A Letter From the AD – 5 Years Later

Dear ‘Jack Nation

What a great day to be a ‘Jack!  I hope this note finds you doing well and trying to stay cool as much as possible.  The Texas summer is certainly upon us, which means the beginning of the fall semester and new academic and athletic year is just around the corner.  If you are like me, July is always the calm before the storm, and I eagerly am waiting for our athletics department to be in full swing for another great year.  

Today, is a special day for me, as it marks the end of five (5) years at SFA.  As such, I wanted to take a moment to reach out to all of you and say, “Thank you”!   Over the past five years we have been able to achieve some amazing accomplishments.  We certainly have seen our ups and downs along the way, but it truly has been an unforgettable and amazing ride thus far.  I also want to say “thank you” for your continued support of our athletics department and our student-athletes, coaches and staff.  I knew prior to arriving that SFA was a special place, but didn’t truly know or understand the depths of how special until I began working alongside of each.  I was excited to begin when I arrived, but even more excited and optimistic about the success our future holds.  It truly is a special time here at SFA.

As I began this journey, we set a big bold vision “to be the leading mid-major athletics department in the Nation and a leader in all that we do.”  I challenged each of our supporters, coaches, staff, and student-athletes to rise above and achieve greatness.  We discussed that in order to create a real movement, that we needed to embrace everyone as equals and create a purpose-driven, servant-oriented culture that would be the cornerstone of our success. 

We developed our core values by defining a word that we use everyday, AXEEM.  The AXEEM acronym allows us to live, breath and remind us of what we stand for.  Those values include:

Accountability-  Be responsible
Excellence-  Be the best
Integrity-  Be true
Innovative-  Be different
Teamwork-  Be unified
We created a five-year tactical business plan that has guided our actions along the way.  Over the coming days in July, you will be able to see some of the amazing accomplishments that we have achieved as a result of that plan.  While we didn’t achieve all the goals within our plan, it certainly provides a great framework and foundation to move us forward.  

Soon, our administrative team will come together to begin a string of strategy sessions that will help shape and guide the next three years of our department.  We will be looking into areas that will focus our efforts as we continue to navigate the changing landscape of the intercollegiate athletics enterprise.  As you are well aware, the world of college athletics is changing drastically, and we continue to work hard to provide opportunities for our student-athletes.  It is with our courage of conviction in our vision and mission, along with our selfless desire to serve those around us that will allow us to continued our sustained success.

As we look towards the future, I grow more excited every day.  Joining the University of Texas system will be a welcomed partnership for our institution.  I am confident that we will have tremendous opportunities that arise due to this partnership, and truly believe this will be a major benefit to the Athletics Department, in addition to the institution. 

As we continue to move toward our vision of becoming the leading mid-major athletics department in the nation, I am often asked how people can help.  When I first arrived, I provided four ways each of you can help us achieve our vision.  Those four avenues of support are as true today as they were five years ago.  They include:

  1. Be present.  Many people don’t understand what presence does for our student-athletes and coaches.  As a former student-athlete myself, I can tell you that there is nothing more exhilarating than playing in front of a full crowd and nothing more disheartening that playing in front of an empty one.  Our student-athletes, coaches and staff work hard to create an atmosphere that you can enjoy.  While we may not be able to win every contest we play, we continue to be competitive each and every time we step onto the competition surface.  Having the SFA faithful behind them, provides them with extra energy, motivation and pride to achieve greatness.
  2. Purchase season tickets.  Season tickets continue to be an area of emphasis and a necessity in helping to move us forward.  Season tickets are the most cost effective measure of attending our ticketed games.  If you can’t attend every game, no worries.  Simply give them to a friend or call the ticket office and donate them. 
  3. Join the Purple Lights Fund.  As discussed above, the PLF provides us the opportunity to provide the necessary resources and support for our student-athletes, coaches and staff. Any size gift makes and impact!  For as little as $100 you can become a member of the PLF.  You can also provide gift-in-kind gifts such as goods and services to help support SFA athletics.  These gifts and GIK gifts make a big impact for our department.  Becoming a member of the PLF provides us the opportunity to continue to and ultimately achieve our vision of becoming the leading mid-major athletics department in the Nation.  We cannot and will not be able to do it without you.  If you haven’t joined yet, I encourage you to do so. 
  4. Show your SFA pride.  By purchasing and wearing SFA apparel, you help us extend and grow exposure and awareness for SFA athletics and the institution.  Being prideful of your support for SFA is critical to our ability to grow!

As I stated previously and many times over the last five years, now is the time to be part of SFA Athletics.  We are poised to achieve great success, but we can’t do it without everyone playing their part.  While we have had tremendous success over the last 100 years, the next 100 years will be our best yet.  I am honored and privileged to have the opportunity to lead the Athletics Department and I can’t thank you enough for your continued support!