As we commence the process to hire a new Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, I’d like to weigh in on some of the things we have going for us.
First of all, athletics at the Division One level is part of who we are at San Diego State University. We have incredible athletic history; lengthy and potent. And we have tens of thousands of graduates who claim to have attended games in the fog in Aztec Bowl, who met the train when the 1941 Basketball team triumphantly returned from Kansas City and who never missed a Marshall Faulk touchdown.
So our tradition of fielding Division One teams, despite the constantly increasing financial challenges, isn’t likely to go away. And it shouldn’t.
In 1985 we hired a visionary athletic director who was resolutely determined to upgrade our facilities. And lo and behold, here we are with first-class everything where 24 years ago we had nothing. Do you need a recount? Okay, Tony Gwynn Stadium, new Aztrack, new Softball Stadium, new Tennis complex, new Aquatics complex, colossal athletics administration complex with state-of-the-art weight room, a still-beautiful Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl, a fantastic Rec Center and even a new Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center.
So we have an aging Qualcomm Stadium and some legitimate angst regarding the future of the Chargers and the stadium trickle down. We can only hope and work and will ourselves to collectively conquer this community challenge.
And let’s not forget our coaching staff. Plenty of sports have surged lately with some new and some veteran coaches who seem to share the mindset that winning games within the proper parameters of academic transcendence and NCAA regulations is doable at a place like San Diego State. Our “big three,” of course, - Burns, Hoke and Fisher - have our confidence like no previous triumvirate. Ever.
Finally, and most importantly, we have a great university. We have the brain power on our own campus to attack and conquer the challenges and opportunities presented by having Division One Athletics. So let’s get to it!