Dear Tiger Nation,
I hope that your new year is off to a magnificent start! While 2011 was great for Towson Athletics, our expectation for 2012 is that we will continue to build on our many successes and improve where we have not reached our goals.
All of us on campus are pleased to have our new President, Dr. Maravene Loeschke, back home here at Towson. As the first alumna of TU to serve as President, I cannot imagine anyone who has ever served in this position to be any more dedicated to the pursuit of excellence for Towson than Dr. Loeschke. I can report that she is a big sports fan – she already has a football game ball from our win over Richmond in her office – and that even before she started full time, she reached out and joined the TIGER CLUB.
You can find her at almost every campus event, including last weekend’s swim meet and most home basketball games where she is also a courtside season ticket patron.
Welcome Dr. Loeschke and know that everyone in Tiger Nation is behind you moving our University forward.
One of the first events that I had the pleasure of attending this month was FCS Football Awards Ceremony in Frisco, Texas. What a night for Towson University as Terrance West was named the winner of the inaugural Jerry Rice National Freshman of the Year Award and head coach Rob Ambrose ’92 was presented with the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year award. Towson Football is one of only four FCS schools to have won three of the four major FCS Football awards as West and Ambrose join Dave Meggett, the winner of the 1988 Walter Payton National Player of the Year Award. Special thanks go out to Fathead, Inc. for their support of the awards along with Mickey Charles and Craig Haley of The Sports Network for their commitment to helping grow the brand of FCS Football.
Our football team’s CAA Championship and advancement to the NCAA Playoffs capped off an outstanding Fall Sports season that saw three teams (volleyball, field hockey, football) advance to the postseason and five of the six fall teams improve on their overall records from 2010. The achievement also continued to gain momentum in the classroom as you can see from these numbers below:
• 11 of 20 teams
improved their semester team GPA from the previous FALL 2010 semester!
• 11 of 20 teams
had over a 3.00 for the FALL 2011 semester!
• 14 of 20 teams had a cumulative GPA over a 3.00!
· • 125 student-athletes made the Dean’s list with a 3.50 and higher GPA!
· • 14 student-athletes had a perfect 4.00 GPA!• 272 of 485 student-athletes received a 3.00 or higher – 56% of the total student-athlete population!
· • Towson University Athletic Department overall semester GPA is 3.03 and cumulative GPA is 3.07!
Kudos to our student-athletes and the academic achievement staff on a job well done!
As we move full force into the winter sports season, our nationally-ranked swimming and diving teams will return to Burdick Pool this weekend for a meet against CAA foe George Mason. The meet begins at 1 p.m. and will be our next to last home meet of the season. The Tigers will close out 2012 at home on January 27 against Johns Hopkins before the tapering begins in advance of the CAA Championships, which run Feb. 22-25 in Fairfax, Va.
Tiger Gymnastics hits the mats for the first time this weekend on the road at at Ursinus with West Chester, Springfield, Wilson College also competing. The Tigers are a veteran group led by seniors Kacy Catanzaro, Alyssa Dittman, Avis Hixon, Lindsay Poplaski and Kady Sullivan. Towson opens the home portion of the schedule at the Towson Center on Sunday, January 22 against William & Mary and Alaska Anchorage. The complete 2012 meet schedule can be found here.
Women’s Basketball is off to a strong 10-4 start and is back in the Towson Center tonight against William & Mary. 11th-year head coach Joe Mathews’ crew is also paced by five seniors and should make a strong run in the CAA this season. Towson won its league opener against two-time defending CAA Champion James Madison back in December and faces a tough part of the slate after tonight’s home game, playing three of the next four games on the road. For a full listing of the remaining home games this season click here.
The challenges that our men’s basketball team is facing are substantial, but I remain stedfast in my belief that we are building a program and not a team under first-year head coach Pat Skerry. While we can all take heart in a strong recruiting class that is already signed I urge you to stay behind the 2011-12 team and give them the same support as you would a team that could be undefeated. We have had a rough road as far as men’s basketball goes over the past 16 years and that tide is turning. These young men are working hard and have had more than their fair share of setbacks and challenges, but that is the beauty of sport – you can take these athletics’ experiences and use them to be better people in the game of life.
With six home games remaining (men’s basketball schedule), I hope that you will come out and support the Black & Gold and help cheer them on as they try their best in representing Towson University.
I’d like to take this chance to welcome our newest Tiger Athletics employee to campus, Eric Reinke, who will be joining us later this month as our new Assistant Business Manager. Eric comes to us from the University of Florida where he worked with Gator Athletics in the management of their $96.4 million dollar budget and 18-sport program.
In closing, I want to call your attention to the NCAA Convention that is taking place this week in Indianapolis, Indiana. At no time in the history of college athletics in this country has there been more debate over what path college athletics will be headed. I encourage you to seek out as many sources of information as you can to get a full understanding of the important issues that are being debated and the real impact of the decisions that could be made over the next few days, weeks and months.
I plan for our new TIGER CLUB Executive Board, along with a group of more than two dozen former Towson student-athletes, to discuss how these new NCAA decisions will impact Towson Athletics. I will also schedule several Tiger Athletics Open Forums in the coming months that will afford you the opportunity to see our presentation and ask your questions directly to members of our Athletics Leadership Team. Stay logged in to www.TowsonTigers.com for more information on these events.
In order to continue to compete and establish long-term winning ways in the CAA we need to increase our level of private financial support of Towson Athletics. On average, Towson places in the bottom half of the league in discretionary budget comparisons and annual dollars raised. There are two simple ways you, our dedicated fans and partners, can help the Towson team: be generous with your time, attending our big games and be generous with your money.
Our vision for Towson
Athletics is to become one of the greatest success stories of the NCAA.
Your MONEY Produces INFLUENCE
That Effects RECRUITING
That Generates WINNING
That Impacts The BRAND of Towson
I am proud to report that TIGER CLUB dollars are hard at work right now in the Unitas Stadium Field House where the locker rooms for women’s lacrosse, field hockey and track and field/cross country are being renovated.
This will be the first time that T&F/CC head coach Roger Erricker and his team will actually be housed at their home venue which is a major change for the better. Later this spring the football locker rooms will also be renovated, thanks to the generosity of TIGER CLUB benefactors. Click here for a look at how TIGER CLUB funding helped renovate the men’s lacrosse locker room (Photo Gallery).
Additional capital projects are in the planning stages and will be announced later this spring as part of a new Athletics Facilities Master Plan that is being assembled. This will help guide our fundraising with specific projects that all match with our 2016 objectives and long range planning.
As always, we appreciate your support of the TIGER CLUB and the great work our many volunteers do on a daily basis. The main reason we are all associated with TU athletics is to serve the best interests of the student-athletes. Through fundraising we are able to provide the much needed scholarship support to our young people. I have had the chance to meet many new TIGER CLUB members over the last few months and I can report that the enthusiasm around the Towson Tigers is growing every day. I thank each of you for your support and generosity in helping us set the pace towards reaching our TOWSON 2016 fundraising goal of $8,000,000 by the year 2016.
If you know of someone who is a Towson fan or alumnus, but is not a member of the TIGER CLUB, be sure and share your positive experience with them and encourage them to join. For more information, please check out the all new TIGER CLUB site on the web at www.TheTIGERCLUB.net
Thanks for your support of our student-athletes, coaches and staff –
With Black and Gold Pride...
Ticket Office: 1-855-TUTIGER (1-855-888-4437)