SHREVEPORT, La (KMSS/TKAL) – If you walked into Walk-On’s in Shreveport tonight, you would have thought you were in Ruston. Louisiana Tech fans, staff and alumni filled the sports bar, including a few key members of the Louisiana Tech Athletics department. Athletic Director Dr. Eric Wood, Head Men’s Basketball Coach Eric Konkol, Head Women’s Basketball Coach Brooke Stoehr, Head Football Coach Skip Holtz, and Head Baseball Coach Lane Burroughs represented the Bulldogs in the Port City.
“This is so special,” said Dr. Wood. “You walk in, and there’s not an open seat in the house. I feel the buzz. They’re excited, and I’m excited. They can’t wait to hear from our coaches.”
Meanwhile, the coaches couldn’t wait to interact with the fans and alumni who continue to support their teams.
“They mean so much to us,” said Coach Burroughs. “This is why we do it. They’re the livelihood of our program, of our university and of our entire department. These are the kind of things where you can cut loose. You’re not in your uniform and you can just be yourself. You’re not really the coach. You’re one of them.”
With so many LA Tech alumni living in Shreveport-Bossier and making the trip to Ruston to cheer on their teams, Head Men’s Basketball Coach Eric Konkol said it’s special to be able to return the favor.
“Our fans and supporters are really our heartbeat,” said Coach Konkol. “We feed off their energy during games. We feel it and the players feel it. So being able to come to their turf, gets all of us excited.”
The trip may be intended to bring together coaches and fans, but the special bond created between the different coaches through travel is an added bonus.
“It’s great for us coaches to have that comradery as we travel to Houston, Dallas, Shreveport and next Monroe,” said Coach Stoehr. “To be able to spend time together and just share stories is just great.”
While Bulldog Blitz has made stops all over Louisiana and Texas, Shreveport is a destination that sticks out to Coach Skip Holtz.
“I was really excited when we had the opportunity to play in the Independence Bowl a couple years ago and beat Miami here in Shreveport,” said Coach Holtz. “Shreveport is such a big part of what we do. From our student base, to our recruiting base, from the athletes, anytime we can get over here and have an opportunity to interact with the people who make Louisiana Tech special, I enjoy this trip.”