With the backdrop of our dazzling redesigned website, I would like to again welcome our newest head coaches to the Gaucho family, Carlene Mitchell (women’s basketball) and Andrew Checketts (baseball). They will lead exceptional young men and women here at UCSB and are the kind of role models every university strives to obtain. There is an enormous buzz around campus and the area surrounding both Carlene and Andrew.
One of my favorite elements in the new site is the “Our Stories” series. Over the next few months, you will have the opportunity to watch and read about the amazing stories that have made UCSB so special. Our first installment -- “The Original Gaucho Heart” -- is very touching and I encourage you to watch. Great job Larissa White and her Gaucho Vision team.
Today, I want to share some news on the budget and our annual giving progress for 2010-11. The budget crisis in California and in particular, our UC system, has been well publicized. The campus has to collectively tighten its belt once again, including athletics. However, because of the record year in number of gifts and donors to support all 20 of our programs, the Gauchos have had tremendous success this past year. In short, we are thriving!
With the help of over 850 annual donors to the Gaucho Fund, generously giving approximately $900,000 (again, an all-time high) we have been able to eliminate not one student-athlete opportunity or cut one scholarship dollar. We are 20 strong programs on a journey of offering an educational opportunity to over 400 driven student-athletes.
And it’s all because of you. By financially supporting the Gauchos you are the spark that provides this opportunity to them at this incredible university. Today every young woman and man who dons the Gaucho blue and gold are on a mission to win in every phase of their lives. And that’s why they dare to be great. Because of you.
Here are some year-end highlights –
Moving forward, please be sure to jump on board our soccer push to create 2,000 season ticket holders (2K Strong). We already own NCAA records for attendance, both average and single game, but I’m with Coach Tim Vom Steeg who wants to create a fan-base no one can ever catch. This year defending champ Akron returns to Meredith Field along with Cal Poly, West Virginia and other Big West foes. You’ll fall in love with our brand of soccer and its affordable and value-packed pricing highlighted by the family plan at only $2.91 per ticket (which includes free kids tees and themed soccer scarf)!
We are also expanding our reach by creating a mini-plan for soccer fans in the Santa Maria/Santa Ynez Valley and Ventura County called the “V-Pack”. If you know of UCSB or soccer fans in general in those two areas, please let them know about the “V-Pack” offer. Gaucho soccer in what is truly “Soccer Heaven” is always affordable, great entertainment and the UCSB Athletics Ticket Office can easily get you on board at (805) 893-UCSB or online.
Thank you for supporting the Gauchos and have a great summer.
Mark W. Massari
Director of Intercollegiate Athletics