A Message From Brian Hardin

first_imgHappy New Year Bulldogs!  I hope you had a happy and safe New Year’s Eve and that 2018 is off to a great start for you and your family. 2017 wrapped up quite nicely for our men’s and women’s basketball programs and I’m excited for what this new year will bring both of our basketball teams as well as the rest of our student-athletes.I have been on the job at Drake for three weeks and have been so impressed by the interactions I have had with so many members of the Drake University family.  From student-athletes to coaches to staff members to faculty members to community leaders to alumni and many more, the welcome my family and I have received has been overwhelmingly positive.On an occasional basis, I will look to update you via this platform on happenings within our athletics department.  You can expect to see news and notes in this communication to you about anything connected to Drake Athletics.  I also want to provide an opportunity for you to ask questions or send concerns to me that I can attempt to address in these updates.  I will try to include some questions sent to me in each of the newsletters I send out to you.  You can submit your comments/questions for this newsletter to [email protected] Below are a few items I want to make you aware of right now.GO BULLDOGS! DOLLAR DAY AT MEN’S BASKETBALLOur men’s basketball team is off to a great start in the Missouri Valley Conference.  We currently are 2-0 and are tied for first place in the Valley.  At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 3, we host Illinois State in a battle of first-place teams.  We are looking to pack the Knapp Center and hope you will join us. We would like this group to be a cross-section of our fan base.  In an ideal situation, we would have representatives of a variety of demographic groups.  This is also not limited to only Central Iowa residents, Drake alumni or current season ticket holders.  The Fan Advisory Council is open to anyone who is passionate about Drake Athletics, the Drake Relays or Drake University.COMMITTEE INFORMATION >>> Congratulations Nathan Clayberg (Pella, Iowa) and Tanner Evans (Grenta, Neb.) from football, Ali Smith (Lenexa, Kan.) from women’s soccer and Ryan Merideth (East Moline, Ill.) and Aleksi Tuominen (Helsinki, Finland) from men’s soccer on this outstanding recognition.FAN ADVISORY COMMITTEEIn an effort to increase the dialogue between our fans and our athletics department, the Drake Athletics Fan Advisory Council has been created.  The Fan Advisory Council will assist the athletics department in evaluating and enhancing the overall fan experience at Drake Athletics events.  Members of the Council will offer thoughts and insights on a range of topics including game day atmosphere, customer service and other department initiatives. The best accomplishment, in my opinion, was the fact we had five student-athletes earn Academic All-America accolades during the fall.  Our five Academic All-Americans led the nation this fall.  Drake had more Academic All-Americans this fall than Duke, Northwestern, Stanford and Vanderbilt – combined!center_img Our women’s team is also 2-0 and tied for first place in the Valley.  Our win over Loyola on New Year’s Eve capped an undefeated calendar year of play in the conference.  The program Coach Baranczyk and her staff have built is incredible and the members of the women’s basketball team are tremendous representatives of our athletics department and university.ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICANSIt was a successful fall for many of our teams in the athletics department.  From our women’s soccer team winning the regular season of the Valley to our volleyball team qualifying for the conference tournament for the first time in seven years and a men’s cross country runner earning Freshman of the Year honors for the Valley, the 2017-18 school year got off to a great start at Drake. To that end, we have created a Dollar Day promotion for Wednesday evening.  General admission seats in the upper level are available for $1, but must be purchased prior to arriving at the Knapp Center on Wednesday.  Tickets can be purchased by entering promo code DOLLAR on DrakeTix.com.  At Wednesday’s game, hot dogs, popcorn and soft drinks will be available for $1.DOLLAR TICKETS >>>GAME PREVIEW >>>MEN’S AND WOMEN’S BASKETBALL SUCCESSBoth of our men’s and women’s basketball teams are off to a great start in the Valley this year.  Our men’s team has won its first two conference games for the first time in 10 years and our eight wins this season are more than we had all of the previous two years.  I’m impressed by the job Coach Medved and his staff have done this year and I’m incredibly happy for the student-athletes on the men’s team – especially the seniors. ONLINE APPLICATION >>>Print Friendly Versionlast_img

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