July 31, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa - University of Iowa men's basketball coach Fran McCaffery will look back in UI basketball history to move the Hawkeyes forward this fall when the UI Athletics Department introduces a re-engineered "Black and Gold Blowout" into his team's preseason plan.
McCaffery's third UI men's basketball team - the 2012-13 Hawkeyes - will make their first public appearance the evening of Friday, Oct. 19, in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
"For me, bringing back the Blowout is no different than working hard to establish great relationships with our former players and other friends of our program. The Blowout has significant tradition to it that is uniquely ours, so I'm eager to build on what made past Blowouts successful while making the changes that make it work well today," said McCaffery.
Staging the event on Friday night is one example of a "twist" McCaffery sees as very important, particularly this year when the only home football game in the month of October is also a prime time event at Kinnick Stadium.
"The Blowout on a football weekend makes great sense because it gives our tremendous fans, some of whom otherwise might not get to Carver, a chance to see our team," added McCaffery. "However, I also know how important game days are for our football fans and for me and my staff from a recruiting perspective, so I'm excited about the opportunity to jump start the new season with a Friday night event."
The start time for the 2012 Blowout is yet to be finalized but it will be driven in great measure by what fit bests into the schedule of Hawkeye fans including, most notably, the fans of the Iowa football team who will be traveling to Iowa City for the football game the following night against Penn State and what would work best for engaging current UI students.
In terms of what fans will see and experience, the idea is to "go bigger."
"The plan is coming together nicely, but our expectation is to take the very best of the previous events, including things like the pre-event photo session and post-event autograph session, and add another level of production and excitement. And, obviously, a big piece of the excitement is the team itself," said Lisa Pearson, the UI's director of marketing, who also noted that the 2012 Blowout will also include an appearance by Lisa Bluder's 2012-13 UI women's basketball team.