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How did you get to be a GU fan/student?

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  • #31
    I had visited the GU campus a number of times while in high school since I was in speech and debate and GU hosted an annual high school tourmanet, and my father and two uncles had attended Gonzaga.

    Anyway by my junior year at Bellarmine in Tacoma I really hadn't made up my mind - other than I wanted to go to a Jesuit college. USF and SU were of interest (bright lights, big city) and Gonzaga close to home but not so close that I would be expected to come home all the time or have my partents dropping in unexpectedly. Some time during the year there was one of those college days when colleges would put on Q&A dog and pony shows about their schools. I went to the presentations by the various schools (actually I signed up for enough to make sure I would be out of classes for the entire day) and there just happened to be a couple of students from GU who had just spent a year in Florence. I little remember anything they talked about except for what they had to say about living in Italy. So I came to GU and have been in Spokane ever since ..... except for the year in Florence.
    The world is a magical place full of people waiting to be offended by something.


    • #32
      The name Gonzaga was originally familiar to me because of the high school Gonzaga Prep. I attended a Big Nine school (Kamiakin of the Tri Cities) and back in the 70's, the regional high school tournament was always played in Spokane. Don Monson coached Pasco high back then and Pasco typically reached the regional tournament finals (as well as Richland high school). Many of the Tri City students (regardless of school affiliation) usually made the trip because it was such a great time up there in Spokane. The Spokane basketball powers at the time were Shadle Park and Gonzaga Prep.

      In a nutshell, I thought Monson was a heck of a coach. He went on to coach University of Idaho, and here is where I am confused. Did his son coach the Zags? I believe there was both a Don and Dan Monson. Anyways. I read that a Monson was coaching GU and began to follow the team. As a fan, I was sorry to see him leave after that captivating elite eight run.
      But that elite eight showing was the final hook for me...Frahm, Santangelo, Calvary, Eaton. What an exciting time for Eastern Washington Hoop fans!
      I miss Mike Hart


      • #33
        Originally posted by ZagNative View Post
        Was one of them an exclamation point? Or did they have one they used as relief off the bench who could play any letter?
        All 5 used their bodies to spell out one letter at at time.


        • #34
          This thread has been fun to read.
          I decided that I wanted to attend Gonzaga because a guy I liked had a brother that went there. I kid you not. The name sounded cool, caught my interest so I checked it out. I grew up in Butte, MT and attended Catholic grade school and high school so it wasn't unusual for students to go to GU.
          I honestly believe that God had a big hand in getting me to GU, using my crush on some guy. I'm so grateful that I attended Gonzaga.


          • #35
            Growing Into Being a Gonzaga Fan

            Starting at Gonzaga Law School in 1975 I became famliar with the Zags, and as they say, "to know 'em is to love 'em." Ever since.
            "Kids come here to better their own lives, not ours. If you take a player’s failures as a personal affront…. check yourself." - Chick-Stratino'sUrDaddy


            • #36
              (sorry this is so long...)

              This last year has been quite the trip for me, which ended with my decision to attend Gonzaga next fall.

              Basically, I've lived in Spokane my entire life. In fact, my entire family has lived since the late 1940's, and in that time only one of my cousins as moved (and that was to Tacoma).

              Thus, we are pretty ingrained into Spokane. We have connections at every college in the area... except Gonzaga.

              However, even though we never had any real connection, college basketball has always been a HUGE part of family life, from my grandfather playing my for USC way back in the day to my dad's year as an student athletic trainer during Jud Heathcote's last year at Wazzu. Some of my earliest memories are of playing beneath the bleechers during Whitworth basketball games in the field house or running through the SCC gym.

              So, it was really no surprise when we started getting excited about Gonzaga, obsessively listening to their games over the radio, catching them whenever they're on TV.

              Despite this, I didn't feel any attraction to GU, or any school in Washington for that matter, so I looked elsewhere, mainly the east coast. I was tired of Spokane and wanted to get away, so I was looking as far away as possible Truthfully, I didn't think that sports were all that important to the college experience, though I would have liked it. But, I ended up choosing Northeastern University in Boston, a school mainly known as the alma mater of the late Reggie Lewis (so, not really known at all).

              I got there last September, not expecting a lot of school spirit or sports enthusiasm, but expecting something along the lines of Whitworth. Nope. Besides hockey, none at all. The school has almost 15,000 students, yet in actual numbers, more students go to Whitworth sporting events than NU events. That just astounded me.

              It seemed like the students didn't even understand college sports at all. Talk to them about the Pats or the Red Sox and they were fine, the minute they found out how much I liked college basketball and saw the GU and Whitworth newspaper clippings on my wall, they looked at me like I was an alien. (I did win major points with one Celts fan who was IN LOVE with Dan Dickau though.)

