From the Desk of Athletic Director Glenn Hofmann
This is the sixth edition of "From the AD's Desk" for 2010-11
The slogan reads 2,000 Students, 28 Players, 1 Mission - and it’s on signs all over campus, throughout Andover and North Andover and on the athletics and college website. Were it not for space limitations the slogan would have also included 22,000 alumni and 594 faculty and staff. And while the slogan is specifically referring to the beginning of the hockey team’s playoff run, it is so much bigger than that.
Really it is the celebration of Merrimack as a College.
It’s in some ways the culmination of a regular season that has seen the College through hockey receive unprecedented publicity in the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, the Eagle Tribune, on local television stations and throughout the hockey world. Merrimack is to college hockey this year what Butler was to college basketball last year. The excitement has been so much fun to be a part of, and hopefully it will continue for many weeks to come.
So many times we all work so hard for something and while we are in the midst of accomplishing some of our goals we don’t take time to celebrate and enjoy the experience. Hopefully that is not the case in this situation. Beginning last week the Merrimack campus and Lawler Arena were the center of the sport of hockey in at minimum the state of Massachusetts. The prestigious Super 8 High School Tournament is being held here and nearly 4,500 fans, many of them prospective high school students and their parents are getting their first taste of the Merrimack campus on almost a nightly basis. This weekend’s Merrimack playoff games against Maine sold out in less than two days and while some of the fans will be from up north, many are area residents who have already found out that Merrimack is a special place.
While head coach Mark Dennehy has been planning on hosting a playoff series (and much more) since he took the job we as a staff have been doing likewise for the last month, trying to maximize the experience for everyone involved. One of our sports management classes has planned a street fest prior to each game. The Dayton University Pep Band will be here all weekend long to add to the excitement (I firmly believe they are the best pep band in the country) and t-shirts with our playoff slogan will be distributed to all of our students.
Folks not associated with Merrimack may look and say why so much planning and celebrating for a first round hockey playoff series. And to them I say why not. This is somewhat of a first for all of us here and anyone associated with Merrimack should be proud not only of the hockey program, but also of the direction the College is heading in. Be proud of:
- A hockey team ranked nationally in the top-10
- 10 sellout crowds at Lawler this year
- A men’s lacrosse team that is ranked fifth nationally and just beat the 7th ranked team last week
- A men’s tennis team that will challenge for a conference title and is again a good bet to qualify for the NCAA Tournament
- A women’s and men’s track program that scored the first points in school history at the Northeast-10 indoor championships and in its first year is recruiting at a pace higher than anyone could have expected
- A women’s crew team that was just announced one month ago that had signups on campus alone of nearly 50 female athletes
- A campus that in addition to the Lawler renovations now also has a new faculty, staff, student area for dining called the Merrimack Club
- Renovations that are nearly complete on a new modernized, state of the art first floor of the library
And the list could go on and on. So let’s all celebrate Merrimack this weekend through the accomplishments of the hockey team and the beginning of hopefully a long postseason run. They are just one part of the exciting direction of Merrimack.
If you are going to the game come early and take part in the festivities and cheer loud once inside the arena. If you can’t make it to the games know we can feel your spirit and be proud of your association with Merrimack College.