Thursday, August 8, 2013

Energized for the start of a new year

By Joel Nielsen
Director of Athletics

This time of year is always energizing for everyone around the campus, but it is especially so in athletics as we start to see student-athletes and coaching staffs return to campus around Aug. 1.

This is also a time when you start looking forward to the first home football game because that is the first really large event for the entire campus. The Aug. 29 game vs. Liberty is the Thursday night of the first week of classes. With AMETEK's help and sponsorship, we are expecting that opener to be even bigger than last year's.

The cross-promotion with AMETEK last year really worked out well. After last year's game, we heard nothing but outstanding comments about everything from the pre-game hype in Kent and all of Portage County to the post-game fireworks. With everything that Matt French and his staff are doing at AMETEK, it is almost like having a marketing arm for the institution and the athletic program. 

I'm really looking forward to that first night of football, and in the same regards I am looking forward to what our volleyball team has to offer as it starts at the end of August. I'm looking forward to women's soccer and what Rob Marinaro and his young ladies can do coming off of a great finish last fall. And obviously cross country and field hockey. All of our fall sports are kicking off and reporting ba
ck to campus.

Like every August, it's a time of rebirth and renewal. It's a new beginning and a fun time of year.

One of the new things that I've been checking out for the last couple of weeks is the new NIKE "Sideline" package that is going to be sold over at the Kent State Bookstore this year. I've been asked on several occasions over the last three years about being able to purchase what our coaches or administrators are wearing on the sideline on gamedays. This will be the first year that I can factually respond and tell them they can go to the bookstore and purchase that same gear. 

NIKE puts out a great product, and they have been very supportive of our entire program, and especially football and men's basketball. I know our fans are going to be really excited about the quality of the product and the look of the product. I want to thank the bookstore for continuing to push that point about our being offer a line of "Sideline" gear.