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 Post subject: Big changes at APP STATE
PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 11:53 am 

Joined: Mon May 12, 2003 8:45 pm
Posts: 47
interview with APP's new AD


Cobb looks to transform athletic program
Thursday, 28 July 2005

Director of athletics Charlie Cobb is a busy man.

He’s been on the job for less than a month and has already visited several areas throughout the state to speak to Yosef Club members.

He has also begun formulating his plan to take Appalachian athletics to the next level.

Since July 1, his official starting date, Cobb said his main goal has been to be visible.

“Basically, from a short-term perspective, I have an A-1 and an A-2 in terms of a priority list,” Cobb said.
“A-1 is basically trying to be as visible as possible and meet as many people as I can: students, student-athletes, coaches … people internal to the university.

“And then also, more external with donors and boosters, friends of the school and people in the community.
“The second, A-2 on that list, is trying to develop a facilities plan that will impact all of our sports in terms of saying ‘how do we get to where we want to be’ from a facilities perspective. I know things have been talked about here for several years … and they’re tossed, they’re discussed and I’m trying to put my arms around that.”

Cobb is also in the midst of moving his family to Boone and seeking temporary shelter while their new house is built.

Cobb said there is also a need for more revenue generated by donations through the Yosef Club.

“We need as many people as possible to join Yosef Club,” Cobb said.

“Our goal this year, and it’s an aggressive goal to be quite honest, is to raise $1 million for scholarships. If we were to fully fund all our sports, we would need $3 million, so we’re not even close.

“Contributions to the Yosef Club have risen about 1 percent over the last five years and we have the same number of donors we had 10 years ago. If we are going to succeed in athletics, we need to get more people involved in the Yosef Club.”
Cobb said with less than one-third of all scholarships being paid for through donations, the department of athletics’ operating
budget must use approximately 70 percent of its total budget allotment to make up the difference.

Getting more alumni involved in Yosef Club and generating more money toward scholarships is only one tenet of Cobb’s overall plan, which he has dubbed “Catch the Spirit.”

The second tenet is to transform the “game day experience” for football games.

“[I’ve been working with] David Jackson, Andy Massey, Beth Alexander for a renewed game day experience for football games here in Boone,” Cobb said.

“Homecoming is a special event around this place and everybody wants to come back for Homecoming. We’re trying to put a plan in place [so that] every Saturday is Homecoming. We need that stadium full every game.”

Tenet number three in the “Catch the Spirit” platform is something Cobb called the “Spirit of Appalachian.”

“It’s the pride of wearing black and gold,” Cobb said. “As an Appalachian student, as a fan, as a supporter … buy an Appalachian license plate for your car. It spreads the word about Appalachian.
“Put stickers on your car, put a house flag up … be proud of being an Appalachian fan and show it and let people see it.”

Part four is simply having support from as many people as possible when Appalachian comes off the mountain, whether it is an athletic event or a rouser.

Cobb’s plan of a renewed game day experience comes at a crucial point in Appalachian State football.

The football team is coming off of a 6-5 campaign where they went 6-0 at home and 0-5 on the road.

Appalachian will play away from Boone seven times this year.

The past two years, the team’s record is 13-9 and they have not made a playoff appearance.

Although overall a 59 winning percentage is respectable, it is well below the average for head coach Jerry Moore’s career (.676).

Before the last two year’s campaign, ASU made the playoffs from 1998-2002.

The winningest coach in both school and conference history, Moore returns a lot of starters from last year’s team.

He is also in the final year of his contract, so this could be a make-or-break season for Moore.

Cobb said he and Moore have not discussed his contract situation.

“I’ll be honest, I spent maybe 30 seconds thinking about it one night,” Cobb said. “[Moore] is the best coach in the history of the school … his record speaks for itself. He knows he’s got some challenges ahead of him and he’s expecting great things from this team.

“He’s very confident in his team and that’s what we’re going to focus on.

