Photo Courtesy Southern Utah University
SUU Athletic Director Ken Beazer says joining the Big Sky Conference has been a big energy boost to the school and community.

Q: What does entering the Big Sky Conference mean to SUU?

A: It means aligning Southern Utah University with a strong, stable and mature conference comprised of institutions that make sense geographically, all of whom share a commonality in purpose and function. Joining the BSC has been a combined campus and community effort for over 20 years, and the full impact of this move has had a positive ripple throughout our department, campus and region.

Q: What are coaches and players telling you about the move?

A: There is a definite boost in the energy level around campus. The student-athletes are thrilled with the prospect of not having to fly transcontinental to every conference game, being able to compete in venues that are within driving distance for their family and friends. Our coaching staff noticed an immediate, positive impact with the move to the Big Sky Conference in recruiting. The BSC has been a much easier sell within the region.

Q: What other new things are we going to see this year in SUU athletics?

A: Eccles Coliseum will have a new synthetic football surface and additional bleacher seating in the north end zone designed specifically to host former student-athletes and their families. In addition, we have new coaching staffs for men's basketball and women's soccer.

Q: The Big Sky football polls have the Thunderbirds finishing in the middle of the pack. Is this a fair estimate?

A: I fully expected to appear somewhere in the middle of the preseason polls. The BSC institutions we have played in the past have a great deal of respect for our football program; yet, we remain an unknown to the others.

Q: What is your favorite part of the 2012 football schedule?

A: My favorite part of the schedule begins on Sept. 22, when we officially open up BSC play at Portland State. As already mentioned, the institution has been waiting over 20 years for this moment. I'm extremely excited to watch it unfold.