Jan. 25, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - There are many reasons for optimism surrounding the 2012 football season.
Start with the fact that Purdue won two of its final three regular-season games - over Ohio State and at Indiana to recapture the Old Oaken Bucket - to become bowl eligible for the first time in four years. Then the Boilermakers went out and won a thrilling postseason game, 37-32 over Western Michigan in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, to finish with a 7-6 record.
Fourth-year head coach Danny Hope - with wins over ranked teams in each of his first three seasons - earned a contract extension through the 2016 season.
The Boilermakers look to return some 15 starters, including a host of exciting skill players - Ralph Bolden, Gary Bush, Antavian Edison, Rob Henry, Gabe Holmes, Robert Marve, Raheem Mostert, O.J. Ross, Akeem Shavers and Caleb TerBush - and many veteran defensive leaders like Ricardo Allen, Dwayne Beckford, Josh Johnson, Will Lucas, Robert Maci, Ryan Russell and Kawann Short.
The Purdue athletics department is gearing for seven exciting home games this fall and is reaching out to the student body for its thoughts on the student fan experience at Ross-Ade Stadium.
A survey will be emailed to all students (undergraduate and graduate) Thursday asking for feedback on various components of game days. The results will be used in conjunction with student focus group meetings being conducted on campus to assess the student fan experience.
"With the positive momentum from the 2011 season going forward, we feel it is an appropriate time to take a look at the fan atmosphere and experience surrounding football game days," said Derick Stoulil, director of fan experience. "Purdue students are an integral part of the atmosphere at football games, and it is important for us to provide an environment they enjoy. The survey results will be a key element of making sure our fans want to be part of football game days and that they have an enjoyable and memorable experience."
Chris Clopton, associate director of the John Purdue Club, is working with a team of diverse University staff through the Council for Manager Development program in reaching out to the student body with the intention of changing how the athletics department and the University approach the week leading up to game day and game day itself.
"As a former Boilermaker football player I understand that students have a huge impact in the overall fan experience, so we want to hear their voice in how we can make game days at Ross-Ade even better," Clopton said.
All findings will be shared in a presentation at Fowler Hall on April 24.