CI: Is Texas State looking into improving game day experience and the game day atmosphere?
DC: We were UTSA’s Texas Tech this year. We were the game on their schedule that everybody wanted to see, that everyone turned out for. They had good crowds all year long and you have to give them credit. Their game day atmosphere was terrific, but I also think our Texas Tech game atmosphere was unbelievable and terrific. You put 33,000 people in a stadium somewhere and you are going to walk away with a great experience. It’s when you have 15,000 people in a 30,000-seat stadium, that’s when you can do a lot of promotions and you can do a lot of in-game stuff. It’s hard to get past the atmosphere when a quarter of the seats are empty.
CI: Tailgating was not as popular this year, some of it due to weather, some of it due to location. Is athletics trying to find a solution to some of the issues with tailgating?
DC: We need to re-evaluate our tailgating plan. There have been a couple of years when it’s been outstanding. This year wasn’t one of them, especially in regards to the student tailgating. Our in-game stuff is really good—better than UTSA. Theirs was a lot more geared toward the corporate end of things, and ours is a bit more fan interactive. We haven’t gotten that far into (tailgating plans). But a few years ago, when we had it in the east side lot, it was really good.
CI: In what area are you looking to improve attendance figures the most?
DC: It’s the students. We’ve got 34,000 plus. That, in my opinion, is the fastest way to really get those attendance numbers up. You put 1,000 more students at our basketball and volleyball games, Strahan is loud. Our students do a good job of showing up now. I would think that at this school, there is no reason to not have 8,000 students at each football game. From a growth standpoint, we really want to continue to work on the students. I think they are aware of the games and when they are, but right now, for whatever reason, they are just making the choice not to go.
CI: As a leader in the athletic office, how do you fix the problem of students not showing up to games when it’s been a problem at this university for so long? DC: You have to continue to work directly with the key organizations and the students on campus to make sure they are helping us promote within their groups. San Marcos is difficult with advertising because you don’t have TV buys here, you don’t have radio buys here. Everyone’s tuning in to get your Austin and San Antonio stuff, so you have to go into those areas to buy and it’s really expensive to do. So we have to continue to do the on-campus marketing. We’ve got to make sure that the students are aware, and I think that the students are. Winning helps a lot.
CI: How would you grade football’s 2012 season?
DC: It’s a process to where you are going. There are not many teams that have had success in their first year of FBS football. We have been very competitive in most of our games. In the grand scheme of things, what we have done in our first year and how competitive we’ve been, if you really follow and study the game, I think we are doing a pretty good job.