Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Zach Spiker was introduced as the new Drexel Men's Basketball Head Coach today, in front of a crowd of (in order of estimated quantity):

1)  People paid by Drexel or on a Drexel Scholarship
2)  Assorted media
3)  Penn Athletics Staff
4a) Friends and Family
4b) Drexel Basketball Supporters

Generating support for the program is something that will be discussed throughout this offseason, beginning on these pages later this week.  Prior to that will be a triage campaign to maintain the level of support that the program currently has going into the off-season.  But if the reader is a donor, or a season ticket holder, or just a fan at large, and a Drexel Athletics staff member happens to cross your path over the next few weeks, here is a question to offer them:

What direction is the program going?

The Spiker hiring was an aggressive, and exciting move.  Besides what Coach Spiker brings to the table on the court, the Athletics Department is saving - this is a technical term - oodles of money over the next five years.  Most of that savings comes from paying Coach Spiker rather than Bruiser and his Associate Head Coach's sizable contract.  Will there be an announcement of where that extra allocation will go?

In Dr. Zillmer's letter to fans, no goals were stated for Coach Spiker with the exception of "He will do great things for Drexel." Stating specific goals in an email before the new coach even meets his team would have been overly aggressive, but a head nod towards a broad goalpost would have been useful.  And if this was such a significant day for the university, why wouldn't there be an effort made to ensure it was scheduled at a time that the University President could attend?

Perhaps more insight into the programs direction will be given once the Assistant Coaches are signed.   It's worth remembering that the off-season is barely upon us and that there is plenty of time before next season begins.  But at any time during the process it should be important to potential donors to know if and how the school is investing in its flagship athletics program.  Is this program high on the President's agenda? If one donates, are they going to see the school do their part to ensure a return on that investment?  Are there clear and public goals and standards that the money will go towards?   And after a new coach was hired, and after a public speach by the Athletic Director, how are these questions now more relevant, and not less?

Donating to a program without a clear agenda or goals, or a program that is just stagnant...  well, there's a belief that Drexel fans don't like lighting their money on fire.  The hiring of Coach Spiker is an exciting move, but it can't be the final move of this offseason, rather it needs to be the first step in clear leadership.  President Fry, Dr. Zillmer now need to execute a decisive "first hundred day" vision that shows leadership, direction, and an avenue for return on investment for potential donors.  What they can't do is leave the current question out there floating for months.

What direction is the program going?

1 comment:

  1. 4b was wayyyyyyyyyyy less than the others

    press conference in the middle of the workday? when fry cant be there? yep....lets show the FANS we love them!!!

    also why is this move so exciting?

    coach from major program with major recruiting connections = exciting!!!

    coach from low major that didn't go to the tourney and is under 500 = meh