It's fun to work and play in an iconic building. The J. Lawrence Walkup Skydome, one of the most unique venues in all of college athletics, is home to NAU women's and men's basketball, football, and indoor track and field. Construction on the Skydome began in the fall of 1975, and was completed in September 1977. The Skydome underwent a major renovation from December 2010 to September 2011 at a cost of $26 million.

Once the largest wood-span structure of its kind in the world, the white dome can be seen from miles around. It covers an area of 6.2 acres with the roof spanning more than 500 feet and rising 142 feet above the playing surface.

Other Skydome Fun Facts:

1. The Skydome is named after J. Lawrence Walkup, the president of NAU from 1957-1979.

2. Seating capacity is 10,000 for football and 7,000 for basketball.

3. Fresh air and heat come through 19 large ducts, maintaining a constant temperature of 72 degrees.

4. There are 1444 stadium steps in the Skydome which make for a fantastic pre-season conditioning workout.


It was a fun-filled weekend on campus this past weekend as most of our fall sports teams had home contests. NAU volleyball kicked the weekend off Friday night by sweeping San Diego State in the Fiesta Bowl Tournament. Saturday, men's and women's cross country cruised at the George Kyte Classic finishing in first and second place respectively. Sunday, our gritty (and still undefeated) soccer team held UNLV scoreless to pick up a tie. Just as impressive . . . numerous team members from every NAU sport were among the fans at each event. NAU student-athletes do a terrific job supporting one another.


Last Wednesday, NAU President John Haeger welcomed students, faculty, and staff back for the fall semester at his annual picnic during Welcome Week. I had the opportunity to participate in the NAU Athletics Dunk Tank. Thanks to NAU Swim Coach, Andy Johns, and NAU administrative assistant, Tina D'Angelo, for the nomination. And, yes, Tina, the water WAS cold.


Our lone senior, Amanda Frost (Riverside, CA) shares her thoughts on her favorite class at NAU: "My favorite class was Social Work 220. I was required to do community service with children. I became engaged in social work and very attached to some of the kids because of what I experienced and through the stories they shared. It made me want to give everything I have to children in need."


Our goals for the 2013-2014 season:

Win the Big Sky Championship,

Maintain a team GPA of 3.0 or higher,

Perform 150 hours of community service.

Freshman Catelyn Preston (Oregon City, OR) keeps tabs on important dates and numbers for our program. Drumroll please . . .

Days until our first day of practice (October 3rd) = 22

Days until our home opener (Hawaii, November 10th) = 60

Days until semester grades are posted = 115

Days until the Big Sky Championship = 148

Hours of community service performed to date = 52


Thanks for your interest in, and support of, NAU Women's Basketball. Until next week please:

1. Follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/NAUwomensbasketball), Twitter (@NAU_WBB), and at www.nauathletics.com

2. Wear the Blue and Gold with pride (Especially on Friday)

3. Make it a great week to be a Lumberjack!

Go Jacks!

Sue Darling

Head Women's Basketball Coach

Northern Arizona University