least. We congratulate and celebrate the 61 GSU student-athletes graduating this week. You will always be members of the Panther Family. We are also excited to see our grade reports come out later this week as I believe that they will be record-setting once again. Job well done!
As always, THANK YOU!
Director of Athletics