Troy Dannen

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GreenLantern
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Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:20 pm

I'm sure that most of you got this email today, but if any didn't it's worth a read.

A Message From Troy Dannen


Happy New Year!

Without a doubt, 2018 left some great memories for the Green Wave faithful, and as we enter 2019 optimism abounds. I want to take the opportunity, through this letter, to highlight the first semester of the 2018-19 school year and give some insight on what we can look forward to this spring.

Success in intercollegiate athletics is measured in many different ways by many different constituencies. As a result, we entered this school year with 53 goals to achieve, ranging from academic to financial, to social and competitive.

On the academic side, our graduation success rate of 93 percent ranks in the top 10 of FBS schools. We have an American Athletic Conference-best seven teams with perfect graduation rates. Our collective student-athlete GPA has exceeded 3.0 each of the past six semesters including a record 3.13 in the fall of 2018. Sixty-five percent of our student-athletes currently carry a 3.0 GPA or better.

Some interesting notes from our current freshman class which included 92 new student-athletes enrolled this fall. Sixty-eight percent of them are receiving some financial aid. Athletics contributes greatly to the campus diversity, as 44 percent of our freshmen represent ethnic minorities. The most common home of our freshman class is Louisiana with 19, but Florida with 18 and Texas with 11 are close behind.

On the facility front, work continues to be done to ensure our student-athletes have an infrastructure which will help position them for success. We opened the Green Wave Grille, a dining facility located in Yulman Stadium in August. It is affectionately known as “Gruff” as the alternative to the current campus dining facility “Bruff.” With only six of our 17 sports practicing and competing on the uptown campus, this facility has created a sense of community throughout the department that didn’t exist previously while providing everything from a nutritional standpoint to accommodate the unique needs of our student-athletes.

A gift from the Slatten family capped off a $1.2 million fundraising effort to expand and rebuild the current weight room in the James W. Wilson Jr. Center. Work will begin this spring on a state-of-the-art strength facility which will be the crown jewel of the Slatten Family Strength and Conditioning Program.

A $1 million gift from Avron B. Fogelman, will endow the Fogelman Life Preparation Program for men’s basketball. The program will prepare our student-athletes for career success after basketball with specific training and internship placement opportunities. It will be a game-changer for us in the recruiting process. At Tulane, our four-year degree prepares our student-athletes for a great 40 years ahead, and this program will define how a successful transition can happen.

In addition, Avron’s gift will fund the installation of an altitude chamber. The chamber creates a training environment which can simulate any altitude. Currently used by the United States Olympic Committee and just a few select institutions nationally, it will give us an opportunity to create a physical endurance edge versus our peers.

The Olive & Blue Society was created to allow for philanthropic opportunities for our donors to significantly impact Tulane athletics that didn’t involve priority seating benefits but would be 100 percent tax deductible. In just over 18 months, 59 individuals have pledged at least $25,000 to join the society, with more than $6.5 million committed. We can’t thank Tulane supporters enough, as the society not only allows us to make infrastructure upgrades, but also retain our coaches. Both Mark Booras and Willie Fritz signed new contracts in 2018, and resources committed through the Olive & Blue Society allowed those new contracts to happen.

However, the creation of our new mental health coordinator position is what I am most proud of this fall. In collegiate athletics we spend so much time trying to optimize physical health and well-being that we have overlooked the mental health of our student-athletes. Lauren Miller joined us and is providing daily support and counseling. Over 20 percent of our student-athletes have already met with Lauren, as well as some teams as a group. We owe it to our student-athletes to ensure the best experience we can give, and I believe, now, we are doing just that.

We have the best competitive news to share in a long time. First, senior Emmanuel Rotich advanced to the NCAA Cross Country Championship for the third consecutive year and was AAC Cross Country Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive year. Tulane bowling ended the fall semester ranked sixth in the nation, a high-water mark for the program.

Swimming and diving has had great performances under new head coach Leah Stancil, and we were thrilled to debut sailing as Tulane’s newest sport, with the program off to a great start this fall.

The volleyball run captivated all of us. With four freshmen and two sophomores playing key roles, volleyball finished the year third in the AAC after being picked 10th in preseason polls. The season culminated with a 29-9 record and runner-up in the postseason National Collegiate Volleyball Invitational Tournament. Congrats to Coach Jim Barnes who, in just three years as head coach, has Tulane positioned to contend for an AAC title in 2019.

