It’s only a matter of time before we move to turf. The Aggies have always been slow to make Stadium upgrades.
When I was in school we didn’t have lights or a field house, the track was asphalt, and the press box was very dated.
Now we openly talk about turf and pass around future facility upgrade plans with design drawing from the administration.
We have come a long way but we got to keep pushing.
All of those changes mentioned above came with fund raising, something we can't seem to do in today's world. Renick got Ford to do the lights. The Aggie Club and friends of the university, pushed by Bill Hayes, raised funds for the Bryant Field House. The old field was completely done over using the NCSU's model. The Belk executive gave the funds to build "the famed track". One of these days as alums who have " Aggie Pride " we are going to have to step up and take more responsibility for the funding needs of athletics.
If you are reading this, consider yourself blessed. You have been alive during the greatest period of excellence in the 92-year history of our football program.
Two HBCU national titles, 3 MEAC championships, 3 victories over FBS programs, the first 12-0 season in school history, an undefeated record on Homecoming, the first at-large playoff birth in school history, a miraculous improvement of the program's APR score, zero scandals or public relations snafus, and a number of former players who have gone on to represent the school in the NFL - including 2017 rookie Pro Bowler Tarik Cohen.
After Small, Fobbs and Lee, it's like we somehow won the football lottery when Broadway arrived in 2011.
Our overall winning percentage during that time span has been a stunning 72.8 percent. Our record at Aggie Stadium has been 33 and 5.
However, it's also been documented that over 70 percent of lottery winners go broke within seven years. Why? Because they often don't a have a plan to sustain their newfound wealth.
And that leads me to my original question. As a fanbase, what is our vision moving forward?
Do we try to aggressively build on this success and elevate the program to even greater heights ... or do we maintain the status quo and just ride it out and see what happens?
Going back the original question I think we have to look at life beyond the MEAC which I think has already begun to happen with Preeminence planning. The truth is the majority,...if not all of the MEAC should be at the D2 level. I think moving to FBS within the next 10-15 will be the next logical step.
Back around 2011 Chancellor Martin said he wanted to model our athletic program after App State. Perfect example if you ask me. Just go back to the 70's and early 80's and compare App and Western Carolina. Damn near equals as well as rivals! Remember the "Battle for The Old Mountain Jug"? Heck, I remember WCU playing for the IAA national championship in 1983! After about 1988 one program rose to new heights while the other floundered in the Southern Conference. Right now to a lesser degree I see us in the same position as App State and most of the MEAC as WCU.
It's time to ask this question again to see if we've learned anything in the nearly two years since this thread was started.
The thing that I've seen that I didn't anticipate is the impact of the transfer portal. Our coaches are learning how to be selective and get players that help us for a few years. I also hope we are able to land a "breakthrough" recruit in the next few years that drops the jaws of the football world. Also, I looked over on the SWAC page and they were commenting on the physical conditioning of our linemen vs the "fat" linemen in the SWAC. Mattes and Coard will continue to improve the talent.
Our next immediate step is to be successful next year with the challenging OOC schedule, repeat as CB Champions and finish Top Five in FCS Polls. Carter proved what a difference it makes when your QB is throwing dimes. The challenge is to develop a QB that can do that every game. If we can, next year is the year of the buzzsaw.