Blog Note: Kyle Koncz is the Directors of Basketball Operations for the Fairfield men’s basketball program. He is partnering with Kelly Romano to bring you DOBO Diaries throughout the year – sharing with you some insights into the behind the scenes work that goes into making a Division I basketball program run.
Eight games, 5,141 miles, six flights, numerous buses, and ONE lost bag. That is how the Stags started the season. In what felt more like one of those legendary long NBA road trips we were able to go 4-4, while being able to learn and grow a lot as a team. It feels good to be home, and we are definitely looking forward to our home and MAAC opener this Friday night, but before I get to those details I’m sure many of you are wondering what goes into planning a road trip.
There is a lot that goes into it actually, and it really is a group effort by the staff. The first thing is figuring out if we are going to fly. For our games at UVA, DePaul, and Austin Peay we did. The next step is finding the right hotel. We always want our guys comfortable on the road and able to get a good nights rest before a game, but we also have to take into account meetings spaces, meal availability, and distance from gym. The last step is finding a bus company that will lug us around for the days we are one the road. It is a long process, one that has me making a lot of phone calls and trying to work a lot of deals.
Once all of these details are figured out you have to execute the road trip itinerary. It seems like it would be easy, but when you go on the road there is a lot of things you can’t control. Things that can go wrong include traffic, airport check-in and security lines, weather, busy restaurants, and time changes. Now those are the things that keep a DOBO up late at night with nightmares. Luckily for us, other than a traffic scare on our way to JFK for Austin Peay, none of these caused us any problems.
What was the best part of all these trips? Other than the feeling in the locker room and bus after a victory, it had to be our seven-hour bus ride back from UVA. You’re probably asking what about a seven-hour bus ride is fun? Well it did come after a victory over Penn, but it also wasn’t your normal run of the mill coach bus. It was a sleeper bus, and for those of you who have had the chance to take a ride in one I’ll explain. A sleeper bus is normal 56-passenger coach bus, but instead of being filled with seats it’s filled with sleeping space, TVs, couches, and some seats. It even had a big screen projector on the back wall. It was something our guys really enjoyed, and by taking it allowed them to be back in class Wednesday morning.
Coming up this Friday we finally get a chance to play in front of our home fans and the Stags 6th Man – the RED SEA. We are definitely looking forward to the energy and enthusiasm that will have Webster Bank Arena rocking. We have spent enough time on the road hearing it from the opposing fans, and we can’t wait to have the support on our side. Hopefully we see you all there, tip-off is at 7PM, and remember as always GO STAGS!!!!
Thanks for reading,