Football was a tale of two seasons with a 2-5 start replaced by a 5-1 finish, our first AAC Divisional Title and a berth in the Auto Nation Cure Bowl. This was just the 12th bowl game in our 125 years of football, and the victory over ULL was just our fifth bowl victory in school history. The win also served as our first bowl victory since 2002.

Needless to say, December ended on the highest of highs for Tulane Athletics.

Personally, nothing was more of a highlight this year than the symbolism of Willie Fritz leading the team to victory on the three-year anniversary of the press conference introducing him as our football head coach. Our department looks dramatically different since that day three years ago. Over 85 percent of our staff is new to Tulane athletics. Six other new head coaches have joined Willie in the department as well. The focus has been to transition athletics to a top 40 program in every respect, just as Tulane is a top 40 institution and we are well on the way.

I would be remiss if I didn’t take an opportunity in this note to give proper credit to our staff for their influence in creating a culture of high expectations for achievement in all respects. Our senior leadership team includes Deputy Athletic Director, Mónica Lebrón, Garrett Broom overseeing development, Chris Maitre overseeing facilities and business operations, Charvi Greer as Senior Woman Administrator and leading the academic side of the house, Lorne Robertson running point on NCAA compliance, financial aid and admissions, Rob Bernardi managing our internal operations and Jana Woodson overseeing all marketing and external areas. I would put our team up against any other, anywhere in the nation, at any level. Their commitment and passion for Tulane shows every day. An athletic program will rise as high as its weakest link allows, and today, we can rise higher than ever as our links are strong and well connected. It is a good time to be a Greenie.

2019 promises to bring at least as much excitement as 2018. Lisa Stockton, just off her 500th career coaching victory, has an exceptional group of freshmen and sophomores and is off to a great start in the top 60 in the RPI. We look forward to the conference race. Mike Dunleavy Sr. has a roster with five freshmen playing big minutes as he builds a foundation for his program. Women’s golf has made improvement from last year and also has a young roster with high expectations.

Men’s tennis will target a Top 20 ranking again this year and will seek to defend its AAC title from 2018, while women’s tennis has signed two, five-star recruits and is rising fast. Beach Volleyball will look for a postseason run this spring, and both indoor and outdoor track have individuals who will challenge for conference and NCAA honors. Finally, baseball welcomes 2007 alum Daniel Latham back as pitching coach, and expects to compete for the conference title and find its way back to the NCAA Regionals.

We have $3.5 million committed for a new tennis facility, and my hope is ground will be broken in the near future. Land is at a premium in the area and we are looking at 2-3 different locations for our new home. Design is completed, and once constructed, Tulane will have an extraordinary tennis facility fitting for a top 20 program.

As you may have read, the next television contract for the AAC is in our future, and we will begin building out production capabilities in the next few months that will allow us to create a full digital broadcast of home events, as well as create our own content, such as coaches shows, to distribute to our fans. This project has been a goal of mine since I started in December of 2015. Our fan base is spread throughout the nation, and we need state-of-the-art technology to stay engaged. Jana Woodson and her team do a tremendous job of creating a path of engagement through social media and other mediums, but a production house will better our engagement with you by magnitudes.

I’m also expecting eSports to find a home in Tulane athletics in the upcoming year. We continue to refine our plans but look for an announcement of our long-term plans in this space before the end of the current school year.

I look forward to my second year on the NCAA Competitive Oversight Committee, which gives Tulane a direct voice on national matters, as well as wrapping up my term as Vice Chair of the AAC. I’m also looking forward to my part of the continuing roll out of the institutional “Only the Audacious” campaign across the country. I’ve had the opportunity to join President Fitts at campaign events in Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Washington D.C., Atlanta and New York City this year as we “spread the word” about Tulane athletics, and seek to elevate our presence nationally.

We have a great foundation in place and look forward to seeing what we can build upon it.

Thanks to all of you for what you have done, what you continue to do, and what you will do in the future for Tulane University and our Athletic Department.

Please reach out to me directly (tdannen@tulane.edu) anytime, about anything. I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve as your athletic director.


