This is posted as part of our Summer Intern Blog Series. Be sure to come back each week as interns from around the country share their summer experiences with us!
By: Todd Rogers, @Todd_TTU
This past week of my internship is what you could call the “capstone” experience of my summer. Each year, ACU athletics takes a trip around Texas to visit donors, fans, and alumni across the state and I was lucky enough to get to travel on the Wildcat Club Caravan this summer. Being an intern, I drew the short end of the stick and got the task of driving to each stop along the Wildcat Club Caravan.
Here is a quick recap of my week travel wise; we left Monday afternoon and drove seven hours to Houston, the next day we drove to San Antonio and then to Austin, on Wednesday we drove from Austin to Dallas and ended the day in Ft. Worth, and then we finally reached Abilene again around 4:00 PM Thursday afternoon.
All in all, it was over 1,000 miles of driving over a four day span. Thankfully though I did not have to endure the long car rides all alone. I got the awesome opportunity to ride with the head football coach and the head volleyball coach here at ACU. This is just another example of all the cool opportunities I get to have while interning at a smaller university. How many other interns at DI universities get the chance to drive around for a week with two head coaches?
Luckily for me, both of the coaches I was with had plenty of stories to share about their experiences while coaching which made the car rides from place to place much more enjoyable. Additionally, both of the coaches also received occasional phone calls from recruits, and it was cool to be able to listen to the coaches and how they interact with these recruits and the mission and vision of their teams that they are selling to these potential student athletes.
Each stop along the caravan had a similar program with the AD opening things up by talking about some of the highlights of the previous year then followed by the true stars of the show, the head coaches. When going over the impressive list of year-end highlights at each stop, it was always neat to get to some of the big accomplishments and to hear the crowd’s reaction and subsequent applause.
Some of the things accomplished by ACU in the past year are truly remarkable, especially for a school who still has not completed its transition to DI. However, the best part of each stop was listening to the head coaches speak.
While three of the coaches were at each stop along the caravan and I heard the speeches that they gave to the crowd multiple times, I would still get chills listening to them speak and hearing about how excited they were for the future of their programs. It was incredible to see the passion that these coaches have for not only their team but the university as a whole. There was one stop in particular in Dallas where the head coaches stole the show.
There were five coaches in total but each of them came up and gave incredible speeches. Even the track coach, who if you remember from one of my previous posts is brand new, got up in front of a large crowd in Dallas and stole the show. While he didn’t have a previous year to talk about, he blew everyone away and was up on the stage preaching to the crowd at Dallas. It was extremely obvious that while he hadn’t been around long, he was a perfect fit for ACU and already had a deep passion for the school.
All in all, it was such a great experience to be able to travel along the Wildcat Club Caravan this past week. I am blessed to have gotten the opportunity to meet so many fans and alumni of the university and also to be able to travel around with two head coaches and get to listen to the never ending amount of stories that they have. While it was a long week, and arriving at a hotel at 10:00 PM just to have to take a quiz that is due at midnight was not ideal, I wouldn’t have traded it for anything.