My daily post theme for 2017 is on Colleges and Universities.
The plan for starting my blog back in 2014 was at the urging of fellow coaching colleagues to share posts on leadership and/or motivation. Somehow that idea got derailed and turned into daily posts on one theme for an entire year.
In 2014 my daily posts were on the “Beer of the Day”, 2015 it was “A Friend of a Friend”, 2016 I wrote about “North Carolina”, and for 2017 I will focus on “Colleges and Universities”.
I have been associated with colleges since I was 18 and I love them. I have coached/worked at four different universities and in my professional and personal travels visited 100’s more. Each college has something in its history that I want to share that to me make it unique or personal.
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Name of University: Colorado State University-Pueblo
Location: Pueblo CO
When I graduated from college in the 1970’s my best friend Joe Loia from my hometown of Morristown NJ and I took a cross-country trip from NJ to Colorado. We spent the majority of our time in Colorado including a visit to Pueblo to see his brother John who lived and coached there. One of the stops we made was to look at then University of Southern Colorado where Joe’s brother John played football in early 70’s. In 2003 Southern Colorado became Colorado State University-Pueblo.
Aerial photo of CSU-Pueblo is below. The campus today has an enrollment of nearly 4,500 students.
If you look at top of picture you see what might be a racetrack. That is the location of home football games for CSU-Pueblo. It is called the “Thunderdome”.
At then-University of Southern Colorado, the football program was disbanded following the 1984 season. Over the years, numerous fundraising efforts, spearheaded in large part by members of the final few football teams at USC, including Pueblo-area business leaders Dan DeRose and Nick Pannunzio, eventually took hold in 2007.
Under newly-minted University president, Joseph A. Garcia, CSU-Pueblo accepted the offer made by the “Friends of Football” organization to foot the startup costs of football, wrestling and track and field, of which the construction of an on-campus stadium. Ground was broken in the Fall of 2007, and the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl opened for business on Saturday, Sept. 6, 2008, less than one year after ground was broken at the site.
In the future, the ThunderBowl will be the focal point of “ThunderVillage,” a multi-use development that includes student-housing and has plans of commercial development and entertainment offerings adjacent to the stadium. That expansion started to come to life in August 2017, when ThunderZone Pizza and Tap House opened for business across the street from the ThunderBowl Fieldhouse.