ROLL WAVE


Troy Dannen


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Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:25 pm

The Dunleavey talk was quick.
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GreenLantern
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Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:28 pm

Wave QB wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:25 pm
The Dunleavey talk was quick.
It was pretty brief, huh. Almost as much info devoted to e-sports. What? I will accept the fact that I'm old and out of it if e-sports gains a major foothold in the NCAA.
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Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:57 pm

Glad to hear of the weight room renovation but it makes me wonder if the football ops. building is no longer in the cards. It also worries me that it may end up just being a band-aid approach like the squad room and locker room renovations were. Hope it turns out to be the much needed and long over due change the program needs.
Last edited by winwave on Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:32 pm

winwave wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:57 pm
Glad to hear of the weight room renovation but it makes me wonder if the football ops. building is no longer in the cards. It also worries me that it may end up just being a ban-aid approach like the squad room and locker room renovations were. Hope it turns out to be the much needed and long over due change the program needs.
Sounds like a ban-aid to me.
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tpstulane
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Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:50 pm

TD comes in 5th on this impressive list.
https://www.nola.com/expo/sports/g66l-2 ... t-wil.html
Stadiums get old, winning never does.
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netshorty
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Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:08 am

tpstulane wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:50 pm
TD comes in 5th on this impressive list.
https://www.nola.com/expo/sports/g66l-2 ... t-wil.html
So this sounds like a prediction that TD will be in the news (and be influential) when he makes the necessary changes. Otherwise, he wouldn't get a sniff of being on this list.
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Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:00 pm

Does Troy have the gumption to pull the plug on Dunleavy at season's end?
If he does, can he afford to take a chance on a little known coach from the NAIA like Cordaro from LSUA?
Do Wave fans have the patience to accept such a hire if he did so?
Is it safer for him to spend big money on a name coach with a proven track record?

I personally think I'd rather try to find an up and coming coach like Coach Cordaro, or Coach Riichey (Furman) than a retread coach. Cordaro is intriguing in that he must have great recruiting ties in the state of Louisiana.

College coaching makes a huge difference. Cordaro is simply winning games at an eye-popping rate. Can he do at the AAC level what he's doing at the NAIA level? I'd like to find out!
" For every alum, no matter where they are...I want a football coach that's going to make Saturday something you anticipate and look forward to." --Troy Dannen

Thank you all for your support as my son Zach continues to beat leukemia
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Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:45 am

Jewitt and Dunleavy have been disastrous hires.
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Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:04 am

DfromCT wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:00 pm
Does Troy have the gumption to pull the plug on Dunleavy at season's end?
If he does, can he afford to take a chance on a little known coach from the NAIA like Cordaro from LSUA?
Do Wave fans have the patience to accept such a hire if he did so?
Is it safer for him to spend big money on a name coach with a proven track record?

I personally think I'd rather try to find an up and coming coach like Coach Cordaro, or Coach Riichey (Furman) than a retread coach. Cordaro is intriguing in that he must have great recruiting ties in the state of Louisiana.

College coaching makes a huge difference. Cordaro is simply winning games at an eye-popping rate. Can he do at the AAC level what he's doing at the NAIA level? I'd like to find out!
The only major downside might be the negative national press since Dunleavy seems to be largely beloved and unquestioned by those folks (except for Bill Simmons). Yes, we might lose some players but they aren't exactly winning games for us now and, for all we know, some of the better ones might be thinking of leaving either way.
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Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:31 pm

Dannen blocked me on Twitter.
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Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:01 pm

WavyHoops wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:04 am
DfromCT wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:00 pm
Does Troy have the gumption to pull the plug on Dunleavy at season's end?
If he does, can he afford to take a chance on a little known coach from the NAIA like Cordaro from LSUA?
Do Wave fans have the patience to accept such a hire if he did so?
Is it safer for him to spend big money on a name coach with a proven track record?

I personally think I'd rather try to find an up and coming coach like Coach Cordaro, or Coach Riichey (Furman) than a retread coach. Cordaro is intriguing in that he must have great recruiting ties in the state of Louisiana.

College coaching makes a huge difference. Cordaro is simply winning games at an eye-popping rate. Can he do at the AAC level what he's doing at the NAIA level? I'd like to find out!
The only major downside might be the negative national press since Dunleavy seems to be largely beloved and unquestioned by those folks (except for Bill Simmons). Yes, we might lose some players but they aren't exactly winning games for us now and, for all we know, some of the better ones might be thinking of leaving either way.
Definitely some damage control needed by TD to new candidates as to why a former NBA coach of the year couldn't win at Tulane. But then again all he needs to do is show some game film and the candidates would all quickly understand.
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tpstulane
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Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:33 pm

netshorty wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:01 pm
WavyHoops wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:04 am
DfromCT wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:00 pm
Does Troy have the gumption to pull the plug on Dunleavy at season's end?
If he does, can he afford to take a chance on a little known coach from the NAIA like Cordaro from LSUA?
Do Wave fans have the patience to accept such a hire if he did so?
Is it safer for him to spend big money on a name coach with a proven track record?

