Tonight we kick off a week of Poinsettia Bowl celebrations with President Weber’s Poinsettia Bowl Alumni Party at the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center. As if the Aztecs’ first bowl appearance in 12 years weren’t reason enough to throw a party, there’s the added bonus of yet another new milestone for the men’s basketball team.
This week the Aztec roundballers are ranked #7 in both the AP and Coaches Polls – the highest ranking the men’s team has ever achieved. I still have to convince myself I’m wide awake when I pick up a paper or watch television and see our guys mentioned along with – and often ahead of – many of the traditionally powerful college basketball programs in the country!
I am especially pleased to see this team receiving recognition because I genuinely like these kids. They’re polite, engaging, they work very hard and they seem to understand how much their success means to our Aztec community. They give all of us alums reason to be proud.
Same with the football team.
As I write this I look out my office window from the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center and see the gridiron guys out on the practice field running drills in a driving rain. That’s dedication. It’s also indicative of the effort Coach Hoke and his players have expended to get this far. They’re still playing deep in December and that’s something to celebrate.
Which brings me back to tonight’s party and all the other events planned for this week. Right now, Aztec alumni and fans, I urge you to enjoy them all. This is our time to celebrate. We have a football team rediscovering relevance and a men’s basketball team now ranked among the nation’s elite.
So, savor the moment, Aztecs. Carpe diem!