The following is an open letter from outgoing Director of Athletics Brian Wickstrom to the ULM family:
Dear Warhawk Faithful:
It was four years ago that my family (three children at the time) arrived in Monroe late on a Saturday evening. Brendan Hoffer had to meet us at the Taco Bell off of 165 to show us how to get to our new home. The bridge connecting West Monroe/Monroe was closed for repair and we had to exit early, so I needed some guidance.
The next evening, we were driving through Monroe looking for a place to eat dinner. Because it was a Sunday evening, there were not a lot of restaurants open. As we passed by the levy, we saw a gentleman riding with a small child on his bike. We rolled down the window and told him we were trying to find a place to eat dinner but were having trouble. He asked if we liked Mexican food…as most of you know by now, our family loves Mexican! The gentleman's name was Clyde White. His warm and friendly assistance was a preview of how it is to live in Monroe on a daily basis. What an outstanding community all of you have developed.
The ULM campus has never looked so beautiful. We have witnessed a campus transformation over the last four years. Sandel Hall recently re-opened after a major renovation, and I think this might be the most beautiful admissions building in the country. Enrollment hit 9,000 students for the first time in a decade following its unveiling. These improvements are accomplishments by others working on campus outside of athletics, but the impact will play a key role in the future of athletics as well.
Over the past four years, you as a community have accomplished more than anybody could have imagined. I love the fact that contributions hit record levels, ticket revenue marks were set, our student-athletes performed in the classroom at exceptional levels and we have a lot of momentum built towards the future for athletics. Some of my favorite personal memories are:
*Community rallying around the “camo-out” back in 2015;
*The men's basketball white-out, which brought near capacity crowds to support the team;
*All of you contributing enough to give the football program its first new building in over 30 years;
All of the programs accomplishments and firsts have already been well-documented. I have been blessed to be your Director of Athletics the last four years. It is because of the supporters who donate, buy tickets and get others in the community involved that these successes come to fruition.
ULM Athletics is poised to get to another level. My family and I have been blessed to be part of the past and we are excited to watch the Warhawks continue steps to raise the program to the next level. It has been my honor to sit in the John David Crow Athletics Director Office since the L-Club created and funded the project.
July 1, 2017 is the first day of a new era. Please continue to contribute to the ULMAF, buy tickets and get others involved. In addition, even though we have secured funding for the track portion of the Brown Stadium/Track project and received money from the NCAA for the Sports Medicine expansion, we still need funding for the other parts of the Brown Stadium/Track project. Help us complete these projects in a first-class manner. This will help the next AD be a part of great successes that you will continue to have. Enjoy being part of building the future.
Thank you Jeff Foote, Kevin Woods and David Moore for your past and current leadership of the ULM Athletic Foundation. With the funding restrictions for Athletics, placed on Dr. Bruno, you have helped fill many needs with your efforts raising funds for our programs.
Thank you for welcoming us into your community, and go Warhawks!
-Brian, Celina, Vince, John Christian, David Grant, Bricelle and James