Oct. 1, 2009
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The Victory Bus
by Kristin Gold
John Madden had his "Madden Cruiser" and now the Broncos have their "Victory Bus."
"It's kind of been a dream of ours for the past five years or so to have this. We really didn't have the money for it, in this economy we don't have money to purchase something like this," said Santa Clara Athletic Director Dan Coonan.
With the help of two generous donors, Gary Filizetti and John Michael Sobrato, the dream is now a reality. Coonan and the rest of the Bronco athletic department are focused on Bronco pride and the bus screams Santa Clara. The black bus, hosts the Bronco logo and maroon writing on the front hood and sides. On the back of the bus is a picture of the Mission Church, which according to Coonan, helps connect the athletic department to the rest of the University.
"Ed Kelly, who has volunteered for us for over 25 years as our ticket manager, said it brought a tear to his eye when he saw the picture of the Mission Church on the back," Coonan said.
The bus will feature wireless Internet so student-athletes can study; and it has room enough for 33 passengers. It also has two televisions and a DVD player so teams can watch movies and game film as well.
Tim Dougherty '78 will split time as the bus driver with a professional driver.
"Tim Dougherty has been a godsend for us," said Coonan. "He has been so incredibly gracious with his time, and we really can't thank him enough."
Coonan admits the bus may not make everyone cry, but it does boost the confidence of the Bronco athletes. "[We] want Santa Clara athletes, when they step off the bus as the visiting team, to walk into their competition with a little swagger," Coonan said.
That swagger helped name the bus the "Victory Bus." For its inaugural journey, the bus took the women's soccer team to San Jose State, where the Broncos beat the Spartans 4-0.
"I took the trip with them, and on the way back we just decided to forever call it the Victory Bus," Coonan said.
Victories also include cross country runner Stephanie Wilson, who crossed the finish line first at the Hornet Jamboree September 12 and men's water polo, who achieved its highest-ever national ranking last week.
All 19 Santa Clara athletic programs will use the bus with every team hoping to come home a winner each time.