Students, coaches participate in UHart Student Fan Forum

Athletics looking for ideas to create "Hawk Nation Domination" at home basketball games

By Scott Roberts | 10/17/14 | Updated 10/17/14 | Posted in Sports, Hartford Hawks

Students came out to the Chase Family Arena on Monday, October 13, to participate in the first UHart Student Fan Forum, with Men’s Basketball Head Coach John Gallagher, Women’s Basketball Head Coach Jennifer Rizzotti, and new University Athletic Director Anton Goff.

The Athletics department set up the fan forum with the hopes of improving the experience for student fans at home basketball games for both the Hartford Hawks men’s and women’s teams.

With the season right around the corner, and students filling the Chase Family Arena for Midnight Mania in anticipation of tip-off, Coaches Gallagher and Rizzotti, and Director Goff were eager to hear the ideas students had to create a home court advantage like no other for the university.

“I think the word is enlightening,” Coach Gallagher said. “I think the students have great feel on the student culture and you can see the definite change in how serious basketball is being taken now.”

“I think the one good theme that we came out of today is just blowing up the “game-day” theme and making people excited when they wake up in the morning that there's a basketball game,” Coach Rizzotti said.

Director Goff began the forum by speaking to students, then showing a video on the Jumbotron screen with some of the top student fan sections in the NCAA, including Michigan State University, Duke University, the University of Arizona, and many more.

“You see it at other schools. That doesn't mean Hartford can't do it,” Goff said. “There's a great possibility that we're going to get there, and so let's start it off now.”

Goff noted a home court advantage can make a 4 to 8 point difference in a college basketball game, especially in the final minutes, and both coaches agreed with this.

Students were given the chance to bounce ideas off Coaches Gallagher and Rizzotti, and Director Goff, finding ways that students will want to come out and support the Hawks.

The Hartford Hawks men’s team begins the season on the road in Hamden, Conn., as part of the CT 6 Classic, where they will take on Sacred Heart University on Friday, November 14. They return home Sunday, November 16, to play Saint Peter’s University. The Hartford Hawks women’s team will come home on Thursday, November 20, to square off against the Friars of Providence College.

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