              The further it got into the year, the more I realized how much college sports work into the chemistry that creates the college community. I'd grown in this house that was so based upon college rivalries where epitaphs like "Dogs drool, Cougars rule," "Huck the Fuskies," and "F-UCLA" ran rampant. My grandfather would have rather died than root for UCLA unless they were the only PAC-10 team left and, well, there was lots of grumbling when people found out it was the NU Huskies. But, most of all, I realized that type of thing was what I wanted out of college. I wanted that stalwart pride of my university where it didn't matter whether they'd Coug'ed it or just plain not shown up, but just the fact that I went there and was part of that community enough for me to defend it.

              So, I decided to come back to Spokane at the end of the year to stay, because for all my complaints in high school, I always found myself defending it and spreading the Spokane-love to my friends. Heh, I always thought if I ended up in a school in Spokane it'd be Whitworth, but 2000 students (if that) is just a bit too small for me with just a bit too much family history.

              I got my acceptance letter a little over a week ago, and in the fall I'll start my soph/junior year at GU, and whether I spend the next two or the next three years there, I'm going to enjoy it. It's close to home, and it's everything I never realized I wanted out of college.
              "Just a team with a bunch of heart and guts, scrapping and battling for everything." Mark Few


              • #37
                Fan From The Dance

                I guess we don't post much, but I think there are many of us across the country who didn't know much of anything about GU, other than John Stockton was an alum, until 1999.

                A Tar Heel fan for decades - not born one, but I wasn't born into any "Nation" and went to Washington U in St. Louis, zilch for sports,
                and still love the Heels - but I always loved Cinderellas....XU, when Pete Giullen was the coach, Bryce Drew, etc. And GU was the greatest Cinderella of all!

                I started following them consistently as ESPN showed more and more games, and as the internet gave so much access.

                Although I have never been to Spokane, in fact, never to the Northwest, I feel as if I am part of GU "Nation". My best friend is an alum and devoted fan of the University of Illinois - and GU has many fans among the Illini. We text constantly during BB season, cheering for each other's team.

                Never been to the Northwest, never been to GU, but I call them "we".

                And that's after going to the Indy debacle against Illinois, in Gonzaga-wear

                Go Zags!


                • #38
                  Thanks Skngrl for the wonderful post. I appreciate your desire to share your story. It didn't seem long at all to me (but I'm known for a lengthy story now and then). It touched my heart. I think I listened to a couple of games with you this year when there was no televised game and we listened to the game together with other GU fans. I always enjoyed that, and remember your input was always appreciated. I'm really glad your story has a happy ending. Nice....


                  • #39
                    Well, a Massachusetts native born and bred from the city of Worcester... (pronounced "Wisstah", locally). Attended College of the Holy Cross along with most family members. Season ticket holder at HC for many years in late '70s, early 80s (when HC had a great PG: Ronny Perry). Moved to Seattle area 10 years ago and knew of GU. HC has a big statue of St. Al in the rotunda on campus. Now, I have two daughters attending Gonzaga, with my oldest graduating next Sunday. They enjoy everything about GU... My girls have cousins that attend BC and UConn today. So, we are all very excited about GU playing in Boston this Dec. Should make for a great reunion for all.


                    • #40
                      I've always had a bit of wanderlust in my soul and couldn't wait to get away from Spokane and see some of the world.

                      I taught English in American schools in Japan and Germany for seven years, but I never felt that I had a deep enough background in my field, so when I returned from teaching overseas, I went to Gonzaga to earn my masters. My family lives here, so GU was an obvious choice. I loved my time at Gonzaga, but I took a job in California when I finished there. I didn't have much interest in basketball until I retired from teaching and returned to Spokane in '96. I went with other alumni to a game and I was hooked.

                      I thought it was great when I was in Rothenburg, Germany, a couple of years after the Elite 8 run. We were talking to a gentleman from North Carolina, and when we told him were from Spokane, he told us that he followed the Zags faithfully.


                      • #41
                        How I became a Zags fan...

                        I was on faculty at GU, then filled in for a semester in the Health Center. That one semester turned into three years, and during that time I was fortunate to meet several of the students and athletes. During the season, there were many mornings I would get up at 4 am to stand in line to get staff/faculty tickets to the men's BB games. I only missed one home game. I would sit in what I called "the morgue" (the staff and faculty sections) and try to get people to wake up and get into the basketball game! Once a cheerleader, always a cheerleader! I don't work at GU anymore, but I still follow all their games, just on TV. I played basketball in high school (defensive player of the year) and was a cheerleader, I love the game, especially Gonzaga's game!


