In an effort to help the growing fan support from basketball season to continue into baseball season, the athletic marketing department gave a new student fan club a chance to meet the baseball team Wednesday evening.
A group of about 15 students was shuttled to Lupton Stadium where they met head coach Jim Schlossnagle and the team.
“Meeting with the coach kind of puts a name with a face,” said John Festervand, the assistant director of athletic marketing.
Support for the basketball team has grown since the group, led by sophomore marketing major Geoff Dice, began to organize the club for games, Festervand said. Meeting the baseball team will help the support carry over to baseball season, Festervand said.
The season opens Friday against Cal State Fullerton. Dice saw the meeting as an event to kickoff the new group and vote for a name, which is yet to be made official.
“It didn’t have the turnout that we wanted, but it worked out well for the people who were there,” Dice said. “It’s a good foundation to start with.”
Schlossnagle said even though the baseball team recently set attendance records, the fans don’t know how to cheer, and he appreciates what the group is trying to accomplish.
“I want to have a packed ball park that’s loud and is a raucous place to play,” Schlossnagle said. “The kids appreciate that, especially when it’s support from their peers.”
Festervand said he is pleased with what the group has accomplished so far and looks forward to continuing their relationship. He said the group will be a voice to help students communicate with the marketing department about changes they’d like to see at the games.
Dice wants to make an effort to create a more positive atmosphere at games by making cheers that are both fun and appropriate for the family environment, he said.
“I guess it goes with another long-term goal, which is to represent TCU well and in a positive manner while cheering on the athletics,” Dice said.
“We don’t want to be affiliated with the schools that yell profanity,” Festervand said. “It’s not a very good representation of our student body. We’re a classy organization, we’re a classy school and that kind of stuff doesn’t need to be at a game.”
Much of the organizing for events has been done through Facebook, and the group is open to all students.
Jason Byrne, the director of athletics marketing, said the group may reach out to other organizations and groups on campus to gain their support at games, as well.
They will likely choose leaders to work alongside Dice in the coming weeks.
Festervand said he’s had good experiences working with Dice and expects the group to be a success.