With the 2015 fall athletics season rapidly approaching, Dixie State University administration, coaches, and athletes opened up and introduced some new faces to a panel of media members and live television viewers at the annual DSU media day.
Athletic Director Jason Boothe opened the presentation by discussing the successes of last year’s teams. With four conference titles, several All-Americans, and a cumulative grade point average of 3.1, Boothe said last year’s student athletes performed at an extremely high level.
“We have kids performing on and off the field at a level we haven’t seen before,” Boothe said. “We want to keep growing and keep doing better things.”
Boothe touched on the advancement of the university as a whole, addressing the facility improvements and construction plans that are in the works.
“With the additions on the Burns Arena and the new student Human Performance Building, this place will have a completely different look and feel in the next five years,” Boothe said. “It’s really an exciting time for the university.”
The additions to the Burns Arena will give part-time coaches, many of which have been working from home, an office to run their operations in, while the future Human Performance Building will likely be home to a new weight lifting gym, pool, and many more amenities for not only athletes but all students.
The changes in the athletic department don’t stop with the facilities, though. The football team gained four new coaches, along with numerous transfers and incoming freshmen – something head coach Scott Brumfield said will lead to a big turnaround after coming away with just one victory last year.
Brumfield was accompanied at the podium by defensive coordinator Shay McClure, incoming offensive coordinator Blaine Monkres, and several key players.
“I knew who I wanted,” Brumfield said. “I knew who could help us get better and we went out and got them.”
Monkres said he has often received questions about his offense, and the panel was curious as to what he would be implementing.
“Obviously, we will adjust the offense to the players and the talent we have,” Monkres said. “But, for the most part, we’ll be running the same offense as I ran at Dixie High.”
The offense Monkres is referring to is a pro-style, spread offense that won him three state titles as a head coach at DHS. Also, an offense that junior quarterback Hayden Gavett, from Corona, California is familiar with.
Coming off the first 10-win season since 2010, the DSU women’s soccer team was eager to answer questions and kick-off the season.
Head coach Kacey Bingham, whose record has improved each year with the team, said she was adamant that her work here isn’t done.
“We’ve done some great things, but the girls aren’t satisfied,” Bingham said. “We’ve had improvement every year, and that gets the girls excited to step to that next level.”
Losing their leading goal scorer from the past two seasons, they will have to find another threat to put the ball in the back of the net. Bingham said they have found that in their young players. They will begin the season on Saturday at 7:15 p.m. at Hansen Stadium.
Men’s soccer, under the direction of newly-introduced head coach Josh Pittman, will be trying to turn over a new leaf after just four wins in the last two years. The team’s past struggles have put it in a tough position at the bottom of the preseason polls. Something that sophomore defender Bryan Baugh, from Henderson, Nevada, said he is unfazed by.
“We have a completely different team from last year,” Baugh said. “So that ranking doesn’t reflect what we have.”
The DSU volleyball team was the next team to take the stage. The team is coming off of an exciting postseason where it upset the No. 1 team in the country and advanced to the Sweet 16 before falling to Sonoma State in the NCAA tournament.
Head coach Robyn Felder said she was impressed with the performance last season but is still not satisfied.
“We’re going further,” Felder said. “We aren’t satisfied with the Sweet 16; we want to go to the Elite Eight. We were one win away from the PacWest title last year and that is our ultimate goal.”
Felder said she is losing several key contributors from last year’s run, but she doesn’t shy away from the competition.
“We are reloaded with some great talent,” Felder said.
Its season begins Sept. 2 at 5 p.m. against Colorado Mesa University.
DSU’s cross country team finished off the last leg of the broadcast, where head coach Justin Decker spoke of his team’s positive performance last season and how it wasn’t enough.
“We had great individual performances last year,” Decker said. “Now we need to find out how to string it together and have higher finishes as a team.”
Cross Country begins its season Saturday, Sept. 5 in Flagstaff, Arizona.
The full DSU media day broadcast can be viewed at SouthernUtahLive.com.