February 28, 2013
TO THE SYCAMORE FAITHFUL:
It is hard to believe that 2013 is already here. Happy New Year to the Sycamore Faithful as you move forward this coming year. 2012 was a good year in Indiana State Athletics. Baseball finished the year strong winning the outright Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Regular Season Championship for the first time ever, and then was selected as an At Large participant in the NCAA National Championship Tournament at the Eugene, Oregon Regional. Women’s Soccer participated in the (MVC) Championship Game. Men’s Cross Country finished second in the MVC Meet where freshman John Mascari won the individual championship. He then went on to compete admirably in the NCAA Regional and National Championships. Men’s Basketball again competed in postseason play after having another successful winning season.
One of the highlights that I want to identify in this edition of “From the Desk of…” is the outstanding academic achievements of the student-athletes in our program through the fall semester of 2012. Here are some great statistics for you to have when talking about the true meaning of the term “STUDENT-ATHLETE”. We had 232 (57%) of our student-athletes receive a 3.0 GPA or higher and qualify for the Athletics Director’s Honor Roll. Of those, 124 student athletes received a 3.5 GPA or higher. Of those, 19 student-athletes received a perfect 4.0 GPA. These are truly impressive numbers. I could not be more proud of the academic accomplishments of our student-athletes. Our coaches are recruiting quality young men and women to wear the Blue and White of Sycamore Athletics proudly. Along with these excellent academic achievements, I would be remiss if I did not congratulate and thank our Student Academic Services Office under the direction of Mr. Marlon Dechausay and Ms. Tiandra Finch and their staff for their hard work and dedication in assisting our student-athletes. I also want to thank our Assistant Athletics Director for Compliance and Eligibility Mr. Joel McMullen and his staff and Faculty Athletics Representative Joe Sanders for their efforts and support in the academic achievements of our student-athletes.
Our Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams as well as our Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track teams are in full swing right now competing in a very challenging schedule. We are hopeful that they will compete well and finish strong through the season and in their meets and tournaments as they all strive to qualify for postseason events.
In December, we brought Coach Mike Sanford, Head Football Coach to the Sycamore Athletics Family. Coach Sanford came to us from Utah State University where he helped guide the Aggies to an 11-2 record and a #18 BCS ranking. Coach Sanford has an impressive football background. He was the Offensive Coordinator for Urban Meyer at University of Utah in 2004 when the Utes went 12-0. He has served as the Offensive Coordinator at Louisville and Stanford, and was the Head Football Coach at University of Nevada, Las Vegas after having spent three seasons coaching with the San Diego Chargers in the NFL. Coach Sanford has been an assistant coach at University of Southern California, Long Beach State, VMI and West Point. He was also an assistant coach at Purdue and Notre Dame, and he has maintained some strategic ties with Indiana high school coaches as well as connections that will assist with recruiting in Indiana and the region. Coach Sanford played quarterback at University of Southern California and was a part of the 1974 National Championship team there. Mike has a wonderful wife, Melinda, and two grown children. Daughter Lindsay and her husband along with their daughters live in San Francisco, and son Mike and his wife along with their daughter live in Northern California where Mike is the Quarterbacks Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at Stanford University. Please join us in welcoming Mike Sanford to the Sycamore Family when you get a chance to meet him.
I also want to welcome Mr. Phil Ness to our team. He is the Associate Vice President for Athletics Fund Raising in the Indiana State University Foundation. He will be very visible to the campus, Terre Haute and alumni communities as he gets out to meet with folks. Mr. Ness is former college basketball player and coach and has a great love for intercollegiate athletics. He brings a high level of energy and experience to our team as we strive to provide resources for our coaches and student athletes so that they can have a successful and positive experience.
There are some exciting things happening in several of our sports in regards to facility improvements. The Annex, which is a practice facility for Baseball/Softball, and several other sports, has been a terrific boost to several of our programs. A new state-of-the-art Track and Field facility will break ground in fall of 2013. The South Arena has undergone a total transformation and now serves as our Men’s and Women’s Basketball practice facility as well as our competition facility for our Volleyball program. A new floor will be installed in the South Arena Summer of 2013. When facilities are being constructed and improvements are being made, it is an indicator of growth development and strength of the program and the University.
Exciting times are ahead for Sycamore Athletics. Thank you for all of your support. The foundation is being laid and the future looks bright. As well as things are going right now we are just getting started. I hope you are involved in being a part of the fun.
I will see you at the games.