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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:24 am 
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A Message From Troy Dannen


Happy New Year!

Without a doubt, 2018 left some great memories for the Green Wave faithful, and as we enter 2019 optimism abounds. I want to take the opportunity, through this letter, to highlight the first semester of the 2018-19 school year and give some insight on what we can look forward to this spring.

Success in intercollegiate athletics is measured in many different ways by many different constituencies. As a result, we entered this school year with 53 goals to achieve, ranging from academic to financial, to social and competitive.

On the academic side, our graduation success rate of 93 percent ranks in the top 10 of FBS schools. We have an American Athletic Conference-best seven teams with perfect graduation rates. Our collective student-athlete GPA has exceeded 3.0 each of the past six semesters including a record 3.13 in the fall of 2018. Sixty-five percent of our student-athletes currently carry a 3.0 GPA or better.

Some interesting notes from our current freshman class which included 92 new student-athletes enrolled this fall. Sixty-eight percent of them are receiving some financial aid. Athletics contributes greatly to the campus diversity, as 44 percent of our freshmen represent ethnic minorities. The most common home of our freshman class is Louisiana with 19, but Florida with 18 and Texas with 11 are close behind.

On the facility front, work continues to be done to ensure our student-athletes have an infrastructure which will help position them for success. We opened the Green Wave Grille, a dining facility located in Yulman Stadium in August. It is affectionately known as “Gruff” as the alternative to the current campus dining facility “Bruff.” With only six of our 17 sports practicing and competing on the uptown campus, this facility has created a sense of community throughout the department that didn’t exist previously while providing everything from a nutritional standpoint to accommodate the unique needs of our student-athletes.

A gift from the Slatten family capped off a $1.2 million fundraising effort to expand and rebuild the current weight room in the James W. Wilson Jr. Center. Work will begin this spring on a state-of-the-art strength facility which will be the crown jewel of the Slatten Family Strength and Conditioning Program.

A $1 million gift from Avron B. Fogelman, will endow the Fogelman Life Preparation Program for men’s basketball. The program will prepare our student-athletes for career success after basketball with specific training and internship placement opportunities. It will be a game-changer for us in the recruiting process. At Tulane, our four-year degree prepares our student-athletes for a great 40 years ahead, and this program will define how a successful transition can happen.

In addition, Avron’s gift will fund the installation of an altitude chamber. The chamber creates a training environment which can simulate any altitude. Currently used by the United States Olympic Committee and just a few select institutions nationally, it will give us an opportunity to create a physical endurance edge versus our peers.

The Olive & Blue Society was created to allow for philanthropic opportunities for our donors to significantly impact Tulane athletics that didn’t involve priority seating benefits but would be 100 percent tax deductible. In just over 18 months, 59 individuals have pledged at least $25,000 to join the society, with more than $6.5 million committed. We can’t thank Tulane supporters enough, as the society not only allows us to make infrastructure upgrades, but also retain our coaches. Both Mark Booras and Willie Fritz signed new contracts in 2018, and resources committed through the Olive & Blue Society allowed those new contracts to happen.

However, the creation of our new mental health coordinator position is what I am most proud of this fall. In collegiate athletics we spend so much time trying to optimize physical health and well-being that we have overlooked the mental health of our student-athletes. Lauren Miller joined us and is providing daily support and counseling. Over 20 percent of our student-athletes have already met with Lauren, as well as some teams as a group. We owe it to our student-athletes to ensure the best experience we can give, and I believe, now, we are doing just that.

We have the best competitive news to share in a long time. First, senior Emmanuel Rotich advanced to the NCAA Cross Country Championship for the third consecutive year and was AAC Cross Country Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive year. Tulane bowling ended the fall semester ranked sixth in the nation, a high-water mark for the program.

Swimming and diving has had great performances under new head coach Leah Stancil, and we were thrilled to debut sailing as Tulane’s newest sport, with the program off to a great start this fall.

The volleyball run captivated all of us. With four freshmen and two sophomores playing key roles, volleyball finished the year third in the AAC after being picked 10th in preseason polls. The season culminated with a 29-9 record and runner-up in the postseason National Collegiate Volleyball Invitational Tournament. Congrats to Coach Jim Barnes who, in just three years as head coach, has Tulane positioned to contend for an AAC title in 2019.

Football was a tale of two seasons with a 2-5 start replaced by a 5-1 finish, our first AAC Divisional Title and a berth in the Auto Nation Cure Bowl. This was just the 12th bowl game in our 125 years of football, and the victory over ULL was just our fifth bowl victory in school history. The win also served as our first bowl victory since 2002.