                        • #42
                          "Gonzaga !? Where's That ?"

                          In the early Spring of 1975, I received notice that I was an alternate selectee for a 4 year Army ROTC scholarship. I was no SAT whiz, wasn't a nose to the grindstone 4.0 type. . .3.6 GPA and a combined SAT in the mid 1300's, lots of extra-curriculars, and so on. It wasn't quite enough, so without the financial assistance of that (or any other full-ride) I planned on going the JC route for an AA and then on to one of the CA state schools for a BA.

                          During that same time frame, the stormy relationship with Mom was getting worse. I had a smart mouth, she had a quick temper. . .we fought like cats and dogs and poor Dad was caught in the middle. I think he was hoping for that 4 year schollie as much as me just so he could have me out of the house for months at a time, giving him a respite from the verbal wars.

                          In the middle of April, an 11 x 14 padded mailer showed up in the mail, sent by our friends at the DoD. Inside was a certificate (suitable for framing) informing me that I was a 4 year scholarship recipient ! No cover letter, no nothing.

                          Fast forward to mid May: I had been accepted at UC Davis and headed for their ROTC program and a student population that was roughly equal to the size of my hometown--15K-- when I happened to answer an after school phone call. It was Major Mott ( yes, I immediately thought of 'Mott The Hoople') from Gonzaga University calling to congratulate me on the schollie, etc. And by the way, did I know I could attend any school with an Army ROTC program, and would I have time to hear about his program in Spokane, Washington. A home visit was scheduled for the next day.

                          The officer who looked like he had been cut out from a recruiting poster took a cup of coffee from my Mom, sipped it, and continued to tell us about the small Jesuit liberal arts college 800 miles from home. "Our teacher to student ratio is 12:1; you won't be in a lecture hall with two or three hundred undergrads being taught by a graduate assistant. Your professors will know you by name." That really struck a chord.

                          He fielded all of our questions and told us more about the city of Spokane ( Expo Park was briefly mentioned, as I recall ), the "Gonzaga Experience," and the school calendar.

                          "Blah, blah, . . .there's no foreign language requirement. . .blah, blah. . .you can write for the student newspaper. . ." More bells & whistles went off. This Gonzaga place was starting to sound pretty good.

                          After a 90 minute visit, Major Mott hit the road, leaving behind a GU admissions application, school catalog, and a mimeographed flyer about GU's ROTC department.

                          My parents and I discussed Gonzaga and the Major's visit late into the night. We had never heard of the school, hadn't been to Spokane, and didn't know anyone who had. I checked out a brief description of GU in a telephone directory-sized college guide the next day at the library. Nothing in the small agate type told me much more about the school than I knew to that point, but there was something in my gut that felt right about Gonzaga University.

                          Some time between that trip to the library and just after the next major blow-up with Mom, I decided to go to Gonzaga, sight unseen.

                          I guess current marketing lingo would call my choice an "impulse buy." I consider it one of the best decisions I ever made.
                          Last edited by RenoZag; 05-19-2007, 02:57 PM. Reason: Fixed Typos
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                          “They go to school. They do their homework. They shake hands. They say please and thank you. But once you throw that ball up, they will rip your heart out and watch you bleed.” -- Jay Bilas


                          • #43
                            I have no idea where I first heard of GU, or how they got on my college radar out of all the other schools.

                            My high school was a college prep (Marist HS in Eugene, OR) and one of the things we did my senior year was "College Tours" and I was on the Bay Are tour (Visted Santa Clara, St Mary's, USF, and Berkley) with a group - even though I was more interested in going somewhere on the East Coast. I had decent grades (though there were a few clunkers in there), and I test well so there were a lot of schools sending me stuff. LOTS of schools.

                            How many trees-worth of paper I had in college mailings was ridiculous.

                            I think we received the mailing and my parents decided to send me to GEL weekend, and in passing mention of my trip, I found out my HS English teacher (and who I worked with on plays a lot as his tech director) was a GU grad - and since he was my favorite teacher, that was the first tally up in the positive points for GU. I went to GEL weekend and right then and there I knew that was the place for me. I ended up picking up a GU t-shirt, pair of shorts, and a baseball cap knowing that's where I had to go.

                            Later, I got a letter late in the school year from GU inviting me to apply for the Honors program - and I asked my teacher to write a recommendation for me, as I then found out he was also a former Honors student - and was on friendly terms with the then Honors director Fr. Siconolfi (sp?) - so that was a big win for that application.

