In case anyone hadn't seen it, Andy did an interview with Whit and published Parts I & II over the last two days. It's really great stuff and there are some interesting bits of information.
A few things stuck out to me, so I will highlight them here.
There is a special uniform combo for the Battle At Bristol:
We're hoping to wear something that maybe people haven't seen but it's not crazy. How about that? I'll just leave it at that. I think it's really sharp.
I have seen lots of people bemoan our deal with Nike, and Whit touches on the fact that it could be a bit better, but brings up some interesting points:
I think with Nike, though, typically when you look as these schools and what adidas is paying Under Armour and all that, typically Nike gives way less cash than the others do. They had more of the market, they give more in product and in some cases, adidas and Under Armour have had to come in and buy their way into other schools. So when people compare our Nike deal to somebody else's Under Armour deal, that Under Armour deal is often going to be more lucrative. What people should look at is just Nike deal to Nike deal.
Whit is also well aware of our alumni outreach challenges, and recognized some of the frustration from alumni letter winners. The whole alumni relations thing seems to be undergoing a major overhaul.
Kevin Jones is helping us a lot on that front. We felt like we had already made good strides, but it just shows that we can tighten it up a little bit more. But Kevin Jones will help us a lot there and is already engaged and has communicated with all the former players. Coach Fuente is. I appreciate his passion and I think we can do a little better in those areas.
Kevin Jones is an outstanding ambassador for our program and I am also very glad to see Coach Fuente on board with this effort.
There's also some discussion of facilities upgrades and donation goals; see Alex Koma's great interview with Tom Gabbard for more.
Finally, the Athletic Department is developing a leadership institute that focuses on career development. I love this idea as it reinforces the ability of VT to develop not only athletes, but trains people for success in their careers. I hope this becomes a unique cornerstone of our program.
Something new that maybe has not been talked about, we're talking about developing a leadership institute within the athletic department. It's not a building in itself, but this institute, actually the first class of it of student-athletes is over in Switzerland right now. But really work to develop this leadership institute as part of our student-athlete development, career development, resume writing, all that. Taking within the athletic department and having programming and instructors and other things on a leadership institute. We feel like that will be a bit of a game-changer.
Lots to chew on in these comments from Whit. Sounds like everything is heading in a good direction. What does everyone think?