In just the second day of the week, the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's basketball camp is a definite success in the eyes of assistant coach and camp director Geoff Grawn. Tasked with getting the kids there and making sure things run smoothly, Grawn came at it with a new mindset this year that focused on increasing the number of attendees.
"It is the most we've ever had, eclipsing our previous best mark by about 35 kids," said Grawn. "It's easily the best turnout we've had in what is my ninth camp."
The group of 95 kids is the largest the Islanders have had in the camp's history, dwarfing the 40 that attended last year by a wide margin and also surpassing the previous high of 60 since Grawn has been a member of the coaching staff.
The key to the increase was Grawn's proactive stance on the impending camp. In the midst of the most successful season in Islander women's basketball history, the longtime assistant wanted to strike while the iron was hot, devising a new "early bird special" discount for early enrollees and getting the word out earlier than ever before.
Compared to the normal 1-2 month advertising time, Grawn got word out for the camp on February 1, more than four months before the start of the camp and during the height of the women's basketball season. While fans watched the team advance to the semifinals of the Women's Basketball Invitational before falling to Memphis, parents were signing their kids up at a record pace.
Paired with the increased incentive of the early discount, Grawn estimates that there were nearly 60 campers signed up by the time the early bird special ended, a number that was already far more than the total from all of last year.
"It gets what we're doing out here with our basketball team and athletics at the university to new faces that are going to tell other new faces," said Grawn. "They heard about our success this past season, followed it and wanted to send their kids to the camp.
"I just hope that next year it doubles but our success from last season certainly helped and was the underlying factor for the increase."
The hope is that the new campers will tell their friends and family about it which will get even more fans than ever before out to the games during the 2010-11 season and continues to grow the fan base of women's basketball program. So far, so good for the women's basketball coaching staff.