Sept. 4, 2011
Dear Buckeye Nation,
Saturday was an historic day in Ohio Stadium. Luke Fickell made his debut as Ohio State head coach and many new Buckeyes performed on the field for the first time against the University of Akron.
Former players lined the field during pregame ceremonies to offer words of encouragement to the student-athletes, coaches and staff that make up the football program they worked so hard to build over the years.
Script Ohio was on display four times over to kick off a season long-celebration of the 75th anniversary of this world-renowned Ohio State tradition. Dr. Jon Woods, the beloved director of the Ohio State Marching Band also announced his retirement, effective following the 2011-12 academic year, an end to an exceptional career of service to the Ohio State family.
There to witness these events were more than 105,000 of you. We always appreciate the support of our fans. But add in excessive heat with temperatures in the high 90s and your support is even more extraordinary.
"I want to give a special thanks to all the fans and former football players who braved the elements to support Coach Luke Fickell, the assistant coaches and student-athletes," Gene Smith, associate vice president and Ohio State director of athletics, said. "With your support the young men responded to their challenge and represented Buckeye Nation with a great performance - Buckeye Pride Runs Deep. Thank You!"
Fickell and the Ohio State players also would like to express appreciation to the fans.
"I kept telling our players throughout the game how hot it was but I can only imagine what it must have been like in the stands with 105,000 people," Fickell said. "On behalf of the entire program I want to say `thank you' to the fans for coming out to the game and supporting the team."
The Ohio State community also would like to thank all of our first responders for their cooperation and support, especially the American Red Cross, who attended to hundreds of fans in the seats and the First Aid Rooms, and the Columbus Fire Department, who made more than 70 medical runs throughout the stadium. Great job!