The department of athletics has launched a Fan Experience Committee, hoping to connect the department with people they serve on game days.
The Fan Experience Committee will involve fans and alumni who want to give feedback on the current game day experience. It will entail six to ten meetings throughout the year about the current state of ACU athletics. Zack Lassiter, vice president for athletics, said he wants to do things together rather than doing things alone.
“I’m excited about creating a volunteer opportunity for fans who want to help us get more people to games,” Lassiter said. “We want people to create a memorable experience in games so that they can be a part of the solution.”
Lassiter started on Dec. 1 as the new vice president for athletics. Previously, he served as the deputy athletics director for external operations at Oregon State University. Lassiter has created committees at other stops in his 20 years of experience similar to the Fan Experience Committee. However this committee is unique to ACU and Lassiter wants to focus on being a Christ-centered department that wins at a high level.
“My hope is that when we have success people know why and so that we can talk to them about something much bigger than just winning that championship,” Lassiter said. “We know what our purpose is and we know what we stand for. Now how do we use our platform to be able to share that in ways that can impact much more than just ACU and Abilene.”
Lassiter is taking the first 100 days to listen and understand the community but has high hopes and dreams for ACU athletics. This initiative has flowed out of his 100 days of listening and is the first step toward his hopes and dreams at ACU.
“My experience 60 days in is that Abilene is a very relational community,” Lassiter said. “How do we as an athletic department embody that? I do believe that people come here for that purpose. My biggest thing is how do we get everyone back on the bus together moving forward again.”
In the past year, ACU has hired a new vice president for athletics in Zack Lassiter, a new men’s basketball coach in Brette Tanner, a new football coach in Keith Patterson and a new volleyball coach in Alisa Blair. Steve Harrell, the deputy athletic director for external operations is one athletics faculty member who has been a part of all the transition. Harrell said athletics is trending in a great direction.
“We should just really embrace our uniqueness of being Abilene Christian,” Harrell said. “The more successful our student-athletes are, the more fans get engaged, the more the community rallies around us and then it snowballs.”
The committee is primarily going to consist of season ticket holders and Wildcat Club members but will include students as well. Students will be able to provide feedback and communicate with the athletics department about upcoming events. Harrell said he wants students to be a part of the committee as well.
“We want to be great campus partners with our students and we want to find ways that are unique for ACU students to get involved with us,” Harrell said. “I think our campus is uniquely positioned because of the size that we can have a real and genuine relationship with our student body as a whole engrained with athletics.”