                            Even stranger, when I picked my advisor from the English program (Dr. Herzog), I then after that found out that he was also the advisor for my HS teacher. Though I didn't follow any further in my HS teacher's footsteps and become a Jesuit - he's now the Principal of G-Prep. So, a fair amount of my going to GU is due to Kevin Connell SJ.

                            So that's how I joined the GU class of '98. After 4 years (without a degree) I had serious burnout/depression/focus issues, so I decided to take a year off and work then come back and finish up that last year.

                            However my leave of absence paperwork got mis-processed (lost) and I found I had to re-apply for that one last year of classes. So my application was accepted last minute (last day before classes) and I was probably the last person admitted to the class of '04 (I even got the regular "welcome to the class of '04 letter") and probably the first to graduate (in Spring '00).
                            Last edited by brasszag; 05-21-2007, 08:07 AM.
                            There's no such thing as "garbage time" - there's only the time to crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women.

                            That is what is best about being a Zag.


                            • #44
                              GU litterally turned me into a Bulldog

                              My first experience with GU came when my brother (Mark) went there. He was 9 years older than me and I can remember how beautiful the campus was to me as a 9 year old. The Ad building, St. Al's I was awestruck. Fast forward about 9 years and I found myself on that same campus. I would have to say that the experiences I had for those four years made me a Zag. From the Keg Wars, to being a member of the Kennel Club, to celebrating my 21st Birthday at Jack and Dan's and breakfast on Sunday morning at Arnies. They are all part of me. My senior year ('94) I had the priveldge of being Spike. Maybe it sounds corney or it says somthing strange about me, but I still find that to be one of my proudest times. And I can still remember unmasking in front of a full house on Senior night. I don't know for sure, but I think I might have been the first that they had do this. I am a HS teacher now. And as my students can attest I am a Zag nut. But, I also point out to them that I am the person that I am today because of my Gonzaga Experience. There wasn't one moment when I can point out I became a Zag. It was a process. But, I am one. I know that. I still look back to living in DeSmet and playing all the pranks on each other or ordering Pizza Pipeline at 10 o'clock because of the late night special, and I smile because that is what made me who I am. Sometimes, I get a little tear in the eye as I get nastalgic, but I also gain inspiration as I remember all the things from back then, like talks with Father Tony. What an awesome man. Well I guess I am rambling. In conclusion, I guess I would have to say that simply going to Gonzaga made me a Gonzaga fan.


                              • #45
                                I thought I had replyed to this thread, but I guess not, so I'll give it a go.

                                My interest in Gonzaga came my sophomore/junior year of highschool (2002-2003). Living in Carmel, CA all we get as far as basket ball on TV is anything PAC-10 and the occasional Bay Area WCC school. I watched a few games here and there and was really impressed with GU. When the time came for me to apply to schools, I soon found out I was looking at/applying to most of the WCC (UP, USF, SCU, SMC, USD and GU). I thought about applying to LMU and Pepperdine, but I didn't really want to go to school in LA. USF didn't really interest me much either (it really has no campus). Back to the story, I made several visits and fell in love with GU. The campus was great, the students were friendly, and it just really felt like a good place. As it turns out, I almost went to USD, the day I sent in all my info to GU saying I would enroll as a freshman and become a part of the class of 2008 I got my letter from USD saying I was waitlisted. GU won.

                                Fastforward to August 2004. I arrived on campus with my parents and my sister to move into Welch Hall. I play the flute so we were taking a tour of the music building when we ran into some priests (I can't recall whom). We asked about the Pep Band, and seeing that I was a freshman making a big adjustment, asking if they thought it would be too difficult to fit in my schedule. They said yes. The bad part, me being the good catholic girl I am, listened to them and didn't join my freshman year. I went to a few exhibition games, and most of the games starting with the UW one. Why I didn't go to many my first semester, I don't know. I think the girls I was friends with weren't much into it. I got hooked. As a sophomore I joined the Pep Band and I had the best time ever. Great seats to great games, and free tickets to the NCAA tournament, not to mention hosting the WCC tournament. This year I am studying abroad in France, as a part of my French and European Studies double major. Next year, I hope to return full force to the Pep Band for my Senior Year.

                                Over the years I have met my fair share of bball players. They really are good guys. I have become a part of one of the biggest family's in the nation; ZagNation, and I have enjoyed many gatherings at David's Pizza with great people. I consider you all my family, and I am not looking forward to graduating in May 2008. If I move home after I graduate it means I will be buying a cable package, and posting on here regularly to get my GU fix. I guess I can say I wasn't really a fan until I went to GU, now I am a fanatic!!
                                " 'Damn! I made a lot of stupid – and you can quote me on this – stupid-ass plays. Man, that's gross. But at least we got the win.' " -Jeremy Pargo