From the Desk of Athletic Director Glenn Hofmann
This is the second edition of "From the AD's Desk" for 2010-11
It was a sunny, 70-degree Saturday afternoon. The smell of hot dogs and hamburgers emanated throughout the campus as the football team was warming up in the background. Students were socializing playing frisbee and proving as they threw the football around that the head football coach did indeed make the correct decision in not recruiting them for the team!
And this wasn’t Florida or Alabama or Penn State or even Holy Cross for that matter. No it was Merrimack and it was yet another “new” initiative that is taking place on campus.
As we get set for what should be an exciting and energizing Homecoming and Family Weekend, Nor’easter or not, I sincerely hope you are able to make it back to campus to enjoy the many sporting events and programs that are planned for the weekend. As you have no doubt ascertained by now, a lot of changes are taking place on campus. They started last year in Athletics and have continued now campus-wide with our new president, Chris Hopey.
For change to be successful, there is one attitude that must be present and that is trust. When I took over this position 1½ years ago, I asked you to trust that we would as a department be transparent and honest in everything we did. At the time I believe I was specifically talking about the Lawler renovation project. This Saturday night our hockey team hosts UConn at 7:00, and students will now sit in a new student section behind the goal, many fans will be sitting in blue chairback seats. Blue Line Club members will have access to their seats from the club and the walk from the parking lot to the newly imaged lobby will be on a paved path with lighting rather than dirt. You will also walk through a beautiful new plaza in front of Volpe. We couldn’t have done these renovations if so many fans and alumni didn’t trust that their money would be spent wisely and specifically for this project. To all of you I say thank you.
Getting back to the tailgating, several students approached both the President and me about tailgating. We met with them and laid out some ground rules that were consistent with those that are in place at most schools throughout the country. We trusted that the students realized the success or failure of tailgating on future Saturdays for not only football but many other sports depended on how they handled the situation. Not surprisingly they did so in a fantastic way that will now benefit students for years to come as they take part in a fun-filled event that so many other students on other campuses have been able to take part in.
There is no greater trust than that between a coach and player and the better the trust the more successful the program. Our women’s soccer team is in second place under the winningest coach in Division II women’s soccer history Gabe Mejail. With a 9-3-2 overall record the team is ranked 21st in the country. The men’s soccer team is also off to a terrific start with a 9-3 overall record.
Working in a profession in which you are often judged based on the performance of 18-22 year-olds can certainly be challenging. But it sure can be rewarding and the rewarding part often starts with trust!