Saturday, August 8, 2009

Great Day to be a Wildcat

Our Athletic Director, Jim Livengood, says this everyday, but today it had special meaning. Today, our athletic department hosted a ceremony in McKale Center to honor our legendary, and Hall of Fame basketball coach, Lute Olson. It was one of the most impressive ceremonies I have ever attended. Almost every single player he has ever coached came back for the ceremony. Very impressive list of players. Wow, it was AWESOME. To me, my two favorite moments in the ceremony was when the Wildcat fans gave Russ Pennell a loud and standing ovation when he was introduced (chill bumps). Then, when Brian Jeffries introduced Coach Sean Miller, the crowd went crazy and gave him a standing ovation. It is nice to know that the GREAT program Lute built here, is in good hands with Sean Miller.

We also had a great practice this morning at Salpointe. First day of shoulder pads and the pace was crisp and enthusiastic.

We are quickly finding out that we have assembled a GREAT group of kids as student managers. These guys and gals put in so many hours, and we start so early in the morning, and yet they remain positive and seem to be having fun.

I talked with Coach Sonny Dykes yesterday about changing up the logistics of how we run some drills during individual time and he was very supportive. I have always been concerned about balls flying everywhere during Routes on Air and One on One drills. After the QB's would throw the balls, we would have mgrs running everywhere hustling to shag the balls. This took time and balls were being thrown everywhere. Coach likes to be fast and get as many reps as possible and I felt we were not be efficient. So now the receivers run the balls back to behind the drills without throwing balls. Well today we got many more reps and everyone seems happy with it. The only thing is we needed more balls by the mgrs snapping to the receivers. That meant we had to break in about 2 dozen more balls. This afternoon the mgrs took 24 balls out to our practice field and skipped balls back and forth to one another to break them in nicely. No player or coach likes new balls (very slippery) in a drill. They threw balls to one another for an hour.

Young Wildcat fan gets his football autographed by some players as they get off the bus for this mornings practice:John Landwehr, aka Harry, is ALWAYS hustling:

Managers waiting for practice to start during stretch.

Zak Risdon has made a positive impact on our staff after only a few days! Here he shows hustle, as usual.

Huge crowd turned out to honor Coach Olson today in McKale:

Only someone like Luke Walton could turn me into the biggest Lakers fan of all time. Bill Walton was not only a Hall of Fame player, he knows how to raise kids! Luke is easy to like!!!!!

Richard Jefferson always comes by the equipment room when he is in town. New player for the San Antonio Spurs. Richard is one of the nicest and classiest athletes I have ever known!

Josh Pastner, Head Coach at Memphis, stopped by to see everyone in the equipment room. We all shared with him how proud we are of him.

Former Coach of the Wildcats, Russ Pennell stopped by to say hello to all of us. They just don't get any better than Coach Pennell, new Head Coach at Grand Canyon College in Phoenix:

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