April 28, 2009
By Brian Byrnes
The Husky faithful awaited the coach's arrival. Lorenzo Romar had invited each and everyone of them personally via e-mail or phone. Catchy music filled the room from the speakers as Romar took the stage.
And just as the Dawg Pack swarmed the Hec Edmunson Pavilion all throughout this year's basketball season to cheer on their Dawgs, many turned out yesterday to cheer on their favorite coach, Lorenzo Romar, who assembled the first-ever Dawg Pack appreciation party.
The Dawg Pack, made up of about (800) students, is the UW's loud and proud student section, present at all home basketball games.
The section, located behind the team benches, filled to capacity at almost every home game this year. Students camped out days in advance to secure prime standing spots for all the big games.
With the Dawg Pack as the supportive "sixth man," Romar led the team through a successful season with only one loss at home to California.
"I can't imagine any other coach taking the time to get to know the student section the way that Romar does," said freshman Marco Passarella.
The Ram closed its doors from 3 to 4:30 p.m. as Romar took the opportunity to thank the Dawg Pack for all of its boisterous support throughout this year's winning season.
Before the celebration started, Romar walked around the restaurant and individually talked to and welcomed each fan in attendance with a smile on his face.
Romar briefly discussed last season's ups and downs as well as his expectations for the upcoming season without Jon Brockman, the leader of this year's team.
"Brockman's loss will be more than just the rebounds," Romar said.
Next year, he expects Quincy Pondexter to step up as the leader of the team.
Fans then watched a highlight video from the season, which included many of the season's best plays as well as clips of the Dawg Pack in action.
The party ended on a light note when Romar opened the floor to a question-and-answer session.
When asked by one student who will be the starting five next year, Romar responded that he did not know for sure, but that competition for a spot in the starting lineup would be fierce.
Before the celebration ended, Romar tossed out signed basketballs to fans who correctly answered basketball trivia and once again thanked the Dawg Pack for its energetic support.
"Today, I saw the potential depth we have going into next season," said freshman Anthony Ghazel. "I'm very excited to return to the Dawg Pack next year."
Romar, too, sounded excited about next year's season as he told Dawg Pack members that they have the potential to be the best student section in the country.
"I would love that," he said. "We're all on the same team here."