Needless to say, December ended on the highest of highs for Tulane Athletics.

Personally, nothing was more of a highlight this year than the symbolism of Willie Fritz leading the team to victory on the three-year anniversary of the press conference introducing him as our football head coach. Our department looks dramatically different since that day three years ago. Over 85 percent of our staff is new to Tulane athletics. Six other new head coaches have joined Willie in the department as well. The focus has been to transition athletics to a top 40 program in every respect, just as Tulane is a top 40 institution and we are well on the way.

I would be remiss if I didn’t take an opportunity in this note to give proper credit to our staff for their influence in creating a culture of high expectations for achievement in all respects. Our senior leadership team includes Deputy Athletic Director, Mónica Lebrón, Garrett Broom overseeing development, Chris Maitre overseeing facilities and business operations, Charvi Greer as Senior Woman Administrator and leading the academic side of the house, Lorne Robertson running point on NCAA compliance, financial aid and admissions, Rob Bernardi managing our internal operations and Jana Woodson overseeing all marketing and external areas. I would put our team up against any other, anywhere in the nation, at any level. Their commitment and passion for Tulane shows every day. An athletic program will rise as high as its weakest link allows, and today, we can rise higher than ever as our links are strong and well connected. It is a good time to be a Greenie.

2019 promises to bring at least as much excitement as 2018. Lisa Stockton, just off her 500th career coaching victory, has an exceptional group of freshmen and sophomores and is off to a great start in the top 60 in the RPI. We look forward to the conference race. Mike Dunleavy Sr. has a roster with five freshmen playing big minutes as he builds a foundation for his program. Women’s golf has made improvement from last year and also has a young roster with high expectations.

Men’s tennis will target a Top 20 ranking again this year and will seek to defend its AAC title from 2018, while women’s tennis has signed two, five-star recruits and is rising fast. Beach Volleyball will look for a postseason run this spring, and both indoor and outdoor track have individuals who will challenge for conference and NCAA honors. Finally, baseball welcomes 2007 alum Daniel Latham back as pitching coach, and expects to compete for the conference title and find its way back to the NCAA Regionals.

We have $3.5 million committed for a new tennis facility, and my hope is ground will be broken in the near future. Land is at a premium in the area and we are looking at 2-3 different locations for our new home. Design is completed, and once constructed, Tulane will have an extraordinary tennis facility fitting for a top 20 program.

As you may have read, the next television contract for the AAC is in our future, and we will begin building out production capabilities in the next few months that will allow us to create a full digital broadcast of home events, as well as create our own content, such as coaches shows, to distribute to our fans. This project has been a goal of mine since I started in December of 2015. Our fan base is spread throughout the nation, and we need state-of-the-art technology to stay engaged. Jana Woodson and her team do a tremendous job of creating a path of engagement through social media and other mediums, but a production house will better our engagement with you by magnitudes.

I’m also expecting eSports to find a home in Tulane athletics in the upcoming year. We continue to refine our plans but look for an announcement of our long-term plans in this space before the end of the current school year.

I look forward to my second year on the NCAA Competitive Oversight Committee, which gives Tulane a direct voice on national matters, as well as wrapping up my term as Vice Chair of the AAC. I’m also looking forward to my part of the continuing roll out of the institutional “Only the Audacious” campaign across the country. I’ve had the opportunity to join President Fitts at campaign events in Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Washington D.C., Atlanta and New York City this year as we “spread the word” about Tulane athletics, and seek to elevate our presence nationally.

We have a great foundation in place and look forward to seeing what we can build upon it.

Thanks to all of you for what you have done, what you continue to do, and what you will do in the future for Tulane University and our Athletic Department.

Please reach out to me directly (tdannen@tulane.edu) anytime, about anything. I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve as your athletic director.


ROLL WAVE


Troy Dannen
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:28 am 
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No mention of basketball

E-sports? Gimme a break

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:29 am 
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windywave wrote:
No mention of basketball

E-sports? Gimme a break


2019 promises to bring at least as much excitement as 2018. Lisa Stockton, just off her 500th career coaching victory, has an exceptional group of freshmen and sophomores and is off to a great start in the top 60 in the RPI. We look forward to the conference race. Mike Dunleavy Sr. has a roster with five freshmen playing big minutes as he builds a foundation for his program. Women’s golf has made improvement from last year and also has a young roster with high expectations.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:31 am 
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Johnny Mac wrote:
windywave wrote:
No mention of basketball

E-sports? Gimme a break


2019 promises to bring at least as much excitement as 2018. Lisa Stockton, just off her 500th career coaching victory, has an exceptional group of freshmen and sophomores and is off to a great start in the top 60 in the RPI. We look forward to the conference race. Mike Dunleavy Sr. has a roster with five freshmen playing big minutes as he builds a foundation for his program. Women’s golf has made improvement from last year and also has a young roster with high expectations.


