Building champions through the power of community

Building champions through the power of community Image
Building champions through the power of community April 18, 2017

Both new Athletic Director Michael Thomas and new Men’s Basketball Head Coach Dennis Felton agree: alumni support is critical to the future success of the athletic program at CSU.

“There’s no way [we] can do it by ourselves,” Coach Felton said.

He comes to CSU with more than 30 years of experience, most recently at the University of Tulsa for the last three years as the assistant head coach, so he knows a thing or two about the power of community.

“Support in the arena helps win games,” he said.  “It helps with recruiting and helps financially in providing the resources necessary to build a high-performing [athletics] program.”

Athletic Director Michael Thomas echoes that sentiment.

“The alumni are our greatest and most important stakeholder in our athletics program,” he said.

“Whether they’re attending games, whether they’re mentoring student-athletes, whether they’re providing support in other ways, whether they’re wearing the Viking colors proudly wherever they live, I think that’s extremely important.”

Thomas served as athletic director at the University of Illinois from 2011 to 2015.  Before that, he was athletic director at the University Cincinnati from 2005 to 2011.  Coming to CSU, he notes, is a bit of a return to familiar territory.  Prior to his time at the University of Cincinnati, he was athletic director at the University of Akron from 2000 to 2005.

While he had a number of opportunities elsewhere what drew him most to CSU was the school’s upward trajectory and the athletics program’s potential to continue to mirror that progress.

And he sees great value in building an infrastructure that allows for future success, where alumni share the excitement, eager to tout their alma mater.

“We want our people to be proud to wear the Viking green and proud to talk about our program and successes,” he said.

“What better than to go to work in the morning and stand at the water cooler and talk about a great CSU victory the night before.”