ASU spring game includes winning fan serving as Red Wolves coach
JONESBORO - The three-time defending Sun?Belt Conference champion Arkansas State football team is set to host its annual spring game Friday, April 18 at Centennial Bank Stadium.
While the game won't officially begin until 7 p.m., there will be a number of pregame activities leading up to the on-field action that will include a unique "Coach Experience" opportunity for a Red Wolves' fan. With A-State's spring roster divided into two teams, the promotion's winner will have the chance to act as a head coach for one of the squads.
The head coach will give the pregame and halftime talk to their team, determine if their team ‘goes for it' or punts on fourth down, make play-calling decisions and communicate with the coaching staff on headset throughout the entire game. The coach will receive photos of their experience and coaching gear. The winning coach will also receive a Powerade bath as part of their bragging rights.
In order to act as one of the Red Wolves' head coaches, fans can take part in an online auction by visiting eBay and searching for "BCS?Head Coach Experience at 2014 Arkansas State Spring Game." ?Bidding starts at $2,500 and will run through Monday, April 14, until 3 p.m.
"Our staff wants to have a high level of interaction with our fans, and we felt like this would be another way to do that while adding a fun dimension to the spring game," new A-State head coach Blake Anderson said. "Our goal is to make this a truly memorable experience for whoever puts that headset on when we kickoff."
There is no charge for parking or admission to the spring game, which will include four quarters and a halftime. Prior to the game, the field will be open from 4:30-5:30 p.m. for kids who want to come on the field and play with various practice equipment while interacting with some of the Red Wolves' players.
Additionally, Tailgate City will host activities for all ages between 5-7 p.m. East Arkansas Broadcasters will provide music in the tailgating area that will include inflatables and face painting. Following the game, A-State players and coaches will be available on the field to sign autographs and visit with fans.
The Red Wolves began their spring camp under Anderson on March 17 with their first team practice since ending the 2013 season with a 23-20 victory over Ball State in the GoDaddy Bowl. A-State is holding 15 practices, including its spring game, over a five-week period that will end April 21.
"We feel very good about this team and how they've progressed through spring camp thus far," said Anderson. "We're going to put an exciting brand of football on the field, so we're looking forward to the spring game and encourage all Red Wolves' fans to come join us for an entertaining day."
Including back-to-back 10-win seasons in 2010 and 2011 and eight more last year, the Red Wolves have recorded 28 victories for their most over a three-year span since winning 29 from 1985-87 as an NCAA I-AA (now FCS) member. The Red Wolves 28 total wins over the last three seasons also ranks tied for the 20th most in the nation.
Season tickets remain on sale for the Red Wolves' 2014 campaign, and will be available for purchase at Centennial Bank?Stadium the day of the spring game.
Events also taking place on Spring Game weekend include a three-game baseball series between Arkansas State and Louisiana-Monroe. First pitch on Friday, April 18, is at 5:00 p.m., while the Red Wolves take the mound Saturday at 6:00 pm and conclude the series at Tomlinson Stadium Sunday at 1:00 p.m.