Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl Champions

The Wildcats won the game over BYU Cougars, 31-21, to top off an already awesome week in Vegas!!! The game was so much fun. Our four year QB, Willie, had a great game, and Mike Thomas became the all time Pac 10 career reception leader in the conference, but the best was to see a group of seniors that have endured so much and took a chance with Coach Stoops and win out winners. I always tell people how awesome our players are, and THEY ARE!!! This could not have happened to a nicer group of kids.

The whole week was AWESOME. The bowl game is lead by the Executive Director, Tina Kunzer-Murphey and she is simply THE BEST!!! To me, that is why the whole experience is so awesome. She has put together an energetic group of people that bust their backsides to make sure things are perfect.

Our hotel was incredible. The rooms at the Venetian are so nice and BIG. Of course the entire Hotel is as nice as any hotel in the world.

Maybe the best thing is that it is played early enough that we can be home for Christmas and be able to enjoy all of the other bowl games. I didn't like the rush at first, but you know what, it was nice. Everything still went off with no problems, and the stress of everything doesn't linger for weeks.

I have to mention a few people who deserve all the credit for everything being so smooth. First, and most importantly, Tim Pfennig. Tim carried on like a 20 year veteran! Sure, he stressed a little, but he hit home run after home run for two weeks!

Benny was sensational! He took the lead on loading the semi truck and trailer and did an outstanding job. He packed all the players and coaches personal luggage and when those people arrived at the hotel, all of their luggage was already in their room. Benny manages to do all of this with NO STRESS and a HUGE SMILE the whole time. We are so lucky to have Benny.

Then, the 15 student managers did a lot of work loading field equipment and moving it around, along with all of the other duties. Rarely do I hand out A+ grades, but as a whole, they were A+ sensational.

We have to give a shout out to Erick Harper, Director of Football Operations. He is without a doubt the best I have ever worked with in my 30 years in the business. Not only does he do a GREAT job, but he somehow manages to be so nice and positive all the time. Nothing seems to shake him. He treats all of us like we are the most important part of the team.

Down below you will see a picture of The Hoff and me in the equipment room before the game. He sang the National Anthem before the game (and nailed it!!). His daughter is a freshman at the UofA and The Hoff has joined her for almost every home game up in the Zona Zoo. He loves the Zona Zoo and has done videos on his website about his experiences at home games. I think he enjoys the Zoo more that anyone!!! Great guy!

On our site visit before the team arrival, I noticed that Pooch had a bunch of very nice permanent signs in their locker room at Sam Boyd. In the pictures below, you will notice that we covered up all of his signs with banners that Tom Boesel had made for us at Graphic Impact. We always put Tom in the clean up spot because he always seems to not only hit home runs, but GRAND SLAMS!!! Great job Tom!!!!!

Coaches locker room (one of two) at Sam Boyd:

Banner right outside of Equipment room at Sam Boyd:

Coach Mike Stoops favorite sayings, so we had a banner made for the locker room:

One of the many banners we had made for Sam Boyd Stadium locker room:

Teams exit to the stadium field:
One of our future superstar Student Managers, Jordan Bates of Orlando, Florida:

Our equipment room right off of the main locker room (lots of room!!):

Our locker room before the game at Sam Boyd Stadium:
Wendell with David Hasselhoff before the game:
Wendell with Paul Pucciarelli (Pooch):

Wendell with Executive Director of the Bowl, Tina Kunzer-Murphy:

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