New Charlotte 49ers Athletic Director Mike Hill has been on the job for 100 days and has hit the ground running. Here is a letter from Hill to 49ers faithful:
What an amazing first 100 days it’s been here at Charlotte — the energy and excitement from Niner Nation has been incredible! Thank you to Chancellor Dubois, the cabinet, and the athletic department staff for helping me during this transition. And a special thank-you to Judy Rose, who has served this wonderful institution for 43 years and has been unbelievably supportive.
We’ve accomplished a lot in the first three months, including hiring one of the nation’s most successful and respected basketball coaches in Ron Sanchez, hiring an absolute superstar in Chris Fuller to oversee external operations, and greeting legions of fans at numerous sporting and special events.
The schedule has been full-throttle, and the reception has been inspiring.
And talk about inspiring – led by our 21-time conference Coach of the Year Bob Olesen, our track and field program is setting the tone for our athletic department, winning C-USA titles at the women’s cross country, men’s indoor, and, most recently, men’s outdoor championships. A school-record four student-athletes earned outdoor track and field all-America honors at the NCAA Championships.
With excitement building for football season, we are adding approximately 2,500 seats to Jerry Richardson Stadium for both the home opener vs. Fordham and the Appalachian State games. We have adjusted ticket sales plans to give our most loyal football fans the first opportunity to purchase high-demand tickets.
After reaching our initial goal of $40 million, we have increased our goal towards the university’s Exponential Capital Campaign to $49 million. To reach that goal we need the support of each and every member! Our fiscal year ends on June 30, so please make a contribution to support our amazing student-athletes by visiting www.charlotte49ers.com/givenow
We have initiated the process to create an athletic facilities master plan, which will allow us to better assess our current facilities, needs for enhancements, and growth. Once complete, this master plan will serve as a road map as we identify our needs and develop a strategy to raise necessary capital. One step we’ve already taken is the replacement of the Hayward Practice Gym court for our basketball and volleyball programs.
As for the vision for our program, I have met with coaches and staff, student-athletes, stakeholders, students, media and fans. At each step, we have discussed the culture we want to instill in our program.
First and foremost, we are here for our student-athletes and will prioritize their growth and personal development at every turn. We will conduct business the right way and run the program with integrity. We will actively engage our students, alumni and fans, working hard to enhance their game day experience.
And make no mistake, we are not in this to be ordinary – we are in it to be extraordinary. We expect to be highly competitive in every sport – and we expect to compete for conference championships and NCAA post-season births.
We have established “Gold Standard” as a departmental theme – but it is so much more than a motto. It is an expectation – for our coaches, for our student-athletes, for our staff and for our fans. Excellence is our goal. To reach it, everyone must be pulling in the same direction.
On a personal note, my wife, Jess, and I were married in April and have successfully moved into our Uptown home. Living Uptown allows me to engage our fans on a regular basis and easily meet with members of the corporate community. Professionally, it is important for me to be situated in the heart of our city and personally, Charlotte’s got a lot to love. It’s very clear that this city wants us to be successful!
I look forward to the next 100 days of working with you and for you so that this fine institution can realize its fullest potential. It will take all of us, together, to get to where we want to go. And we will.
Thank you for the wonderful welcome and Go Niners!
Mike Hill, Director of Athletics