Dear Tiger Fan,
One of my favorite events to attend every year as Director of Athletics is the Tiger Athletic Foundation Academic Excellence Gala. The 2014 event was held last week in the Maravich Center, and it was a celebration of the tremendous accomplishments of our student-athletes in the classroom and in the community.
Over the past year, 152 LSU Tigers have been named to the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll, and our young men and women have accumulated thousands of community service hours through their philanthropic efforts. I know you will join me in congratulating the Tigers for representing our University in such a positive manner.
Congratulations also are in order for our coaches – we are fortunate to have an outstanding group of coaches that have made a serious commitment to academic success. The coaches, in conjunction with the dedicated counselors at the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes, are instrumental in our mission to prepare student-athletes for their lives after college.
FOOTBALL SIGNING DAY
You may recall that in my last letter I mentioned that LSU had the potential to garner a blockbuster signing class in February. We saw last week that potential become reality as the Tigers posted the No. 2 recruiting class in the nation! The class features elite players at every position, and its blends outstanding Louisiana stars with exceptional performers from places around the country like Illinois, Oklahoma and South Florida.
The class is a tribute to the tireless dedication of coach Les Miles, recruiting coordinator Frank Wilson and the entire football staff. They are to be commended for promoting the LSU brand within our state, while, at the same time, extending it beyond Louisiana’s borders.
Our football spring game is scheduled for Saturday, April 5 in Tiger Stadium. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more details about the event.
Both our men’s and women’s teams are near the top of the SEC standings with March Madness approaching. Coach Johnny Jones and the Tigers are serious contenders for an NCAA Tournament berth, and I encourage you to continue to support them, especially in their three remaining home games. I’m very pleased to report that LSU in the past year has experienced the largest increase in men’s basketball attendance among SEC schools. Your support in the PMAC is a huge reason why the Tigers have won five straight SEC home games. Be sure to join us on February 19, when Coach Jones and his squad play host to Mississippi State.
Coach Nikki Caldwell and her 19th-ranked Lady Tigers take on sixth-ranked South Carolina at 2:30 p.m. this Sunday in the PMAC, and tickets are available at http://www.lsutix.net/. This is a game between two of the nation’s best teams, and you won’t want to miss this opportunity to see LSU continue to build its NCAA resume’. In fact, the Lady Tigers are No. 5 in the latest official RPI ranking, and mark your calendars for March 22 and 24, when LSU will play host to NCAA first and second-round games in the Maravich Center.
ON THE DIAMOND
Softball season began last weekend, and our team is off to a 4-2 start after last week’s action at Tiger Park. Coach Beth Torina, now in her third season, has another excellent club that will once again contend for a berth in the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City. The Tigers are back in action at home again this weekend, and I encourage you to support our team in the finest college softball facility in the country.
Similarly, Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field is the best baseball facility in the nation, and the Tigers will play their 2014 season opener at 7 p.m. Friday against the University of New Orleans. Coach Paul Mainieri led LSU to the College World Series last season with an SEC-record 57 wins, and we expect the 2014 ball club – which is ranked No. 2 in one preseason poll – to be in contention for another trip to Omaha.
Finally, we are extremely proud of Coach D-D Breaux and the LSU gymnastics team! The Tigers are ranked No. 3 in the nation and are soaring toward a second consecutive berth in the NCAA Super Six. LSU recorded a superb win on Sunday, defeating second-ranked Oklahoma in Norman. The Tigers’ next home meet in the PMAC is Friday, February 28 against Missouri, and we hope to see you there to support a very determined and talented group of young ladies.
As always, we welcome your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. Unfortunately we cannot answer every e-mail we receive, but please be assured they are all read.
Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics