By head coach Joe Golding
Change. Very few words in the English language can mean as much to a group of people, culture or program than that six-letter word. Change is exactly what we are doing, and have been doing, over the last several months in the ACU men’s basketball program.
We have moved from NCAA Div. II to NCAA Div. I, changed from the Lone Star Conference to the Southland Conference, changed uniform suppliers from Russell to Adidas, added 10 new scholarship players and three new members to the coaching staff.
Without question, each of these changes has made our team and program a better place for our student athletes. We also hope these changes will bring out an increase in support from the student body. One of our priorities is to represent our university, alumni and students with grace and class.
The most important part of the division change is the ability we now have to recruit a higher level of student athletes to join our basketball program. ACU is one of the finest universities in the country. Our goal is to recruit student athletes who will thrive in the classroom and then on the court.
Currently, we have students on our roster enrolled in a wide range of academic programs, including biochemistry, business management, criminal justice, family studies and secondary education. Our proud academic tradition is one thing we do not need to change.
With the move to Div. I, the level of our on-court competition has also increased. As it reads in Proverbs 27:17, “Just as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” In addition to a full slate of Southland Conference competition, we will play against teams this season from the Athletic Coast Conference, Big XII, Big Ten and Atlantic 10. Playing this level of competition will not only make our team better, it will also bring a new and higher level of exposure to our university.
We will have three games this season on the ESPN family of networks, as well as another on Fox Sports 1. This type of change is not only exciting for our team, but for our student body, faculty and alumni base across the globe. We are extremely excited about one of the ESPN games being a home contest at Moody Coliseum. This will be the first time an ACU basketball team has appeared on an ESPN network.
Through Welcome Week and the first week of class, it’s evident to me that the student body is ready to change right along with us. In my opinion, there is not a better representation of the spirit of change than this:
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do,” Steve Jobs, founder of Apple.
After all, our goal here at ACU is to “Change the World.” Come change it with us!