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From the Desk of Dan Radakovich

From the Desk of Dan Radakovich

First, from all of us in the department of Athletics, I want to wish you and your family the happiest of Holiday seasons!What a time to be a Tiger!! It’s been an amazing Fall in Clemson, and I couldn’t be prouder of the great accomplishments of all our coaches and student-athletes. Led by men’s soccer and football, this has been one of the greatest semesters in Clemson Athletics history. We’re all appreciative of the great support of the entire Clemson community, from the leadership of the Board of Trustees, President Clements, and his administration, to the tremendous passion of our students, alumni and fans. Thank you for all you do!Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Heisman Trophy celebration in New York and the College Cup Final in Kansas City. Your Tigers are representing on the largest stages of collegiate athletics, and doing so with great class and honor.Deshaun Watson was the honoree in New York, but was the first to mention his teammates that helped him get there. Four men’s soccer players were recognized as All-Americans in Kansas City, and each of them talked about the great support from the entire Clemson community.The outstanding accomplishments of the Fall weren’t limited to the “football” squads. Our men’s golf team finished the fall ranked 10th in the Golfweek Coaches Poll, the women’s soccer program finished with three top five finishes as two players earned a trio of first place finishes. Women’s tennis senior Senior Joana Eidukonyte’s advanced to the national championship match of the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.These great achievements by our student-athletes wouldn’t be possible without the passionate support of our IPTAY members and all of our fans. And our fans deserve a special note of appreciation for their presence in record numbers at Historic Riggs Field and Memorial Stadium. We sold out each of our seven football home games this year, and another 30,000 of you showed up for the selection show celebration on Dec. 6.I told Coach Swinney that our Papa John’s Pizza Party was the talk of the room at our Selection Committee meetings in Dallas, and I explained to each of them the real credit goes to our wonderful fans – many of whom helped paint Charlotte orange the night before.We’re excited to close out the fall with football playing on the biggest stage in the College Football Playoff. We’ve exhausted our allotment of tickets for the Capital One Orange Bowl, and are still accepting requests for the College Football National Championship Game. If you haven’t already done so, please visit our Bowl Headquarters for all your Orange Bowl and National Championship Game information.While everyone’s focus has been on our on-the-field successes, work continues behind the scenes to build upon our momentum. Progress on Littlejohn Coliseum is moving forward on schedule, and construction on the new football complex is underway. With the footprint of the new football complex occupying areas of the current soccer practice fields, we’ve worked with the university and will build a new soccer practice area on the existing rugby fields along Hwy. 93. We discussed several options with university officials and settled on the chosen area as the best possible location for the future.With the creation of world class natural turf soccer fields, football parking in Lot 13 will be reduced on gamedays moving forward. As you’re all aware, historic rainfall created unique challenges throughout the 2015 season with parking. We’re assembling a summit involving campus, police, Highway Patrol and several other entities to examine all parking issues as we prepare for the 2016 season. The success of the dedicated bus lane from University Beach has created additional options for parking in the Ravenel area, and construction throughout campus has made it necessary to review all aspects of gameday parking. We’ll keep you informed throughout the process and of any potential changes.We’re coming up on the close of the 2015 calendar, and ticket sales for the 2016 baseball season have begun and we’ll introduce all seating options and ticket prices for the new Littlejohn Coliseum early in the new year.Finally, and maybe most importantly, our student-athletes just finished another great semester in the classroom. While we won’t have official grades until later this week, I’m confident they’ve each worked diligently to continue the momentum of back-to-back record-setting GPAs set the last two terms.I’ll repeat the beginning of this column – WHAT A TIME TO BE A TIGER! Thank you for all you do to support our coaches, student-athletes and each of our programs. We hope to see you in South Florida and certainly look forward to seeing you back on campus during the spring.Go Tigers,

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