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From the Desk of Dan Radakovich – Aug. 30, 2016

From the Desk of Dan Radakovich – Aug. 30, 2016

Clemson Family,

What a great time to be a Tiger! We couldn’t be more exited to get the 2016-17 season started, and it’s great having all of our student-athletes back on campus and matches and games underway. Men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball all had big home victories this weekend, so it was great welcoming their fans back with early successes. And congratulations to Coach Noonan and the men’s soccer team on securing the first Palmetto Series point of the year with a 2-1 victory in Columbia!

While football begins this weekend on the road at Auburn, Clemson students are already reserving their spots for the home opener against Troy. We’ve heard great feedback on some of the adjustments made to the process this year, and we’re looking forward to continuing to have the best student support in the country for our Tigers.

Last week I had an opportunity to visit with some of our local media members and give everyone an update on our department as we head into the new academic year. Below is the opening statement we provided, which hopefully touches on several items of interest to each of our great IPTAY donors.

Thanks everyone for coming today. We’re excited to get the 2016-17 athletic year started. It actually got off to a great start last weekend with women’s soccer winning two matches. This weekend we have volleyball, men’s soccer and women’s soccer all playing, so we’re getting into the fall seasons already. We had a great year in 2015-16 – not just with football and men’s soccer reaching their national championship games – but throughout the department. Three ACC championships – with men’s golf and baseball joining football – a 5th place finish for our men’s programs in the Capital One Cup and our highest ranking in the Learfield Director’s Cup in a decade.

And while doing all that on the field we had tremendous success in the classroom – our APR and GSR continue to be among the best in the country, and several sports set GPA records. IPTAY just announced a record year for the annual fund at $29.1 million and $56.6 million total dollars raised … And Brianna Rollins won a gold medal! So that put a nice cap on the year and we’re very proud of her. 

It’s tremendous that we’ve set another record for football season tickets. That’s just another measure of the passion and enthusiasm our fans have for our program and the excitement for the upcoming season. With that overflow of demand, there were some adjustments that needed to be made. We’ve lost 2,000 parking spots utilized last year. So we’ve developed options to the East Beach area, including NewSpring and Seneca Creek Road and really increased the shuttle capacity for that area.

We’re continuing with our facilities push. Littlejohn is really getting close, and men’s and women’s basketball have begun workouts in main arena. Still have work to do in Swann Pavilion, but we’re on-time and on-budget moving toward opening that facility soon. – And as we talk about Littlejohn I have to say that our fans are really excited about the team we’ll have this year. We’re over 4,440 season tickets sold and seat selection is going on this week. – The football operation center continues to progress as you guys can see when you’re out at practice. I know a group of you went through it a couple of weeks ago, it’s going to be a difference maker for our football program. The renovated tennis complex continues to move through the process, as does a redesign of the IPTAY Center. When football moves to its new facility we’ll turn that area of the WestZone into our student-athlete academics and wellness area.

When it’s all said and done, we’ll have completed $176 million in capital projects and done so without spending one dollar of state or university dollars – all through private gifts. And I’m excited to announce that we’ll release the details of another Cornerstone Gift of $2.5 million early next week.

We continue to make great upgrades in what we’re now calling our Student-Athlete Wellness Department headed by Dr. Loreto Jackson. It really incorporates the entire student-athlete development from community service to team culture, nutrition, mental health, career prep – really the focus on preparing young people for life after college – which is what we’re all here to do.

Hopefully you’ve been back to campus often since last year, but if you haven’t we’re excited to welcome you back soon. We’ll publish our weekly “Gameday Guide” prior to the Troy game and hope you’ll take a moment to review some of the improvements and changes made for the 2016 football season.

Thanks for all you do in support of IPTAY and Clemson Athletics!

Go Tigers,

Dan Radakovich