Rocket Fans Unite!

October 5th, 2015 Posted in From Our Alumni

By Patty Gelb

There could be some confusion based on the name; but you don’t have to be downtown, a coach, or even an alum to be a member of the Downtown Coaches Association (DCA). All you have to be is a UT Rocket fan!

With a history of Rocket spirit, the DCA is a booster group that has been encouraging interest and raising funds for The University of Toledo athletics programs since its inception in 1937. These Super Fans get an inside perspective on everything happening in UT sports at weekly luncheon meetings held at Savage arena. UT head coaches speak to attendees about the previous week’s contests, talk about upcoming opponents, introduce student athletes and answer questions. There is no better way to have more insight as a fan of Rocket sports than being a part of the DCA.

09082015-9931Nancy Creech, (B.A., ’72) should know. Not only is she a Rocket fan who has been attending meetings for about 17 years, she was just elected president of the DCA for this upcoming season. As the first female to hold the role for the group, you can hear her pride of the Rockets and the DCA when speaking to her.

“I think a lot of the guys are very proud of the fact that I am the first female president,” said Creech. “I don’t really look at it that way. I look at it as being the president of DCA. I am truly a Rocket fan and this is really a culmination of being a real fan. I get to be the president of DCA and I think that is a great place to be.”

Creech, who received her degree in education, was a Rocket cheerleader and elected homecoming queen in 1970. She feels her years at UT were a growing experience at a time in her life when she needed to grow up.

“The University has always been a really great symbol for me because it’s a good school, not just a good athletic department or program — but it is a really good school,” she said.

Homecoming 1970 Creech PictureWhen she attended her first DCA meeting with husband Charlie, (B.S. ’65), she thought it would be kind of an old man’s group. She learned quickly that it was not.

“In the years I have been involved, it has been really great,” she said. “Every week we have the coaches come in and usually they will bring a player or an assistant coach. You have the chance to ask them questions, which is not something the normal person who sits at home gets to do. It is like you are a super-fan plus! This is your opportunity to hear what happened and what they are going to do about it. You get a real feeling of what they are like.”

There is a major function of the DCA beyond the weekly luncheon meetings. The group provides fundraising support to UT athletics. They achieve this by running a 50/50 raffle at all home football and basketball games. They also hold an annual fall raffle and this year’s grand prize was $5,000. The winner of the raffle was awarded at midfield in the Glass Bowl at the September 26, Rockets vs. Arkansas State game. Last year, the DCA was able to contribute over $100,000 to the athletic department and they plan on continuing to raise these large amounts of funds to help support the Rockets every year.

“The DCA has been a tremendous supporter of Rocket Athletics for many years,” said Dave Nottke, Sr. Associate Athletic Director for Development & External Affairs. “Year in and year out, we can always count on the group and its members to provide that extra support that helps to make our programs successful here at UT. We are very thankful for the support we have received over the years.”

09082015-0034There are no qualifications or criteria to join the DCA. The organization welcomes all who would enjoy getting firsthand information from Rocket coaches and players every week at the Monday luncheons which run thru March.  There are currently around 250 members and the membership fee to the DCA is $40 per year and $50 for couples. The luncheon meetings are $15 per person and held in the West Lobby at Savage Arena.  Buffet lunch begins at 11:30 and speakers begin around noon.  You do not have to be a member to attend a luncheon.

The first meeting of the year for the DCA featured UT Football Coach Matt Campbell reporting on the team and the football equipment manager, Jeremy Boyd with a demonstration on what it takes to outfit and protect players. The second luncheon, UT President, Dr. Sharon L. Gaber attended and spoke to the group.

Creech truly enjoys the insight to the Rockets that she gets from being a member of the DCA and hopes everyone who is a true Rocket fan will consider joining.

“We welcome everyone to come and be a part of our meetings,” she said. “We introduce our guests and hopefully we turn them into new members. Like I said earlier, all you have to do to be a member is be a Rocket fan — and I fit that mold!”

To learn more about the DCA, click here to visit the UT Athletics’ website.

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