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Maestri speaks to Troy Rotary Club

The Troy Rotary Club’s invited guest speaker for its weekly lunch was someone who has seen his fair share of progress both with the city and the university.

During his 28 years in Troy, Trojan head basketball coach Don Maestri has seen a lot of progress being made both on both the basketball court and else where – and that is what he talked about during Tuesday’s lunch.

During his speech, the coach touched on everything from what it takes to be a leader to the brand new basketball arena.

“Troy is not the same as it once was 28 years ago,” Maestri said. “We have moved forward and made a lot of progress along the way.”

Part of that progress that the coach was speaking about was getting the new basketball arena, which will open during the 2011-2012 season.

“[The new arena] would not be possible without the progress the city has made throughout the years and without the support people have given to the program.

“Surtain Hall has been around for 50 years and we are planning on having the new arena around for just as long,” he added.

As far as addressing his current team to the crowd, Maestri said the next couple of weeks would show what kind of a team Troy has this year.

“Our season starts this Friday in Gainesville [Fla.],” he said. “That game will start an eight game road trip for us – these next couple of games will help us understand a lot more about our team.

“I always said that coaching at a prison would be great because all your games are at home,” Maestri joked.

The coach continued by saying that despite numerous attempts at trying to get bigger teams to come to Troy, no one would accept.

“In a funny way, I am curious about what is going to happen on the road and in a way looking forward to it, the coach said.

Maestri concluded his speech by saying how blessed he has been to able to be in the position has for so long.

“I have had several different jobs during my 28 years here,” Maestri­ said about coaching Troy in the different conferences it has played it.

“It has been a great job for me – I feel like I have been on a 28 year vacation.”