Here's an advance version of On the Mark, ahead of my annual "State of the Gauchos" on Talk'N Gauchos next Tuesday, as well as gearing for our campus to host its annual All Gaucho Reunion weekend April 26-28.
Below is some of what I'll present on Talk'N Gauchos regarding the progress of our programs and student-athletes who play, learn and succeed here at UCSB.
2014 Hall of Fame Nominations
Next April we will induct another great HOF class and nominations are starting to flow in. I have streamlined the Hall of Fame selection process, placing several athletics administrators and our letterwinners alumni board (The Gaucho Order), chaired by John Keever ('66), to be the nominee review committee. The administrators - Deputy AD's Diane O'Brien, Tom Hastings and Assistant AD Bill Mahoney - will reach out to the campus, community and media for thoughts on nominees. The Gaucho Order is a volunteer group of former letterwinners from almost all sports, legacy and current. They plan on reviewing the first round of nominations Saturday, April 27. If you know of someone who may deserve this honor please email Andy Graham, assistant annual fund director, at email@example.com. Please also consider nominations for our new "Distinguished Gaucho" category for individuals that have been successful in life after their UCSB playing careers. For a list of Hall of Famers all-time click here.
Huddling up in San Diego.
We are heading down I-5 again to San Diego, which we are calling Gaucho Country now, for our second Gaucho Huddle of the year. Join us and support Gaucho Baseball as they face the University of San Diego on Tuesday, April 16. The pregame event will be a great opportunity to visit with Coach Checketts, and connect with fellow Gaucho friends and alumni. Just $30 gets you a ticket to the game and the huddle that will include food, beverages and some great giveaways.
Email Andy Graham at firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP.
State of the Gauchos (April 16, 6-7pm)
I'll keep you updated on the Gauchos v. Toreros baseball score Tuesday night as I close out another year. Join me at the beautiful Beachside Bar Café, our wonderful hosts of Talk'N Gauchos, Tuesday at 6pm for prizes and hosted appetizers. The Voice of the Gauchos, Gerry Fall, and I will review the year, so if you have questions please tweet them to me @Olesboss. Every question picked to on air will receive a Gaucho gift. Talk'N Gauchos airs live on AM 1290 and ucsbgauchos.com
Savor UCSB - All Gaucho Reunion (Apr 26-28)
Once again the annual welcome back to campus will be held with the All Gaucho Reunion set for April 26-28. This year's theme is Savor UCSB and Athletics has a number of opportunities for you during the weekend:
**Women's Soccer v. Cal State LA 6pm @ Harder Stadium
**Note: No reception on Friday this year as we prepare the building for a special dedication on Saturday morning. Our opening reception will return next year and it will also be a Hall of Fame year in 2014!
Saturday, April 27
**Letterwinners alumni board (The Gaucho Order) Meeting 9am Reitnouer Auditorium, ICA Building
**Men's Water Polo Alumni Beach Tournament 10am Campus Pool
**Women's and Men's Soccer Alumni Games Harder Stadium 10:30am - 4:30pm
**Dedication for Jim and Cheryl Barber 11am ICA Building
**Softball v. CS Northridge 12pm - Free Admission for registered AGR attendees
**Soccer Alumni Social 7-9pm - Downtown Santa Barbara. Location TBD
Sunday, April 28th
**Soccer Golf Tournament 9am Glen Annie Golf Course
**Softball v. CS Northridge 12 p.m. - Free Admission for registered AGR attendees
Show the Colors, Letters, and Pride
We revamped our online Gaucho Shop with hundreds of new styles of gear and gifts inside shopucsbgauchos.com.
Big Soccer Season Ahead
I recently reviewed marketing plans and the grass roots promotions for 2013 and was impressed with the great schedule and plans in store for Soccer Heaven fans. A tremendous schedule, including hosting Stanford on Friday, September 27 -- the first Friday of the new school year, is set. Our previous home games on that weekend have resulted in record crowds, including almost 16,000 pouring in against UCLA in 2010. Our student-athletes and coaches are committed to being in the community show the fans how much we appreciate their support. Look for the Gauchos to be at an elementary school, parade, Fiesta and a few random places all summer long. Ticket packages, including the always popular Family Plan are on sale starting May 1, online or 805 893-UCSB.
We now hold the second highest NCAA graduation rate at 85% amongst the U.C. campuses. Congratulations to our alums, current student-athletes, staff and partners on campus for making this fantastic stat possible.
Kayla Smith ('10), our Academic Success Coordinator, also told me we have a record number of student-athletes in the Athletics Director Honor Roll (aka Brains & Bagels group because we host a breakfast for the group every quarter) for the past winter term. Student-athletes who achieve a 3.5 or higher GPA for the term, while also maintaining 3.0 overall GPA, make this esteemed group. I am so impressed with these young people who represent UCSB in athletics at the #7 public university in the world, and I know you are as well.
New Gauchos On Staff
Our new women's volleyball head coach, Nicole Lantange Welch, has filled out her staff bringing with her Kolby O'Donnell from Miami (Fla.) and recently adding Chris Seiffert, most recently helping UCLA's sand volleyball program. Paul Stumpf (women's soccer) has added Austin Risenhoover who has spent some time at major programs, including Oklahoma. Other exciting additions, maybe not so new, but getting a shout out and a big welcome are: track and field assistant Amanda Moreno ('11), former UCLA standout Carling Seguso joins the women's tennis staff, Andrew Wagner ('11) in media relations/communications, Casey Harms, our ops director for baseball coming from Occidental College, and Mitchell Clements ('13) to our broadcast team. Also congratulations to Katie Gee who was promoted to general manager for Nelligan Sports Marketing, our marketing/sponsorship partners, and Richard Loza who now heads all marketing, sales and presentation for the department.
Thank A Thon
As we close out our annual giving season our student-athletes will again be calling to thank you, our wonderful donors, during the Gaucho Fund's Thank A Thon May 14-24. Look for those bright, scholar athletes calling from 5-8pm. It has been a banner year with over 800 donors generating over one million dollars in vital annual funds to directly aid our programs and provide the opportunities student-athletes have today. An impressive 90 of our donors are at the Living Scholar level which is an all-time high. The mission of the Gaucho Fund is to provide resources for a life-changing educational opportunity for today's student-athletes. Your donation is in an investment into their drive to succeed, grow, and reach goals.
Visit gauchofund.com to stay current on events, video stories on our history, teams, people and moments that make the Gauchos so special and ways to help.
Continue to do what you can to help UCSB Athletics: