Aug. 22, 2012
More than 280 Sun Devil Club members and a number of Arizona State head coaches, including men's basketball coach Herb Sendek and baseball coach Tim Esmay, attended the Sun Devil Club Football Kickoff Reception at Scottsdale Plaza Resort Wednesday night.
The program began with an introduction by former Sun Devil quarterback and current Sun Devil Sports Network color analyst Jeff Van Raaphorst. Vice President of University Athletics Steve Patterson then addressed the crowd and thanked them for their generous support of Sun Devil Athletics.
Head coach Todd Graham followed and thanked everyone for not only attending the reception, but for being such an influential and important 12th man. He also emphasized the importance that his coaching staff puts on connecting with alumni, fans and supporters.
"I'm looking forward to building a legacy here," Graham said. "We're going to compete and we're going to do the things we said we were going to do. It's exciting because this team is going to get better and better each week."
Sun Devil Club members Nap Lawrence and his wife, Barbara, both graduated from ASU in 1962 and bought their first season tickets in 1965. They've been season-ticket holders ever since and say this is the most excited they've been about an upcoming season.
"Going back to Camp Tontozona was a reaction of the alumni and the fans," Nap said. "That's what they wanted and the coaching staff was bright enough to understand that and I think it's going to be a great marriage - a reunion between the old Sun Devils and the new coaching staff."
Patterson also touched on the success of the team's return to Camp T and acknowledged that the storied annual tradition was back to stay.
"When we went up there, you could see the magic of the place right away," Patterson said. "And the whole trip couldn't have gone better. From the linebackers jumping off the same cliffs that Pat Tillman did to the 5,000 fans we had show up at Saturday's scrimmage."
The entire SDA senior administration was also present, spread out across the ballroom around at a tables with various Sun Devil Club members in order to express their gratitude.
Former football player Eddie Grant and former baseball player Steve Todare were also both in attendance, as well as head wrestling coach Shawn Charles, head diving coach Mark Bradshaw and head tennis coach Sheila Mccarney.
Norvell explained the decision behind starting quarterback Taylor Kelly for the season opener vs. Northern Arizona and he discussed a number of components regarding the team's offensive philosophy for the season. Randolph talked about how the offseason has been going and touched on a few key aspects of how the team's defense is going to look this season.
"The hybrid defense is something that fans will get excited about," Randolph said. "We are going to be all over the place and it's going to be organized chaos."