That’s what Thursday night was all about at the Case Athletic Complex on the campus of The University of Tulsa as over 150 women gathered for Football 101 presented by the Tulsa Head Football Coach Bill Blankenship and his coaching staff.
“We really had a fabulous event. We had a full house. The enthusiasm of the women was incredible,” said Blankenship. “Our coaches enjoyed sharing with them a few nuggets of information, but mostly it was all about fun. Hopefully, we created some excitement for Tulsa football, while having some fun in the meantime.
“I think we have a lot of knowledgeable gals. There are some that came for learning the basics, but mostly I think they want to be part of our program and get an inside view of what’s going on and meet our staff. That’s what makes it fun,” added Blankenship.
The three-hour event featured food provided by Rib Crib, football terminology, film review and lots of laughter. Maybe more importantly Football 101 raised over $2,000 for the American Cancer Society.
“It’s a little fresher to us because of the passing of Wilson Holloway, but the fact that we could have an event like this to benefit a great charity like the American Cancer Society and have this kind of fun was great,” said Blankenship. “Tonight, I think it was well over $2,000 raised. It’s exciting to have this great event and know that you’re really making a significant difference somewhere.”
Following dinner, Blankenship began the night’s instruction with the basic fundamentals and terminology of football.
Blankenship turned the program over to some of his assistant coaches. Defensive Coordinator Brent Guy reviewed the principles of defense, while Offensive Line Coach Denver Johnson went over offensive alignments. Running Backs Coach Holman Wiggins, with assistance from junior running back Willie Carter, showed the women the proper technique of carrying the football and the importance ball security.
The coaching staff used a lot of humor in their presentations, but it was Equipment Manager Russ Hoffman who stole the show and brought the house down with constant laughter in explaining his responsibilities and the eccentricities of past and present coaches.
Hoffman displayed his toolbox and its’ contents –– no tools, just filled with tons of candy, gum and cookies –– a toolbox that he keeps equipped all the time with those ‘sweets’ for the coaching staff. He had one of the younger attendees take a plain gold helmet and dress it with the Tulsa logos and stripe. He showed how a $65 jar of mud has a practical use for a football.
“It was informative, it was a lot of fun and I learned a lot. I liked everything about it.
I learned too many things tonight that I didn’t know too much about,” said Irene Isom, who was attending her third Football 101.
“I thought this was the best one yet,” said attendee Carol Haltom. “I had so much fun. I had my questions answered, had good food and learned a lot. I’m very proud of Coach Blankenship and his staff. I can’t wait until football season to start. I’m ready for football.”
Haltom enjoyed meeting the new coaches, but her favorite part was the equipment presentation from Hoffman. “Hey Russ was probably my favorite part, but meeting the new coaches and seeing their enthusiasm was great. I’ve been to Football 101 before, and I really think this was the best one,” added Haltom.
A question and answer period with the Tulsa coaching staff that lasted nearly 30 minutes concluded the evening.
The women left the Case Athletic Complex with a Football 101 T-shirt, compliments of Midwest Sporting Goods, a little more knowledge of football and an excitement for the season to start.
Tulsa opens the 2011 football season on September 3rd against the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman, Oklahoma. Season tickets for Tulsa’s six-game home schedule, featuring Oklahoma State, and Houston, are available for as low as $140 and can be purchased online at www.TulsaHurricane.com or by calling 918-631-GoTU.