“How things happen six months from now, or six weeks from now or two hours from now … if we could all predict the future I think we’d probably all be in the stock market.”

The Appalachian football program has also been the topic of a debate for several years: the possible transition from Division I-AA to I-A.

“We’ve got to get ourselves in a position to be the best we can be,” Cobb said regarding the future. “We’ve got a long way to go in terms of selling football season tickets, scholarships for athletes, facilities … we’ve got a bunch of questions to answer before we can really think about that.”

 Post subject: Big changes at APP STATE
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 10:27 am 

Joined: Mon May 12, 2003 8:45 pm
Posts: 47
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Appalachian State is ready to resume renovation plans
By Tommy Bowman
The resumption of Appalachian State's plan for an upgrade of athletics facilities is close at hand, according to Athletics Director Charlie Cobb.

"We met with architects last Friday and talked about some different scenarios," Cobb said. "They're going back to do some revisions, and I hope in a few weeks we'll have some final plans in place."

The $32 million plan, which began in 2003 with the installation of a new playing surface at Kidd Brewer Stadium, will be altered but will still include a new athletics center at or near the stadium, an indoor-practice facility for outdoor sports and stadium renovation.

Cobb said that the location of an indoor practice facility hasn't been settled but that construction will begin by the end of the year.

"It could be used for football, baseball, soccer, anybody that needs a grass field," Cobb said. "We're going to try to fast-track it and start moving dirt so we can get it done before it gets too cold."

Plans are to renovate Varsity Gym, but the hardwood practice court will remain and the gym will be used by physical education classes.

The location of a new athletics building - which will house offices and other facilities - has not been determined. Possible sites include an area behind the stadium's east stands along Stadium Drive and the banked area beyond the south end zone opposite Owens Field House.

"They're doing soil samples all around the stadium to determine the best building site from a cost standpoint, and then we'll take a look at it from a functionality standpoint," Cobb said.

The original plan called for a 77,000 square foot athletics building, but Cobb said that it will be bigger.

"And I want a 15,000 square-foot weight room," Cobb said.

"We want to meet our needs well into the future."

Cobb said that the running track at Kidd Brewer Stadium will remain.

"There are two primary reasons for that," Cobb said. "One thing is that John Weaver and our track program is arguably the most successful program we've had, and secondly, the money it would take to dig the track out and build one at another site ... I think that's $5 million or so that could be better served in other areas."

The original plan for stadium renovation called for expansion from 16,650 to 21,500, but Cobb said that increased stadium capacity isn't at the top of the list.

"Market demand will let us know that number," Cobb said. "We plan to add additional seats, but right now the spending priority is going to be on things to benefit our student-athletes. We'll look to our fans, people who support the program, to fill the stadium consistently, and then we'll add seats."

Cobb said that momentum was gained in that regard last Saturday, when a crowd of 23,267 - the largest in ASU history for a home opener - turned out for a game against Coastal Carolina.

He said that a university open house and nice weather contributed, but that efforts toward game-day promotion including tailgating and increased student involvement made a difference.

"I think a lot of people are excited about the new atmosphere at Appalachian," Cobb said. "The idea that the entire campus is going to embrace home-game Saturdays is exciting.

"We've seen what we can do; now we want to continue to get the community really involved. A good model for that is Clemson. It's a small town with a big football program. Saturdays mean something to that community. Every Saturday needs to be like that here."

The success of that, he said, will be a factor in future stadium capacity.

"We want to fill our stadium like we did Saturday for two or three years in a row," Cobb said. "Once we build that demand for tickets, we'll figure out how to increase seating. Increasing the seating capacity is last on the list of priorities. Things that benefit our programs and student athletes are going to be No. 1."

Cobb said that $20 million is now available for the projects - from both student fees and private funding - but plans are to raise more from donors. "Once we announce the plans, we're hoping to blow the roof off of that," Cobb said.

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