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Festive First

More than 1,000 attend first football tailgating event


Festive Firsts

Left: More than 560 football season tickets were sold at the first tailgating event, 1st and Rowdy, Sept. 16. Right: The event spotlighted head football Coach Larry Coker and the first Roadrunners football team.

photos by Billy Calzada/San Antonio Express-News/ZUMApress.com


Tailgating is as necessary and logical a precursor of college football games as studying is for exams. That's why more than 1,000 UTSA alumni, friends and supporters attended UTSA's first tailgating party, 1st and Rowdy, on Sept. 16 at the Institute of Texan Cultures.

Hosted by the UTSA Alumni Association, the event showcased the first Roadrunners football team and sold more than 560 season tickets worth $120,000.

"We were super-excited with the number of people who came out to support our football team," said Jim Mickey '78, associate vice president of alumni programs and marketing. He added that the event was a partnership with the Athletics Department.

Alumni Extras

Alumni Association members receive networking opportunities, discounted membership to the Recreation and Wellness Center and discounts on all graduate prep courses. They also receive loyalty points from the Athletics Department, which season ticket holders use to select seats for football games.

By joining the alumni association, members receive two loyalty points equivalent to a $200 donation to the Roadrunner Athletic Fund. A life member gets five points equal to $500.

"When it comes to choosing your football tickets, Alumni Association membership has it privileges because more loyalty points assist in better seat selection," Mickey said.
—Rudy Arispe

"We expected a good turnout, but many doubted our alumni would number 1,000 or more. It just confirms that our alumni and friends are pumped about UTSA football."

Freshman wide receiver Jake Wanamaker said seeing the number of supporters at 1st and Rowdy made him feel proud to be part of the team.

"It was the first time for me as a member of the football team that I got to feel the passion and excitement of the fans," Wanamaker said. "My family, friends and acquaintances have always told me that they would be supporting me, but I had people who I don't even know come up to me to tell me that they're excited for me to be playing football for UTSA."

Alumna Deborah Schueneman said although she has never been a big football fan before, she now plans on becoming one. The fervor of 1st and Rowdy was contagious, she said.

"It made me proud not only to be an alum, but [also to be] a staff member of UTSA," said Schueneman, director of the Small Business Development Center, National Information Clearinghouse (SBDCNet). "It was a first-class event and now I look forward to going to the football games."

The event, sponsored by Silver Eagle Distributors, also recognized head football coach Larry Coker and featured the UTSA dance team and cheerleaders.

"The roots of Texas football made this happen," Mickey said. "Our alumni have wanted football forever, so it was natural to allow them to show their pride and spirit at a tailgate event. So the combination of football, food and fun made it happen. The alumni were looking for a lightning rod, and Roadrunners football is it."

Alumni who wish to reconnect with UTSA can join the Alumni Association online at www.utsa.edu/alumni. Those who join can begin earning loyalty points, which can be used by season ticket holders to select seats at the Alamodome.

To learn more about UTSA football or purchase season tickets, visit www.utsa.edu/2011.

—Rudy Arispe

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