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October 2014

Seton Hall Athletics Annual Report

PIRATE BLUE OCTOBER EVENTS

The sixth annual Pirate Blue Beefsteak Tip-Off Dinner is right around the corner and I am excited to announce that this year's event is sold out. On Thursday, Oct. 2, hundreds of Seton Hall faithful will pack Walsh Gym for what has become one of the most anticipated nights on the calendar.

In addition to benefitting Pirate Blue, which has continued to set annual fundraising records in recent years, the Beefsteak Dinner offers all fans, alumni and supporters in attendance the opportunity to get an advance preview of the upcoming basketball season by meeting with players and coaches and hearing head men's basketball coach Kevin Willard and head women's basketball coach Tony Bozzella give their thoughts on an exciting new season.

It is an exciting time for both programs as we enter a second season in the newly configured BIG EAST Conference and continue to see unprecedented national exposure for both teams through our media rights agreement with Fox Sports. I look forward to seeing many of you on Thursday night for the unofficial start of the 2014-15 season.

We are also less than two weeks away from the 2014 Coach Mike Sheppard Golf Outing, which will be held on Monday, Oct. 13, and once again take place at Maplewood Country Club. Our baseball program excels at engaging alumni of the program and the Seton Hall community, and one of the staples of the Mike Sheppard Golf Outing is having the chance to honor the former Pirate greats in attendance.

Registration and lunch begins at 10:30 a.m., with a shotgun start at 12 p.m., and cocktails and dinner following at 5 p.m. To reserve a spot or find out more information, contact Joshua Karp in Pirate Blue at 973-275-6446 or joshua.karp@shu.edu.

PIRATES SUPPORT AMERICA'S GROW-A-ROW

On Sunday, September 21, nearly 50 student-athletes representing 10 different teams traveled to a local farm in Milford to assist the America's Grow-A-Row organization in the continued fight against hunger.

Now a staple and favorite of the H.A.L.L. Program calendar, the trip coincides with National Hunger Awareness Month. For the third consecutive year, our student-athletes helped support this worthy cause with a record-breaking effort.

Together, those in attendance produced a harvest that generated over 30,000 servings of corn for distribution to local food banks. This followed an effort in which over 50 Pirates helped yield 36,500 pounds of squash in two hours last fall.

I would like to thank our student-athletes who participated for representing our university and our department in a positive manner and I know with many future service opportunities on the horizon; they will continue to do so.

Through one month, our student-athletes have already totaled over 750 hours of service in the community, putting them on pace to surpass last year's impressive final mark which was in excess of 2,800 hours.

Consistent, meaningful service opportunities are not only central to a balanced student-athlete experience, but such endeavors also directly align with Seton Hall's mission to mold servant leaders. In its brief existence, the H.A.L.L. Program has already deeply enriched what it means to be a Pirate by forging relationships such as that which exists with America's Grow-A-Row; a top-rated non-profit organization.

PIRATE BASKETBALL PREVIEW

We are nearly two weeks away from one of our most popular events of the basketball preseason. Don't forget to mark your calendars for the Pirate Basketball Preview on Friday, October 17 at Nielsen Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram in East Hanover, N.J. Our men's and women's basketball teams are excited to get out into the community to meet some of our most loyal Pirate fans. Be sure to join us from 6 - 9 p.m. to enjoy complementary refreshments, win prizes and for photo and autograph opportunities with players and coaches. Admission is free and open to the public.

GOLF VICTORIES

Our soccer programs continue to improve and our volleyball team is off to a quick start, but I wanted to take a moment to recognize the exploits of both our men's and women's golf teams. On September 7, both programs won tournament titles on the same day for the first time in Seton Hall history.

Led by BIG EAST Coach of the Year Sara Doell, our women's program out-shot the 13-team field at the Bucknell Invitational to claim the team championship by seven strokes over its nearest competitor. The tournament victory is the fifth in the short history of the program, but the first in five tries at the Bucknell Invitational. In all, four Pirates placed in the top-10 among 80 individual golfers. The top Seton Hall golfer for the weekend was senior Erin McClure, who finished just two strokes off the individual lead and settled for second place overall.

On the same day, our men's program closed out a 1-stroke victory at the Navy Fall Classic. The Pirates finished the two-round event at 1-over-par. The team title is the first for the program since winning the Manor Intercollegiate on April 14, 2012. Sophomore Kevin O'Brien's second round 66 ties for the third-lowest par-71 single-round score in Seton Hall history. He finished tied for third among 56 individual golfers at 4-under-par. Coach Clay White's team has registered three top-5 finishes in four events so far this fall.

Congratulations to both teams as they continue their climb up the Golfstat rankings.

MEN'S BASKETBALL "WALSH GYM PACK"

Only a couple days remain to take advantage of an exclusive season-ticket holder offer currently on-sale, our two-game "Walsh Gym Pack". A limited quantity of tickets are still available, so be sure to place your orders by this Friday before tickets go on sale to the general public.

We are excited to host two men's basketball games in Historic Walsh Gymnasium again this season. The rich tradition of our antique venue always creates an exciting atmosphere for Pirate basketball. Priced at $25 for the individual ticket package, fans will have the first opportunity to see the 2014-15 team in action on Sunday, November 9 in an exhibition with Caldwell University at noon. The Pirates annual regular-season contest in Walsh Gymnasium is set for Saturday, December 27 versus Maine also at noon.

To reserve your seats call the Seton Hall Athletic Ticket Office at (973) 275-4255 or by faxing order forms to (973) 275-2230. The general public on-sale begins on Monday, October 6 and orders can be placed by calling the ticket office.

NEW VARSITY LOCKER ROOMS AND WEIGHT ROOM PROGRESSING

Our student-athletes are the foundation of Seton Hall Athletics, and while over 250 Pirates are hard at work both in the classroom and on the field, we remain dedicated to strengthening and enhancing their experience.

The varsity locker room and weight room projects are rapidly approaching completion and are on track to be ready for use by December. As I have stated before, these projects are an essential part of our efforts to offer an elite student-athlete experience and furthering an already rich athletics tradition.

Later this year, lockers are scheduled to be shipped and prepped for installation. I believe this project signifies the direction of our department and commitment to excellence in all areas as for the first time in our history, each varsity team will have its own sport-specific facility.

In the weight room, which is projected to more than triple the size that was previously available, the space is quickly coming together, having already surpassed a number of major planning and construction milestones.

Advancements such as this would not be possible without the loyal support of donors and supporters like you, so I would like to once again take this opportunity to thank you for your generous contributions.

SHOWING YOUR PRIDE

From time to time I receive photos from some of our loyal Pirate fans and I always enjoy seeing our fans celebrating together as alumni and fans while wearing their Pirate Blue. Below is a photo I received from some of our Pirate Blue members in the San Francisco area. Pictured below (from left to right) is Kevin O'Brien, Father Mike Russo '67, Board of Regent member Bob Basso '67, former Men's Basketball player Bob Mulhern '70 and Frank Maxwell '70 - Thank you gentleman for sharing your Pirate pride!