UTC Vice Chancellor & Director of Athletics Mark Wharton announced the initial members of the Mocs Athletics Fan Council Monday. This 12-member panel exists to provide feedback and guidance in the areas of External Operations, as it relates to fan experience and gameday enhancements.
“I am excited to get this initiative started,” said Mr. Wharton. “I have reached out to each of these individuals and they are ready to get to work helping the Mocs grow. This is going to be a fun group to work with and I can’t wait to hear their ideas.”
The Fan Council is made up of long-time season ticket holders, current students and faculty, a former letter winner, members of the Chattanooga community and even a parent of a current student-athlete. Ages range from a rising sophomore at UTC to over-70 professionals.
The goal of the Fan Council is to help improve engagement with the community and constituencies of all Mocs athletics programs. This diverse group will meet multiple times over the next year to discuss ideas to meet this goal.
During meetings the Fan Council will be provided with current marketing plans, budget information and a "behind the scenes" look at the overall department. Members will be asked to provide opinions and feedback as to how Chattanooga Athletics can continue to grow and achieve maximum success across various areas of focus.
Members of the current Mocs Athletics Fan Council will serve either one or two-year terms. Applications for the next call of Fan Council members will open on May 1, 2019.
Members of the Mocs Athletics Fan Council
Richard Buhrman – UTC Alum (’63) and an Army veteran who has been attending Mocs athletics events for well over 25 years. His first job was selling cold drinks during football games at Chamberlain Field.
Davon Crews – Currently a sophomore at UTC who is on the Campus Activities Board and the Student Government Association. She wants to use her involvement in the Fan Council to help improve school spirit at UTC.
Russell Gros – Earned a degree in Business (’10) and an M.B.A. (’11) from UTC. He wants to represent the local, young UTC sports fan while identifying with students, recent graduates and young families to help increase attendance at Mocs games.
Jackie Howard – An alum with a degree in Accounting (’78) who was once the Assistant Sports Information Director for Harold Wilkes. She is a huge wrestling fan and has only missed one home football game since 2009. She is looking forward to being in a room full of loyal UTC fans to collaborate on how to improve the fan base.
Casey Knox – An alum with a degree in Business and a marketer with 20 years of experience. She plans to bring a strategic voice to the council with problem-solving ideas to increase and reactivate fan engagement.
Kim Leffew – An alum with a degree in Exercise Science (’98) who has been a big basketball fan since the days of Lance Fulse and Shendi Moon. She has been a Board Member of the Mocs Club and is anxious to see UTC Athletics continue to grow in the future.
Craig Miller – Moved to Chattanooga from Australia in 1992 and loves supporting local businesses, schools and civic groups. He is a fan of what the University is doing and wants to help in any way possible.
Larry Parks – Basketball season ticket holder for over 40 years, who has also owned football season tickets for many of those years. Owns 1/3 of a box at Finley Stadium and wants to see UTC Athletics at a high once again.
J Raschke – Football letter winner from 1993-97, whose wife (April Miller – Softball) and brother-in-law (Gunner Miller – Football) were also student-athletes at UTC. His daughter (Jadyn) is currently a freshman. As an entrepreneur, he sees himself as someone that can bring well-thought ideas to the table.
Priscilla Simms-Roberson – An alum who earned a Doctorate of Nursing in 2016 and is currently an assistant professor at UTC. She met her husband, who is also an alum of UTC, she has been attending 20+ athletics events per year for the last five years. Although not the typical sports fan, her unique perspective can provide insight to help keep current students and alumni connected to create a larger fan base.
Scottie Swafford – An alum with a degree in Mass Communications (’08). His daughter, Cameren, is a rising sophomore on the Mocs’s softball team. He loves supporting the Mocs and believes that if the community will come to a game, they will fall in love with the Mocs. He loves spreading the positive message of the University and telling people about the Mocs.
Gabrielle Woods – Rising sophomore at UTC who describes herself as very hard-working with a lot of school spirit. She can be seen on the front row at home events and wants to see the student-section grow.