Sully Says: "A Game with the new AD"
Last night, I got to see the Hogs' new athletics director, Hunter Yurachek, in action... as a fan.
It was game one of Hunter's "learn more about the program" experience. His family won't arrive until after the school year ends, so he's using his four seats at Hog hoop games to reach out to different groups.
Wednesday night, I joined Wally Hall of the Democrat-Gazette and Bo Mattingly of Sportstalk with Bo to go through the game experience with the new AD, from 7:15 p.m. to the final seconds of that ugly loss.
My biggest takeaway? This former College basketball player is a passionate fan, and he's not afraid to show it. When the Hogs were making their only run in the second half, the new athletics director was on his feet cheering on his new favorite team. When LSU scored an easy bucket during a game-clinching run, the new AD suggested that it might be a good idea for someone to take a charge. He also let one official (who he's watched three times) know what he thought about the job he's done working Hog games this season.
I can tell you that he loves Bud Walton Arena. He was impressed with the energy in the building on a Wednesday night. Look for Bud Walton go through an updating phase with the new AD.
His first impression of Fayetteville? He called it a classic college town. He compared it to Charlottesville, Virginia.
The only questions he had for us last night: Where are you guys from, and what do you see as the most significant opportunity for the athletics program?
He's noticed that his Twitter friends count has jumped from around 4,000 followers to 20,000, but he has no interest in being the "Twitter King."
So what is he hearing from fans? Three things top the list: the switch from Coke to Pepsi, the slobbering Hog design and the possibility of naming the court at Bud Walton arena "Nolan Richardson court."
It's human nature to compare the new guy to the old guy. I thought Jeff Long did a good job, but he seemed to be part politician. Building the Jeff Long brand appeared to be important to him.
I don't see that with Hunter Yurachek, and I think that's a good thing.
The game stunk, but I enjoyed my night with Hunter, Bo and Wally.