Dear Tiger Fan,
The top-10 finishes by our men's and women's track and field teams at last week's NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., completed a tremendous 2013-14 season for LSU Athletics. We anticipate that when the final Director's Cup standings are released later this month, LSU will be ranked among the nation's Top 25 overall athletic programs for the ninth-straight year.
Significantly, LSU was the only school in the Southeastern Conference this year to post a 10 win-season (10-3) in football, a 20-win season (20-14) in men's basketball and a 40-win season (46-16-1) in baseball.
THE YEAR IN REVIEW
The Fighting Tiger football team recorded its seventh 10-win season in nine years and defeated Iowa in the Outback Bowl; the men's basketball team earned 20 victories for the first time since 2009 and advanced to the NIT second round; and the baseball team won its fifth SEC Tournament title in seven years and was an NCAA Tournament National Seed for the third-straight season. The Lady Tiger basketball team earned its second-consecutive Sweet 16 berth, and LSU gymnastics, led by National Coach of the Year D-D Breaux, enjoyed the finest season in its illustrious history, finishing No. 3 in the nation.
The LSU men's golf team recorded its highest national finish since 1967, as the Tigers placed third at the NCAA Championships. The men's track and field team placed fourth and the women's team sixth at the NCAA outdoor meet. The softball, volleyball, men's and women's swimming and diving, women's tennis and women's golf squads each participated in NCAA postseason competition. The year was also highlighted by the inaugural season of the sand volleyball program, which gives more LSU female student-athletes the opportunity to compete at the intercollegiate level.
The Tigers enjoyed as much success in the community and in the classroom as they did on the playing fields. LSU student-athletes logged more than 4,732 hours in community service work across 21 sports through our Geaux Givers program. And a total of 88 Tigers received their degrees from the university during LSU commencement ceremonies in December and May. I'm very pleased to report that LSU's overall graduation success rate for all student-athletes has grown from 69 percent in 2008 to 81 percent in 2013.
THE SEC NETWORK
August 14 is the launch date for the SEC Network, a collaborative effort between the conference and ESPN that will bring unprecedented exposure to LSU and our fellow league schools. I understand in the short term the apprehension involved in adapting to the ever-changing, and sometimes intimidating, wave of technology; however, I can assure you that Tiger fans will soon appreciate the benefits provided by the SEC Network.
I encourage you to visit http://www.getsecnetwork.com/ as soon as you can and learn how you can receive the network through your local cable or satellite provider. I also invite you to check out a new video (below) that answers some of the most frequently asked questions about the SEC Network and describes the programming LSU fans will enjoy beginning in August.
THE COUNTDOWN CONTINUES
We're just over two months away from the start of football season and the opening of the south endzone expansion in Tiger Stadium, which raises Death Valley's capacity to over 100,000! We hope you enjoy the rest of the summer, and we'll look forward to seeing you on campus very soon!
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