Jan. 6, 2005
In reviewing the past year, I think we can safely say that 2004 had its ups and downs. Though, in the final analysis, it was a year we will remember for a number of notable accomplishments.
We started the year with a great football victory over a very good and no. 6 ranked Tennessee team to win the Peach Bowl Championship.
We followed that with a season which, even with the struggles and disappointment, you have to feel good about a team not ever giving up. The fact that Clemson won five of the last six games, beat Miami at Miami and was the first team in ACC history to start 1-4 and become bowl qualified was a source of pride.The 29-7 win over South Carolina in the last game was a very sound and convincing victory over a bowl-qualified team.
In men’s basketball, Oliver Purnell had some nice wins over nationally ranked teams – North Carolina and N.C. State – in his first year. That was followed up with a good recruiting year, which gives us hope about our men’s basketball program for the future.
We had a good recruiting season also in women’s basketball, which will help us as we regain our momentum.
Our baseball team was again in the NCAA Regionals. We had success against two teams that eventually made it to the College World Series, splitting the series with South Carolina and beating Georgia three out of five games.
Our men’s outdoor track record has got to be a highlight, setting a record for number of points scored in the conference meet and winning the ACC Championship.
The performance by our women’s tennis team was a tremendous highlight, going to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament and winning the ACC Championship. Nancy Harris has done a great job.Chuck Kriese had an outstanding year in men’s tennis by advancing to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament.
Larry Penley is to be commended as Clemson won the conference and NCAA regionals this year, which is highly significant. I tell our coaches,”They do not give conference championships away. They are tough to win. So when you win a conference championship, you need to cherish it.” Our women’s soccer team again made the NCAA Tournament. I know Trevor Adair is disappointed in the season we had in men’s soccer, but we look for him to bounce back. I have come to appreciate the Atlantic Coast Conference in soccer. It is truly a great, great conference.
Some of the year’s other noteworthy achievements may not be as identifiable as wins and championships. We held the first-ever conference indoor track championship at Clemson. People really enjoyed the new facility. We believe that is going to help our track program grow.
We were also able to utilize the indoor facility during fall football practice when we had heavy rain with the installation of a 53-yard turf football playing-surface. That has added another dimension to our football practice perspective.
We have significantly enhanced our football practice configuration to the point that it is as good as any program I’ve been associated with. As we look to build the West Zone, in the interim we have been able create a very good environment with our completely renovated football lockerrooms in Jervey. We are proud to be able to put our student-athletes in a championship environment. It is also something we can recruit to.
We have added efficiency in the weightroom with new equipment. Renovations inside the weightroom have created a very good workout environment for our student-athletes. Even though we have significantly helped ourselves with our football infrastructure, it is not where we intend to stay to compete in the new ACC. We need to continue to upgrade and develop. That is why the West Zone is so important.
On balance, I would say we are not where we need to be or want to be, but good things did happen this past year. We will continue to work hard and get better.
Our goals are to consistently compete at the highest level of this conference. If you do, your prospects at the national level will take care of itself.
Terry Don Phillips
Past ColumnsDecember 15, 2004December 7, 2004November 30, 2004November 17, 2004November 10, 2004November 3, 2004October 26, 2004October 21, 2004October 11, 2004October 4, 2004
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