June 20, 2007
I would like to address some points about our program over the past few years and the progress that has been made. To begin, I’d be remiss if I didn’t publicly thank the IPTAY Board of Directors for their leadership and support in helping make many of our facility projects happen as well as Phil Prince and Joe Turner for their work on the success of the $27,000,000 capital campaign. Additionally, President Barker, the administrative staff, and Board of Trustees have been extremely supportive in moving our program forward. And, I very much thank our staff and coaches for their work.
We have many challenges – the expansion of the ACC has created a more dynamic competitive environment across all sports and has made the quest for conference championships a cherished goal. For the most part, our sports are meeting their competitive goals of consistently being in the upper tier of our new twelve-member conference. This is reflected in the fact that we’ve had our sports finish in the Top Five of the conference standings 59 times since 2002-03 – for an average of nearly 12 teams each year in the upper tier of the ACC. Also, over that time span, we’ve had 29 Top 25 national finishes and 14 of those were in the Top 15. I congratulate our coaches and staff in their consistency within the conference and nationally. However, we’re still striving to bring home more conference championships. But, again, consistency across the years is the key to winning our fair share of ACC championships. As stated, expansion has created great competitive challenges. This is evidenced by outstanding success at the national level in post-season play – without actually winning the conference championship. We simply have a great competitive league. So, that’s why I say conference championships are a cherished goal.
I congratulate our coaches, Becky Bowman and the Vickery Hall staff for outstanding achievement in academics through their cooperative work. Retention and GPA’s are at an all time high and our NCAA graduation success rates are very good.
In community service initiatives, Linda White and Jay Crout have done a great job in enhancing community service initiatives through the “Be A Tiger”- Solid Orange Squad programs. This past year, 419 student-athletes participated in 131 different community service events logging 3,671 total hours of work. And, our coaches and staff continue to do an outstanding job in their own personal community service efforts.
All in all, we are making progress and I’m proud of our coaches, staff, and student-athletes.
In Solid Orange, Terry Don Phillips Director of Athletics
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