Part of the mission of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics department is to guide, encourage and support our Student-Athletes in their quest for comprehensive excellence - academically, athletically and socially. The 2008-09 season was an amazing year for the Mocs in all three areas and GoMocs.com is currently taking a look back at the accomplishments of the student-athletes at UTC.
In the first week, we recapped the academic achievements of the Mocs in 2008-09. Last week, we delved into the performances of UTC student-athletes in their respective arenas of competition over the last year. Now we look at the last part of the Mocs Mission and how UTC student-athletes represented themselves, the program and the University in the community.
The Mocs have always been very socially responsible, involved in community projects and excellent representatives of the University and the city of Chattanooga. Over the past year, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) developed, sought out and participated in numerous community events, while each individual team took time during the year to volunteer in many different community projects.
“Our student-athletes are as involved in the community as any in the nation,” said UTC Director of Athletics Rick Hart. “They willingly find time in their busy schedules of training, practicing and studying to volunteer at countless events throughout Chattanooga. It is a source of pride for our entire department and the University.”
Community involvement naturally begins with the Mocs’ volunteer efforts. The Mocs logged hundreds of hours through various projects throughout the area during 2008-09. Whether it was the 100+ that participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, or the 1,700+ pounds of food collected for the Chattanooga Food Bank, the UTC athletics department was heavily involved in volunteer projects throughout the season.
Community involvement also includes the amount of regional and national exposure UTC student-athletes bring to the University and the city. Being a top-100 program, and having 10 teams represented in the postseason, gave the Mocs plenty of chances for national exposure. UTC spent an entire week featured on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon thanks to the men's basketball appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Two student-athletes were also featured in Sports Illustrated during the past year.
Finally, community involvement can be measured by the interest the surrounding area shows in the athletic program through attendance at home events. Over 150,000 fans attended home games at UTC in 2008-09.
Below is a rundown that highlights the Mocs community involvement in 2008-09. Also included is a look back at the national exposure UTC student-athletes received, the leadership and sportsmanship honors bestowed upon the Mocs and the attendance numbers at UTC home events last year.
UTC Student-Athlete’s Volunteer Experiences
Student-Athlete Advisory Committee
• Raised funds for the Kay Yow WBCA Cancer Fund.
• Conducted a Play Day/Mentoring event at Bethel Bible Village.
• Conducted reading sessions at Little Miss Mag Day Care.
• Volunteered at the Lookout Mountain Elementary School carnival.
• Spoke to students at Lookout Mountain Elementary School.
• Conducted a clinic at Inner City Ministries.
• Spoke to students at Rivermont Elementary.
• Signed autographs as a part of Brown Academy P.A.W.S.
• Woodmore Elementary School March Madness
• Conducted a mentoring program at numerous local elementary schools, including Clifton Hills, Hillcrest, Calvin Donaldson, Brown Academy, Normal Park and Rivermont.
• Held the Bethel Bible Children’s Home Basketball Clinic.
• Took part int he Hamilton County YMCA Basketball Clinic.
• Spoke to students at Lookout Mountain Elementary School.
• Distributed the Read with Reed Bookmarks into every City of Chattanooga Recreation Center
• Assisted with City of Chattanooga Warner Park Easter Egg Hunt
• UTC television station phone-a-thon
Men’s & Women’s Cross Country and Track & Field
• Helped to conduct the Hamilton Country Elementary Track Meet.
• Assisted at the Chattanooga Food Bank.
National Exposure Gained by UTC in 2008-09
• Brought national attention to Chattanooga through the hosting of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament First and Second Rounds that were televised live on ESPN.
• Tremendous economic impact on the community with the hosting of the Southern Conference men’s and women’s basketball and softball tournaments in 2008-09.
• Hosted the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision National Championship game for the 12th consecutive year. Brought further attention to the community with the game airing live on ESPN.
Leadership and Sportsmanship Honors
• Juniors Joseph Thornton (football) and Brooke Loudermilk (softball) were named the Coleman Lew Leadership Award Recipients by the Southern Conference. This honor goes to each member institution’s student-athletes who excel based on leadership, academic excellence and athletic achievement in both the college environment and the community.
• The Mocs had over 150,000 fans attend all of their home events in 2008-09.
• Women’s basketball led the Southern Conference in average attendance. The Lady Mocs saw 2,089 fans spin the turnstiles each night during their 16-game home schedule. This was a 32% increase over the 2007-08 average of 1,578 fans per game. It was also the third highest single-season average in school history.
• The women’s basketball game against Tennessee drew 7,008 fans. It was the highest attended women’s event at UTC last year.
• The women’s basketball team experienced a 40% increase in the number of season tickets sold in 2008-09.
• Softball led the Southern Conference with its average of 309 fans during the 20-game home schedule.
• Men’s basketball was second in average attendance in the Southern Conference in 2008-09. UTC drew 4,040 fans per game for 16 games last season.
• Men’s basketball drew 9,234 fans for the Jan. 28 contest against Davidson. It was the largest crowd for any home event at UTC in 2008-09.
• Men’s basketball saw a 25% increase in its single-game ticket sales over the last year.
• Football had 8,240 in attendance for the Jacksonville State game on Sept. 20. It was the 14th largest crowd to watch a Mocs game in the 12-year history of Finley Stadium. It was also the second-largest home crowd for a UTC football game since 2003.
• Wrestling averaged 588 fans per match in 2008-09, leading the Southern Conference in attendance.
• The Mocs wrestling squad drew over 1,000 fans for the Cornell match on Feb. 1.
• Women’s soccer increased its average home attendance from 208 in 2007 to 278 last year. It was a 34% jump from the previous season.
• Volleyball also increased its average attendance from 226 in 2007 to 230 last season.