Leading off...

Hello MIAC fans and friends,

First of all, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Happy 2013! With the start of the new year, we're excited to announce a few new online initiatives for the tremendous fans of our league.

This blog venture has been a long time coming, but it's finally getting off the ground as part of a new venture we're starting called MIAC Media. In addition to this blog, we're also planning a weekly podcast thanks to the help of Augsburg alum Mike Gallagher, and MIAC Assitant Director Afton Goebel will have a new video series as part of MIAC Media as well, focused on getting to know the student-athletes, coaches and administrators that make our conference so great. Since I'm a writer by trade, this blog is my contribution to MIAC Media.

A little about me and what this blog will hopefully be. My name is Matt Higgins, and I'm the MIAC's Assistant to the Executive Director (insert Dwight Schrute reference here), which is our fancy way of saying that I'm the conference SID, or sports information director. I handle our Web site including most of the writing, schedule and stat maintenance and more. I'm a writer by trade, so that helps explain some of the new content and feautres that have sprouted up on the league's site over the past year. However, I'm hoping this blog does three things...

No. 1: Gives me another outlet for my writing fix. In addition, it will give a more conversational way to talk about the league and all the people and events that make it so great. I want this to be a real departure from the professional and AP-style writing you can find on our site, with hopefully a little humor, "behind-the-scenes" stuff and more.

No. 2: Expands the MIAC's growing presence on the Web. In 2010, the MIAC took its first steps into the ever-popular realm of social media with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more. While those endeavors are admittedly still a work in progress, this blog is another step in that direction, along with the other MIAC Media ventures. (By the way, don't hesitate to click those links and "like" or "friend" the MIAC if you haven't already. Shameless, I know.)

No. 3: Offers our conference's passionate fan base more content. Often times, there are stories or expereiences or thoughts that just don't fit into a press release or one of our online feautres. This blog will be a home to those previously cast-off observations. I hope it also gives the fan base another solid way to connect to the conference office, and I encourage everyone to comment on my blog posts, ask questions and suggest blog topics or things you'd like me to write about. We're all about the fans at the MIAC, and this space will be a spot where we can all interact and get together and celebrate what I feel - with admitted bias - is the best darn Division III conference in the country.

Now, as part of this introduction, I would like to make one request for those of you who do want to get involved and comment and ask questions. Let's keep it civil. Everyone knows the MIAC has some serious storied rivalries, and this is absolutely a place where we can celebrate those time-honored clashes, but for the most part I really encouarge everyone to keep it clean, respectful and civil. I will be moderating comments and will likely post almost everything submitted, but not if I feel the intent or the content is outside of the MIAC's ongoing commitment to excellent sportsmanship. Please share your thoughts and opinions, and though it can be hard sometime on the information superhighway, let's all be adults.

Now that that's out of the way, I'm real excited for this chance to provide more content in a new way for the MIAC. I plan to blog at least once a week - hopefully sometimes more - with occasional video blogs, photos updates and more included. So let's get this party started. Check back soon for a post that's much less introductory, and hopefully much more insightful.

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