A letter from Joe Alleva
POSTED: Sunday, April 8, 2012 - 4:00pm
UPDATED: Sunday, April 8, 2012 - 4:04pm
Baton Rouge, La — Dear Tiger Fan,
Last Saturday was an important day in Tiger Stadium as we looked back on a successful 2011 season and got a preview of the 2012 campaign ahead at the annual National "L" Club Spring Football Game.
We celebrated LSU's 11th Southeastern Conference title as representatives from previous SEC champions looked on, and we introduced a new tradition of flying flags in the stadium that represent past SEC titles. Then the 2012 edition of the LSU Tigers took the field in front of more than 33,000 fans, possibly the largest crowd in the history of the LSU spring football game.
My thanks to SEC commissioner Mike Slive who deemed this event important enough for him to attend and once again present the 2011 SEC trophy to the LSU Tigers. He gave the best summary of the celebration as he called LSU's 2011 season the most dominant regular season performance in the history of college football. I could not agree more.
My congratulations to Coach Les Miles on being named National Coach of the Year by a number of media outlets and sports organizations this year. He has put LSU football in a position to contend for national titles year in and year out and his players are performing in the classroom as well as evidenced by LSU's second place finish in the SEC in graduation success rate behind only Vanderbilt. These are truly good times for LSU football fans.
ALL SPORTS SUCCESS
LSU fans support Tiger teams across the board, and there is great reason for optimism throughout the athletics program.
We recently completed another year of basketball at LSU. New coach Nikki Caldwell had the Lady Tigers back in the NCAA tournament and on the doorstep of a Sweet Sixteen appearance, and coach Trent Johnson continues to rebuild the men's program, having secured five more SEC victories than last year and an SEC Tournament win while taking national champion Kentucky to the wire in the SEC tourney.
The baseball Tigers under Paul Mainieri are sitting atop the SEC West and are coming off of a three-game sweep of No. 3 Arkansas and new softball coach Beth Torina has the Tigers riding an 12-game win streak, including consecutive SEC sweeps of Mississippi State, South Carolina and Arkansas.
Another team worth watching is a young LSU gymnastics team that has improved with each and every meet this year. Good luck to the Tigers and long-time coach D-D Breaux who will compete in the NCAA regionals in Seattle this weekend with an eye on the national championships later this month in Atlanta.
A lot of other LSU teams are still in action. The track and field team is coming off a historic performance in the Texas Relays, the men's and women's tennis teams have scored some significant upsets in the spring and the men's and women's golf teams each have several first place tournament finishes under their belts.
I hope you will come out and support our student-athletes in all sports.
TIGER STADIUM UPDATE
If you came to the spring football game, you noticed a construction site on the west side of Tiger Stadium. We are installing a new fence and gating system that will make the entrance to the stadium much more appealing. In addition, there will be All-American walls to honor great players in LSU history and a championship plaza similar to the one at Alex Box Stadium to salute our national champions and College Hall of Fame members.
You will also soon be hearing more about an expansion of the south end of Tiger Stadium. We will propose the addition of approximately 60 suites and 3,000 club seats as well as about 1,500 general public seats above the current south end zone bowl. The project will be entirely privately funded through the Tiger Athletic Foundation. The project will also help us address some critical facility needs for non-revenue sports as we look to add an indoor tennis facility and new gymnastics practice facility.
It is important to always have an eye on the future and this investment in our facilities is critical for the future of LSU Athletics. We will continue to update you as plans develop for these facility improvements.
As always, we welcome your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. Unfortunately we cannot answer every e-mail we receive, but please be assured they are all read.
Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics