As we turn the page into the 2019-20 athletic year, it’s a good time to take a look back at the accomplishments of our student-athletes, coaches and staff from this past year. No doubt, 2018-19 goes down as one of the most exciting in school history, and I couldn’t be prouder to serve as your athletic director.
I’d like to take a moment to thank you for your continued support of Clemson Athletics. Our IPTAY donors, students, alumni, and community continue to raise the bar, and we’ve appreciated having hundreds of thousands of you on campus to take in our events. We hope that your experience exceeded your expectations, and that you’ll make a trip back this year.
Whether it was the record-setting football senior class, which went 55-4 and won four ACC titles and two national championships, or any of our four ACC Players of the Year – Travis Etienne (Football – Offense), Clelin Ferrell (Football – Defense), Samantha Staab (Soccer – Defense) or Bryson Nimmer (Golf) – It was always great to see a Clemson name listed among the best in the nation.
ACC Coach of the Year Amanda Butler led the women’s basketball program back to national prominence and its best season in nearly 20 years. We also commend All-American and First Round Draft Pick Christian Wilkins on winning the William V. Campbell award, a.k.a. the “Academic Heisman” as he earned his Master’s degree while leading the football program. And those are just a few of the accomplishments.
Off the field, our department continued to make incredible strides, as the support of the Nieri Family Academic Enrichment Center continues to create meaningful development opportunities and help give our student-athletes the best opportunity to succeed. The department GPA for the year was 3.00. Seven programs set Academic Progress records, and the Graduation Success Rate was at a near-record 92 percent. Ninety-Seven percent of our student-athletes participated in community service this year, totaling 4,434 hours, which ranked tenth nationally.
Our softball program is preparing to get rolling this upcoming spring, with first pitch scheduled for 2020. Coach Rittman and his staff have been hard at work recruiting while helping build the state-of-the-art facility, which will be a point of pride for years to come. I really hope you’ll join us for a game this season.
I’m also excited to welcome Coach Robbie Weiss as the men’s tennis coach. His vision for this program is contagious. The new Duckworth Family Tennis Center, which opened this past fall, is truly one of the finest tennis facilities in the country.
Looking ahead to this year, we’ve got some exciting developments, starting with the launch of the ACC Network. The ACCN is set to go live on Aug. 22, and feature our first home football game against Georgia Tech, while also showcasing our many sports in both live and on-demand content.
Being a part of the first live football game on the ACCN is an incredible honor, and while Thursday night games are difficult on our campus, we are working to make this event memorable.
As we get closer to launch, it’s important for you to contact your provider to make sure that you receive the network. The best place to keep up to date is at GetACCN.com. If they aren’t currently carrying the network, we encourage you to continue to demand it.
It is important that you be aware of some updated policies and procedures as you visit campus this year, especially as we look to welcome the defending champions back to Memorial Stadium. Many of the policies and procedures in the stadium remain familiar for the 2019 season, including the Clear Bag policy and pass-outs.
The process of bringing 80,000-plus of our family into and out of Memorial Stadium safely is our utmost priority. As such, at the recommendation of Clemson University Police, and looking across the professional sport and college football landscape, metal detectors will be instituted at all gates for the 2019 season. We understand that this will feel unfamiliar at first, but allowing a few extra minutes to enter the stadium will lead to for a more enjoyable process. We encourage you to arrive early, be vigilant, and exert patience as we work toward securing the stadium. More detailed information on our entry procedures will be coming closer to game day.
We are excited to welcome the many new faces in our family. Clemson has truly become a destination. Our financial and brand growth over the last few years is impressive, and the spotlight has never shone brighter on our university.
Again, we at Clemson Athletics and IPTAY value all our friends and fans. We look forward to another outstanding year!
Director of Athletics
DEMAND IT NOW
The ACC Network launches Aug. 22. Make sure you have it by visiting GetACCN.com
SET TO OPEN LATE FALL
The IPTAY and ticketing staffs got a chance to walk through the new facility recently.