For those of you that have written wondering where your podcasts have been, thanks for missing us (for those that didn't miss us, well...thanks for knowing we exist!). As you can tell, we are back today, starting our weekly podcasts up again. I had at least one wag who suggested that we were still partying from our 100th podcast, and while that would have been fun, unfortunately that wasn't the case.
Instead, we've used the 10 weeks or so to do several things to improve your experience with the Huffines Institute, beyond just providing you new podcast content every week. And just to make sure you know a bit about the 'new stuff' coming, pardon the below digression.
1) Hopefully, you could immediately see the new look and feel of the website. This relaunch/reskin of the site took about five months. We've still got a few pages that we're ironing the wrinkles out of, and if you find any links that don't work, please let me know. But otherwise, the basic redesign of the site sprang from initial suggestions by the Huffines Staff, was then refined and put into 'code' by our wonderful Internet partners at Agnitek (thanks Becky!), and was further refined by our Staff here at the Huffines. Then Becky and the folks at Agnitek relaunched the site (and reformatted ALL of our pictures - that is a chore!) and we've been testing for bugs the past three weeks. Today is our final test as we officially roll out the new site. If you've never gone through a redesign and relaunch of a site, trust me, it is a bear and huge thanks go to our Staff and the crew at Agnitek.
2) Interestingly, every once in awhile, we get caught in things that make us go 'hmmmm'. This was the case back in the Fall when we were informed - and frankly in not a very polite manner - that we had to start putting up full length transcripts of all of our podcasts. Starting with today's new podcast, you will see a link in the show notes every week that will take you to that transcript (if you'd like). We hope that supplying these transcripts will fulfill a need (that we didn't know existed) because they almost quadruple the cost of doing the podcasts (yes, quadruple - it's not hard to quadruple something when we are fairly lean and efficient in the first place!). So, if you're one of those that need a transcript, use the ones we put up. We are tracking the use and we'll see what real demand there is (as opposed to an imagined demand that may not exist). Thanks go out to our transcription service (Transcripts by Joel), to our Executive Board and Department Faculty and Staff that have supported me as we've struggled to fill this 'unfunded mandate', and to the sole voice of reason, Kyle Boatsman, that offset the shrill voices on this topic.
3) You'll see some really cool big pictures across the website now. Thanks to Kelli Selman and Megan Schwartz for taking many of those pictures, as well as the staged-pictures from Robb White. They do help the pages 'pop'.
4) We've launched the Texas A&M Coaching Academy to focus on proper preparation of Coaches. We were thrilled that Dr. John Thornton agreed to be our inaugural Director and I'd encourage you to click here to read more about John and the foundation that he brings to the Academy. Unfortunately, the tab for the Academy in our header is empty at this time, but keep checking back! We'll populate that area soon!
5) You may have seen the earlier announcements that we've moved the Huffines Discussion 2013 - our time when we bring renowned folks from Sports Medicine and Human Performance in to hear their big ideas - to November 15, 2013. We are on the verge of announcing our speaker line-up and several other exciting expansions to the HD3. Keep an eye on our website and our Twitter/Facebook feeds!
6) Lastly, we are sailing off into our next 100 podcasts today starting with a great conversation with Dr. Thornton about the Texas A&M Coaching Academy. As I write this, we've got our next five podcasts already in the 'can' and just waiting on those aforementioned transcripts. I can guarantee that as always, our podcasts will be informative, will make you think, and won't hesitate to talk about even controversial topics. Tell your friends and family to join the 'conversation' - they'll be glad you did.
So, thanks again for taking the time to visit with us. Let me know your thoughts through the comments below. As always, we value them!