I personally think I'd rather try to find an up and coming coach like Coach Cordaro, or Coach Riichey (Furman) than a retread coach. Cordaro is intriguing in that he must have great recruiting ties in the state of Louisiana.

College coaching makes a huge difference. Cordaro is simply winning games at an eye-popping rate. Can he do at the AAC level what he's doing at the NAIA level? I'd like to find out!
The only major downside might be the negative national press since Dunleavy seems to be largely beloved and unquestioned by those folks (except for Bill Simmons). Yes, we might lose some players but they aren't exactly winning games for us now and, for all we know, some of the better ones might be thinking of leaving either way.
Definitely some damage control needed by TD to new candidates as to why a former NBA coach of the year couldn't win at Tulane. But then again all he needs to do is show some game film and the candidates would all quickly understand.
Lose at home for the first time ever vs SELA, and expensive expected rent-a-wins loses against one win Towson St and winless Alabama A&M is totally embarrassing. Our talent level is not the reason for those failures. National press clueless as usual on Tulane athletics.
Stadiums get old, winning never does.
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Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:57 pm

We shouldn't lose to those teams no matter what but we don't have much talent on the roster. That lack of talent is on MD of course. Throw in inept coaching and you have a disaster.
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Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:33 am

Did anyone else catch this in Dannen’s email?
“our first AAC Divisional Title”
Did I miss the part where we played in the championship?
DfromCT
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Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:45 am

msdos wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:33 am
Did anyone else catch this in Dannen’s email?
“our first AAC Divisional Title”
Did I miss the part where we played in the championship?
We were co-champions of the western division, and, despite beating Memphis, lost the three way tiebreaker to them.
" For every alum, no matter where they are...I want a football coach that's going to make Saturday something you anticipate and look forward to." --Troy Dannen

Thank you all for your support as my son Zach continues to beat leukemia
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Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:30 am

That’s some millennial everybody gets a medal bullshit right there
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Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:11 am

msdos wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:30 am
That’s some millennial everybody gets a medal bullshit right there
Can you count the number of wins and losses? It's a fact that they tied for the division title. It's simple as that.
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Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:13 am

Serious question. The conference had a tie breaker and Memphis won it. Does the conference recognize us as co-champs?
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Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:06 pm

winwave wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:13 am
Serious question. The conference had a tie breaker and Memphis won it. Does the conference recognize us as co-champs?
Yes, they do, as far as I understand it. Its just odd this season because there were 3 teams.
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winwave
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Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:35 pm

RobertM320 wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:06 pm
winwave wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:13 am
Serious question. The conference had a tie breaker and Memphis won it. Does the conference recognize us as co-champs?
Yes, they do, as far as I understand it. Its just odd this season because there were 3 teams.
Thanks .
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Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:38 pm

msdos wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:30 am
That’s some millennial everybody gets a medal bullshit right there
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Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:25 am

This article appeared first in the September 2018 issue of Tulanian and posted online on October 28, 2018

talking about football. guess this logic doesn't apply to basketball.
“People will walk away if you’re not successful and you’re not fun. And winning is fun. I’m a big believer that people are waiting for good things to happen so they can get engaged and involved.”

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Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:52 am

phpBB [video]


Posted September 2018. 10:52 mark he talks about basketball expectations. "Next year (2019 - 20) we're going to schedule like we should be an at large team in the NCAA tournament"

I guess he'll say that scheduling as if their an at large team doesn't necessarily mean he expects them to be an at large team. just that we'll schedule harder then this year? Losing credibility each day.
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Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:54 am

netshorty wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:52 am
https://youtu.be/09XU_O8G4kg
Posted September 2018. 10:52 mark he talks about basketball expectations. "Next year (2019 - 20) we're going to schedule like we should be an at large team in the NCAA tournament"

I guess he'll say that scheduling as if their an at large team doesn't necessarily mean he expects them to be an at large team. just that we'll schedule harder then this year? Losing credibility each day.
Next year he’ll be using that tougher schedule as an excuse for why we struggle
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