Here we go Huskies! The summer has flown by rather quickly again and the new academic year is already in full swing. Fall student-athletes reported to campus on August 18th for physicals and preseason workouts and we’re off and running once again. In fact, we open the 2017 fall sports season with 14 home contests this coming weekend. A challenge as you might guess, this is a real test for all of our staff and really kicks us in to high gear immediately. Our staff, student employees and volunteers will get it done; they’re outstanding.
It’s great to see the students back on campus and I truly look forward to meeting the new freshman and transfers every fall. We take great pride in our community of student-athletes and the outstanding work they do in the classroom, in competition and in the community. We continue to work to improve the student-athlete experience each year and we are completely on board with the President’s mantra of student centered every day. We know why we are here and we strive to do the best we can to help students grow as young men and women and prepare themselves for success in the next phase of their life.
Participation in athletics should be fun and rewarding and it’s also tough work. Student-athletes need to balance academics, athletics, work, family and social life. It can be challenging but there is great learning that takes place outside of the classroom. Athletics is a vehicle that provides opportunities and helps to support learning, personal growth, leadership and positive change. We have many outstanding student-athletes at USM and they belong to everyone; the coaches who coach them, the faculty who teach them and the staff who work with them in all areas of the University. When they succeed, we all succeed; we are one big team with the same goals. Students are our greatest assets without a doubt.
We begin the excitement of competition on Friday with deep concern and thoughts of the city of Houston and surrounding areas in our hearts and minds. Many are touched by friends and relatives caught in the epic storm and path of destruction created by Harvey. If not directly impacted, the pure humanity of the situation is staggering. We, like many athletic departments, will assist by sending clothing and supplies to help provide in the best way we can from a distance. Our hopes and prayers are with everyone in the region.
As I begin my 25th year as athletic director I am greatly encouraged by the leadership team at the University led by President Glenn Cummings. The vision for the future is solid yet bold and speaks clearly to the assets and needs of our region, it’s exciting and the role for USM holds great promise for our students, staff, alumni, business community and the entire region that we serve. We begin this fall season with great anticipation and will look for success in many different areas. We will pause to honor our 2017 hall of fame inductees and recognize our scholar-athletes from the previous year as well, but we will keep moving forward in the right direction to better serve our students.
USM is a great University located in one of the most livable cities in the country with even greater potential. The people I met as a student at USM, both undergraduate and graduate, were fantastic and they helped to shape the person I am today. I’m very proud to be an alumnus of the University of Southern Maine and more proud to serve our next generation of students and leaders. Go Huskies!