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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Olson’s sudden retirement sets backdrop for Homecoming

    Taking into account UA men’s basketball head coach Lute Olson’s sudden retirement and the seemingly never-ending turmoil in the economy, many students felt that Homecoming was the perfect escape from more serious matters.

    One of the UA’s oldest traditions, Homecoming weekend was met with high spirits. Many students put troubles aside to get wrapped up in UA celebration.

    Sophomore Nick Jones defined Homecoming as “”a nostalgic look back at the golden days and an optimistic look toward the days to come.”” While expecting to spend less money due to the economy, Jones said he was still going to fully participate in Homecoming events throughout the weekend.

    Junior Carrie Hardesty said of Olsen’s retirement, “”He’s given us the most amazing legacy a school could ever want.”” She called Homecoming an experience in and of itself, but added his retirement won’t affect Homecoming weekend.

    Like every home game, Bear Down Friday started the evening at Main Gate Square, but, being Homecoming weekend, the event had more attractions and was attended by more people.

    The ZonaZoo crew was there “”to try and get everyone spirited,”” said communications sophomore Amanda Camera. Also inspiring school spirit were Wilma and Wilbur, who even took a trip inside Chipotle.

    Bear Down Friday’s performances were plentiful as UA cheerleaders showcased cheers, the Pride of Arizona marching band played Bear Down, Swing Cats offered a beginning swing dance lesson and the Black and Blue Hip-Hop Group and the Hobo Dance Crew showed off their moves.

    Following the activities on University Boulevard, the Pride of Arizona led fans in a parade march to Old Main. The excitement gathered on University Boulevard transitioned into a passionate pep rally and bonfire.

    UA President Robert Shelton was one of the first to speak, focusing on the success of the football team. Also speaking was head football coach Mike Stoops and the captains of the team. They all had positive things to say about the football game to come, as their teammates stood behind them.

    The Homecoming court was then brought before everyone and Connor Lewis and Carmen Moussa were crowned king and queen to many cheers.A massive bonfire to the west of Old Main and fireworks finished off the pep rally.

    Saturday afternoon kicked off with the traditional huge tailgate on the UA Mall. Later the parade showed off creative floats based on the theme, “”There’s no place like home.”” Among the highlights were the parade’s grand marshals – UA Olympians – atop a fire truck, a couple of Wilburs doing one-handed push-ups and dozens of alumni.

    Tailgating soon ended as people made their way over to Arizona Stadium.


    Christine Flier contributed to this story.

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