I was more referring to the banner year portion where the successes were listed

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:32 am 
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windywave wrote:
Johnny Mac wrote:
windywave wrote:
No mention of basketball

E-sports? Gimme a break


2019 promises to bring at least as much excitement as 2018. Lisa Stockton, just off her 500th career coaching victory, has an exceptional group of freshmen and sophomores and is off to a great start in the top 60 in the RPI. We look forward to the conference race. Mike Dunleavy Sr. has a roster with five freshmen playing big minutes as he builds a foundation for his program. Women’s golf has made improvement from last year and also has a young roster with high expectations.


I was more referring to the banner year portion where the successes were listed

would you rather have Rick Dickson talking about his landscaping skills?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:34 am 
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krewe of ham and eggs wrote:
windywave wrote:
Johnny Mac wrote:
windywave wrote:
No mention of basketball

E-sports? Gimme a break


2019 promises to bring at least as much excitement as 2018. Lisa Stockton, just off her 500th career coaching victory, has an exceptional group of freshmen and sophomores and is off to a great start in the top 60 in the RPI. We look forward to the conference race. Mike Dunleavy Sr. has a roster with five freshmen playing big minutes as he builds a foundation for his program. Women’s golf has made improvement from last year and also has a young roster with high expectations.


I was more referring to the banner year portion where the successes were listed

would you rather have Rick Dickson talking about his landscaping skills?


I'd rather be interested in a basketball game for more than 20 minutes

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:36 am 
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eSports is not athletics

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:40 am 
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gerryb323 wrote:
eSports is not athletics

You forgot the captain obvious meme

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:42 am 
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windywave wrote:
gerryb323 wrote:
eSports is not athletics

You forgot the captain obvious meme


If it engages the student body then ok with me. I don't go to swimming meets either.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:43 am 
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Baywave1 wrote:
windywave wrote:
gerryb323 wrote:
eSports is not athletics

You forgot the captain obvious meme


If it engages the student body then ok with me. I don't go to swimming meets either.

But swimming is athletic. I have no problem sponsoring eSports, but not through the athletic department.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:44 am 
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Baywave1 wrote:
windywave wrote:
gerryb323 wrote:
eSports is not athletics

You forgot the captain obvious meme


If it engages the student body then ok with me. I don't go to swimming meets either.


Drinking and nookie engages them as well and both those are more athletic than e-sports

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:46 am 
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TUPF wrote:
Mike Dunleavy Sr. has a roster with five freshmen playing big minutes as he builds a foundation for his program. Women’s golf has made improvement from last year and also has a young roster with high expectations.

He forgot the part about "the basketball program is not only in worse shape than when I took over, this team is weakest Tulane team of this century"; and the part about "while women's golf finished in the top 20 3 out of the 5 years before I arrived...."

And what the heck is an e sport?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:46 am 
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GSx wrote:
TUPF wrote:
Mike Dunleavy Sr. has a roster with five freshmen playing big minutes as he builds a foundation for his program. Women’s golf has made improvement from last year and also has a young roster with high expectations.

He forgot the part about "the basketball program is not only in worse shape than when I took over, this team is weakest Tulane team of this century"; and the part about "while women's golf finished in the top 20 3 out of the 5 years before I arrived...."

And what the heck is an e sport?


Video games

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:47 am 
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Glad to see weight room funded. Thanks to Slattens for naming gift and the others that funded it as well. This was very important to Fritz.

Glad to see progress made on bringing tennis back to campus. Goldrings deserve it (and probably have a hand in this new one too) for all they have done for Tulane athletics especially supporting that the former center land be used for Yulman.

MBB is what it is. He asks us briefly to get behind it. We have a coach and team so I'm supporting it even if I don't agree with scheme and team is playing below expectation.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:50 am 
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windywave wrote:
Baywave1 wrote:
windywave wrote:
gerryb323 wrote:
eSports is not athletics

You forgot the captain obvious meme


If it engages the student body then ok with me. I don't go to swimming meets either.


Drinking and nookie engages them as well and both those are more athletic than e-sports



They may be more fun but they are not more athletic. Regardless last time I looked Tulane like most universities charges some student fee which goes to athletics. As I said if that means throwing them a bone to make the subsidy more palatable, ok with me.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:50 am 
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GSx wrote:
TUPF wrote:
Mike Dunleavy Sr. has a roster with five freshmen playing big minutes as he builds a foundation for his program. Women’s golf has made improvement from last year and also has a young roster with high expectations.

