It is that time of year every coach and administrator in college athletics loves - the start of school. We welcomed back over 350 student athletes in mid-September and I can assure you it was a truly special day on our campus.
The athletic department hosts two events during the first weekend of every school year. One is a new student-athlete reception on move-in day. The other is a student-athlete welcome bar-b-que on the afternoon prior to the first day of class. It is fun to watch the students greet their teammates for the first time since the spring quarter ended in June. There is such a buzz of excitement and strong sense of optimism for the upcoming year. It is thoroughly energizing and helps propel us into the new academic season with a renewed sense of purpose and optimism.
As I looked out on the faces of our student-athletes that weekend, I was quickly reminded of the fact that we have such wonderful young people who participate in our athletic program. Certainly, they are competitive, talented and driven athletically. However, most importantly they have a strong sense of sportsmanship and fair play.
Last season I watched our teams compete at the highest levels of competition. We won a lot of games and we lost a few along the way. But, at no time did I see any of our student-athletes behave in a manner that would be considered disrespectful of their opponent, their coach, their teammates or their university.
College athletics is a unique celebration of amateur athletics and is integral component of the higher education experience as a whole. Our Bronco student-athletes know exactly what it means to represent a fine institution such as Santa Clara University and its alumni, faculty and staff.
I'm proud of our student-athletes and I really hope that, as a Santa Clara Bronco fan, you are too.
Even though summer is generally a quiet time around a college campus, that certainly wasn't the case for a number of former Broncos this year. I'd like to congratulate a few of the outstanding accomplishments of our athletics alumni that took place this summer:
Congratulations to former Santa Clara football All-American and NFL All-Pro Brent Jones for his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame this summer. I had the pleasure of attending the ceremonies in South Bend, Ind. and spent some time with Brent and his family. Santa Clara has a great ambassador and proud alum in Brent and he deserves every honor he receives.
This summer Santa Clara became the only school in the nation to have at least one former player selected to play in four major professional all-star games. Former Broncos played in the NBA (Steve Nash, Dallas Mavericks), Major League Baseball (Randy Winn, Tampa Bay Devil Rays), MLS (Joe Cannon, San Jose Earthquakes) and WUSA (Brandi Chastain, San Jose CyberRays; Danielle Slaton, Carolina Courage; and Kylie Bivens, Atlanta Beat) all star games during this past season. Congratulations to these great athletes for being selected as some of the best athletes in the world.