Portland State Magazine Fall 2022

The football team at the moment plays at a stadium in Hillsboro. At this very early stage, do you view a new, more permanent solution as a possibility? If so, what has your approach been so far? I need to get through a season. I need to see what the opportunities are. It’s a nice facility.The city of Hillsboro has been terrific to work with. I’m still evaluating to see what’s best for the program longterm, knowing that there’s going to be changes not only in our league, perhaps on how we approach things, but also in the NCAA, which is going through a very specific transformation.They call it the Transformation Committee, where we’re looking at the structure of Division I athletics and what it looks like.That also will have an impact. So right now I’m listening and learning. We’ll use the basis of that to put together a strategic 3- to 5- to 10-year plan. What are the different ways that the athletics department might engage students at a commuter school like PSU? It’s not unlike at Weber State or Eastern Washington, which were primarily commuter schools. For traditional-age students, we engage them and create a fun environment similar to what they experienced in high school, and just continue that and engage them.Then you look at those who are working and want to further themselves educationally. Time is of the essence, and it’s hard for them. We need to create a good opportunity for them in a very cost-effective way to attend a game, and have good, wholesome entertainment for them and their families, if they have them. We’ve partnered with MAX to shuttle them to the game. So it’ll be a holistic experience that starts when you leave home, not when you get to the game. We need to find out what they want. What kind of data do we have? Can we survey them? Can we talk to them? Can we do some focus groups: Hey, what do you want from us? What would help you want to come to a game? You come to basketball and volleyball right here and we have a wonderful new facility. It’s as good as anything in the conference and it’s easy to get to. We have parking. We have people downtown. And you know, one of our roles, I believe, in athletics is to serve the community and to create opportunities for the community. We’re going to help get people downtown coming to our games, eating in restaurants, doing what they do when they come to games to make it a great experience that helps the city of Portland. —JACK HEFFERNAN “When you’re ... an athletics director, revenue generation is on your mind when you wake up in the morning and go to bed—and sometimes, quite frankly, in the middle of the night.” Athletics Director John Johnson observes an Aug. 19 PSU football practice at Stott Community Field. SO-MIN KANG A WINNING LEGACY Since the start of the 2000-01 academic year, Portland State teams have won 32 conference regular-season or tournament championships. PSU teams have also made 21 appearances, and had more than 100 student-athletes compete in individual events, in the NCAA post-season. 32 RECORD-BREAKING RUNS Portland State cross country and track & field runner Katie Camarena set a school record in all seven events she competed in during the Vikings’ cross country and indoor track & field seasons. Camarena swept the records in the cross country 4k, 5k, and 6k during the fall 2021 season, then swept the records in the indoor 800 meters, mile, 3k, and 5k. Her school records in the indoor mile and 3k also broke Big Sky Conference records in those events. 7-for-7 ALL-AMERICAN DEFENSE Two-time All-American defensive back Anthony Adams enters the 2022 season as a pre-season All-American. His 40 career passes defended (nine interceptions, 31 pass breakups) is more than any returning football player in the nation. 40 CAREER COUNTDOWN Portland State volleyball player Ellie Snook needs 401 digs this fall to reach 2,000 career digs, a benchmark no Viking has previously reached in the storied history of the program. Snook recorded 612 digs last season, so 401 is certainly achievable if she stays healthy. Snook needs only 253 more digs to break the Portland State career record, which Kasimira Clark currently holds with 1,851 digs from 2011-14. 2,000 compiled by Mike Lund MIGHTY VIKS FALL 2022 // 19