Red Raider Club Meeting Report

An air of euphoria from the victories over Ole Miss and Texas A&M, combined with cautious but inescapable optimism in looking at the remainder of the schedule, permeated the air high up in the Jones-SBC Stadium Club as the second weekly dinner meeting of the Red Raider Club took place on Thursday evening, October 9.

From 6:00 to 7:00, Red Raider Club members enjoyed a buffet-style meal and a lot of pleasant (and no doubt astute) analysis of the two recent victories. Several members of the coaching staff were present.

Senior Associate Athletic Director and RRC Chief Executive Steve Uryasz introduced Dennis Simmons, from the football staff, who gave a broad overview of the recruiting process and all its many nuances. Interesting to everyone in attendance, it was highly educational for fans who are not particularly knowledgeable about recruiting. The process of recruiting talented athletes to play football at Texas Tech is a complicated, time-consuming process and constrained by a plethora of NCAA regulations. With over 500 high schools in Texas alone, recruiting is essentially a year-around job that is characterized by various phases and emphases, rather than just by a periodic "recruiting season."

Simmons emphasized the importance of Texas Tech's summer football camps in allowing young players (the camps range in age from third grade to eleventh grade) to become familiarized with Texas Tech, and vice versa. "If your son or grandson, or some other junior high or high school player you know, wants to try to play football for Texas Tech, send him to our summer football camps, so he can get to know the coaches and the coaches can get to know him." He went on to tell that, amazingly, some fathers call the football office and say, indignantly, "Hey, I sent my son to U.T.'s (or A&M's) football camp the last two summers--now why is Tech not recruiting him?" (Obviously, he was not talking about the blue-chippers here, but rather some of the lesser-known players who might not get as much pub as the superstars.) He pointed out, tongue in cheek, that U.T. and A&M are not disposed to "share" the results of their football camps with Tech.

Coach Leach received a standing ovation both at the start and at the end of his remarks. He appeared to be very relaxed and comfortable speaking to this relatively small group (estimated at about 100 people). His wry sense of humor continues to capture the imagination of the local fans, and he caused ripples of laughter through the Club dining hall throughout his address. Employing the subtleties of nuance and timing, Coach Leach held the audience with rapt attention. He said one thing that brought the house down--when he opened up the floor for questions, after about a two-second pause, he deadpanned, "I'll bet (insert name of another coach, who shall remain nameless here) doesn't open it up for questions." All in good fun!

Coach Leach continued to emphasize the importance of "rising up on all three sides of the ball"--playing with intensity throughout the game on offense, defense, and special teams. He noted continued improvement on the part of the Red Raiders as far as maintaining that consistency and intensity, but also noted that there are still mistakes that need to be corrected and periods of less intensity that need to be brought up to speed. He noted that Iowa State is a very talented team that will be a formidable opponent for Tech on Saturday, especially if the Cyclones play with their own full potential and intensity.

Mr. Uryasz had to usher Coach Leach away from the lectern in order to get him to the suite where he does his weekly radio show. Again, Coach Leach was warmly applauded as he made his way to the broadcast area. Some fans decided to stay and listen in person, while others listened through the speakers throughout the Club as Mr. Uryasz took a large group of fans on a tour of the upstairs suites. Many of the "regular" suites were viewed first--very nice, reminiscent of many of the suites at the United Spirit Arena. And, then, there was the Chancellor's Suite--quite large and very suitable for entertaining large donors, on about the twenty-yard line. And, finally--the $25 million dollar-donor suite designated for SBC, again quite large and right on the 50-yard-line. Unbelievably impressive! Although it did not appear that anyone in the tour group was a suite holder, there was a uananimity of pride in just how magnificent Texas Tech's football stadium really is. It is is incomparable in state-of-the-art design and accommodations. Everything about it screams "big time" college football!

Raider Power Top Stories