He forgot the part about "the basketball program is not only in worse shape than when I took over, this team is weakest Tulane team of this century"; and the part about "while women's golf finished in the top 20 3 out of the 5 years before I arrived...."

And what the heck is an e sport?

Are we forgetting Conroy's last year? We were terrible

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:56 am 
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gerryb323 wrote:
GSx wrote:
TUPF wrote:
Mike Dunleavy Sr. has a roster with five freshmen playing big minutes as he builds a foundation for his program. Women’s golf has made improvement from last year and also has a young roster with high expectations.

He forgot the part about "the basketball program is not only in worse shape than when I took over, this team is weakest Tulane team of this century"; and the part about "while women's golf finished in the top 20 3 out of the 5 years before I arrived...."

And what the heck is an e sport?

Are we forgetting Conroy's last year? We were terrible


Probably still better than this team.

Dickerson’s last year might have been the worst or Conroy’s 1st year


Last edited by visualmagic on Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:58 am 
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gerryb323 wrote:
GSx wrote:
TUPF wrote:
Mike Dunleavy Sr. has a roster with five freshmen playing big minutes as he builds a foundation for his program. Women’s golf has made improvement from last year and also has a young roster with high expectations.

He forgot the part about "the basketball program is not only in worse shape than when I took over, this team is weakest Tulane team of this century"; and the part about "while women's golf finished in the top 20 3 out of the 5 years before I arrived...."

And what the heck is an e sport?

Are we forgetting Conroy's last year? We were terrible

Well we did lose to Alabama A&M that year...but only by 1!
But we also won 3 conference games and 2 AAC tournament games...think we'll match that?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:11 pm 
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Quote:
Finally, baseball welcomes 2007 alum Daniel Latham back as pitching coach, and expects to compete for the conference title and find its way back to the NCAA Regionals.


Nice to see a whole sentence dedicated to the baseball program


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:21 pm 
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I'm down on basketball and disappointed in baseball right now too, but what would you have him say? This is clearly a marketing letter to show the positives. The relative quiet about the other programs speaks for itself without needing to be highlighted in something like this letter.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:57 pm 
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Baywave1 wrote:
windywave wrote:
Baywave1 wrote:
windywave wrote:
gerryb323 wrote:
eSports is not athletics

You forgot the captain obvious meme


If it engages the student body then ok with me. I don't go to swimming meets either.


Drinking and nookie engages them as well and both those are more athletic than e-sports



They may be more fun but they are not more athletic.


Justify this statement because it is incomprehensible

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:13 pm 
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tulaneoutlaw wrote:
I'm down on basketball and disappointed in baseball right now too, but what would you have him say? This is clearly a marketing letter to show the positives. The relative quiet about the other programs speaks for itself without needing to be highlighted in something like this letter.


I don’t know.
Heartfelt apology might have made me feel better


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:15 pm 
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tulaneoutlaw wrote:
I'm down on basketball and disappointed in baseball right now too, but what would you have him say? This is clearly a marketing letter to show the positives. The relative quiet about the other programs speaks for itself without needing to be highlighted in something like this letter.

Okay, but when coupled with this blather: "Success in intercollegiate athletics is measured in many different ways by many different constituencies. As a result, we entered this school year with 53 goals to achieve, ranging from academic to financial, to social and competitive."
"53 reasons" are not why people support this program. It's just low-standards speak.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:40 pm 
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Baywave1 wrote:
windywave wrote:
Drinking and nookie engages them as well and both those are more athletic than e-sports

They may be more fun but they are not more athletic.

1. Bay, you're doing it wrong (inadvertent use of "doing it").
2. This might be Windy's greatest post ever.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:40 pm 
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visualmagic wrote:
tulaneoutlaw wrote:
I'm down on basketball and disappointed in baseball right now too, but what would you have him say? This is clearly a marketing letter to show the positives. The relative quiet about the other programs speaks for itself without needing to be highlighted in something like this letter.


I don’t know.
Heartfelt apology might have made me feel better


In a marketing letter?

Drink Coke because it's delicious. PS Sorry it makes you fat and gives you diabetes. No marketing exec would ever say that.

I'm on your side but I'm not sure why you (and this is for Gsx too) would expect anything else. Honestly I'd be mad if he was pointing those things out in a letter like this, because it would mean informing a bunch of people that don't follow those sports but might give money that we are currently flailing. It's the same reason he points to the 53 goals - it gives people the sense we are working toward a metric. Any metric. Because we didn't have anything like that under Dickson.


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