FROM THE DIRECTOR’S DESK- NOVEMBER 2010
Greetings from the Hilltop. The fall weather was spectacular and our teams enjoyed the opportunity to practice and compete in the sunshine. Thankfully, we did not have much in the way of inclement weather, which was extremely fortunate for all of our outdoor sports. With the absence of a turf facility, we were fortunate that our fall weather allowed us to be able to practice and compete with minimal postponements or venue changes.
Allow me to provide an update on the State of the Department and the newest initiatives.
Pack Network – we are very pleased to announce our affiliation with the Pack Network, which will allow us to broadcast all of our home football, men’s and women’s basketball and men’s and women’s ice hockey games. The Pack Network agreement provides us with the means for us to present a very professional production for all home games in these five sports. We announced the agreement with the Pack Network with a “Splash Page” on the athletic site with a direct link to the feature story and, within one day of the “splash page” announcement, we had good number of people sign up for the service. We are offering all 5 sports for $49.95 and single games in any of the five sports for $5.95. Coverage will be with three cameras in football and two cameras in basketball and hockey. Play by play and color commentary will be very good and several of our students will be involved in the game day productions, which is really an outstanding opportunity for them. For spring sports, we will hope to be able to broadcast any NE-10 home championship events, which will be included in the package or available for single game purchase. We aren’t sure that we have the technical capability at the upper fields, but we will do what we can to present championship contests.
Another exciting initiative was the availability of tailgating at home football games. In an attempt to create a more exciting and fan friendly “game day atmosphere”, we were approved to allow tailgating from 10 AM until game time. We are trying to improve the game environment and event presentation and hope that the addition of tailgating at football will help us create the fun game environment that will help support our football program. Alcohol was permitted in the picnic grove and general tailgating was in the area directly behind the stadium and around to the picnic grove. Parking for tailgating was $10.00 and all proceeds went directly to the football fundraising account. The Gridiron Club assisted with the logistics on game day.
Another very important and positive addition to the athletic program is the institutional commitment to athletic scholarships for sports other than men’s and women’s basketball. The NE-10 Conference has always allowed athletic scholarships in the sports of men’s and women’s basketball, and Saint Anselm does provide the maximum number of scholarships permitted by the NCAA. In 2003, the Conference began to allow athletic scholarships across all conference sports programs. Until now, however, Saint Anselm College has not awarded athletic scholarships in any other sports. With the support and endorsement from Dr. Joe Horton, Vice President for Student Affairs, (athletics reports directly to Dr. Horton), and the Administration of the College, we have been given the green light to award some athletic scholarships in all Conference sports. Funding for these scholarships comes from shifting funds designated as “enriched need based” financial aid that has, in the past, been mostly targeted for athletes, to athletic scholarships. This will allow us to be able to sign NLI’s (National Letter of Intent) in all of our Conference sports. A requirement of the NLI is to award athletic money to the recruit signing an NLI. We will now be able to take advantage of the NLI and get qualified, talented student athletes to “sign” with Saint Anselm during the NLI signing period. This is a very good and necessary addition to our arsenal of recruiting tools.
We have committed to a four year athletic scholarship recruiting cycle, and we believe we will see a success level that will warrant future commitment.
The Board of Directors of the Anselmian Athletic Club met for the first time on September 8 and had a very productive first meeting. We will be setting the date for the Hall of Fame induction and banquet, and the group will also be focused on identifying potential A Club members. The A Club will serve as the major fundraising arm of the department and will also strive to increase and improve communication from athletics to our athletic alumni and other interested constituents.
“Friends of” giving will soon be available on line. “Friends” gifts, regardless of the size, are so necessary and so appreciated. All “Friends” gifts go directly to benefit the designated sport. The College is doing a fine job of supporting me, my initiatives and the athletic program. However, all athletic departments, regardless of the level of support from the institution, rely on gifts and support from former student athletes, alums and interested “friends”. Examples of how “Friends” gifts will be used:
- Baseball and softball- the gifts to these programs will assist with their spring training trips to Florida. We cannot complete a 52 game schedule in the spring in New England without our teams “going south” to practice and compete over spring break. All 16 NE-10 baseball and softball teams take a spring break trip to Florida or Arizona. We must do this to remain competitive and so our student athletes are not disadvantaged.
- “Friends of Volleyball” will be helping to provide video equipment and video editing equipment to help coach Kelly Murphy provide her team with the technology necessary to film games and then to “break down” film to help them improve and to “scout” opponents.
- “Friends of Tennis” will assist with the first ever southern trip for either tennis team. By heading south for a week, the teams can compete against outstanding southern tennis teams while also practicing outside for a week when they would be in the Carr Center here at Saint Anselm. We can be more competitive within the NE-10 Conference in tennis if we can take advantage of southern trips playing ranked Division II opponents.
With improved athletic facilities, including a “must build” turf field complex, help from the Anselmian Athletic Club and our “Friends” groups, Saint A’s WILL be very competitive in all of our sports programs.
Keep watching the web site for news, “splash pages” with special announcements and the availability of on line giving for “Friends” groups.
Thank you for your support and interest in our athletic program and our dedicated student athletes and coaches.
We ARE Saint A’s!