TROJAN TOUR: Fans, community members join in Stadium Club for meet and greet, Q&A

Published 3:02 am Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The 2015 Trojan Tour kicked off Tuesday night inside the Stadium Club at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

New Troy football coach Neal Brown was in attendance to mingle and talk with fans about the state of the program; Brown was joined by Men’s basketball coach Phil Cunningham, women’s basketball coach Chanda Rigby, and new baseball coach Mark Smartt.

“We have a great turnout tonight,” coach Brown said. I look forward to the next ten to 12 days on the road meeting new Trojans. It’s good to have the opportunity to go out and touch the Trojan faithful all over the southeast.”

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In addition to a town-hall question and answer format, fans were also treated to free food, catered by Chic-fil-A, as well.

“I think tonight gives us an opportunity to socialize with all these coaches,” Troy University alum, and fan Tracey Davis said. I think Troy coaches are special in the fact that they are more like family, whereas with some of the bigger schools, they don’t have any time for their fans. I think the coaches here really appreciate their fans and they want to be able to see them out, and they appreciate the support.”

The topic of conversation Tuesday night was centered on the current crop of Trojan coaches and student athletes, but it was the abscense of current Athletic Director John Hartwell that made ruffles Tuesday night.

“We knew john was on an fast track when he came here,” Troy Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr. said. “We have a philosophy here that if other institutions aren’t recruiting our people, than we have the wrong people. There was no better evidence of a right person being in the right spot than John. I wish him well he made a real impression while he was here.”

Hartwell is leaving and will become Utah State University’s Vice President and Athletic Director.

Brown began the night explaining where they are with the program and what needs to be done to once again be successful.

“ We have to make our competitor character better, we are going to test them (the Players) both physically and mentally this summer. Our goal is to put a good product on the field when we open up against North Carolina State. This is your football team, and it’s important to kick off this tour in Troy.”

Tuesday night’s event kicked off the 2015 Trojan Tour. In all the Trojans will make nine more stops in the next 10 days. The next stop will be Wednesday night in Florence. They will close out the week in Birmingham on Thursday night and then in Opelika on Friday.