And here we go...

Hello again MIAC fans. How are you? How was your summer? Ours was great. We launched our new web site, which I hope you're all enjoying. With the start of the new season upon us today, we expect there to be some bugs, some small issues, some little things that we're not quite familiar with yet that aren't quite working right, so we appreciate your patience as we tune things up and get them working to their fullest abilities. I really think the capabilities of our new site are going to be very exciting for all our fans and should make the MIAC easier to follow than ever.

Some exciting things I'd like to point out.

We debuted this last year, and go full-fledged with it in 2013-14. I think our scoreboard is much improved. Each team sport has their own scoreboard, and there is a main conference scoreboard. The scoreboard now includes sports without standings (such as golf and cross country this fall). Now you can navigate by date to see upcoming games or past results. 

We're going to be adding links to follow all of our action live, and we're also working on something to pull the information from any game with live stats so the scoreboard updates in real time. That's kind of  technological mystery, but I'm already seeing some success with it in volleyball today, so that's exciting and makes the MIAC scoreboard feel more like ESPN.com or something similar.

I think every time I go to a MIAC event (or any sporting event in general) I constantly notice people on their phones or tablets during the game. Now, you won't even have to look back up at the action to follow along thanks to the new MIAC app! We have an app for both Apple products (iPhone, iPad, etc.) and Android devices as well. Best of all, the new app is free! I think we can all agree that mobile web sites aren't the best thing in the world, so the MIAC app takes all the great things from our site - schedules, standings, the scoreboard, stories - and puts it at your fingertips in an easy-to-use resource. Hopefully now when I see people looking down at their phones instead of the action on the field or on the court, they'll still be following along with the goings on in the MIAC.

No. 3 - MIAC Live
On the home page of our new site, and on each sport page for team sports you'll notice a tab called "MIAC Live" ... this tab shows any event that day that has some sort of live coverage - stats, video, audio, etc. If you can't make it out to a game and want to follow the conference action from home, this is another great place to navigate from broadcast to broadcast to stay on top of the action.

Those three new additions to the MIAC's online portfolio should make our site even more desirable for fans of the conference. The reason we're here, and the biggest part of our world, is the action going on across the conference. These new items will allow our fans to stay connected to the action in some exciting new ways. If you love the MIAC (or even just one of our schools), we hope you like what you're seeing and we'll continue to try to grow and improve.

QUICK HITS
**With the new site, and some much-needed time off, the blog went on an unintended hiatus this summer. Now that we're back in the swing of things, expect at least one new post every week, and often times more. If you have any suggestions or ideas for a blog post, please let me know. If you have a question you'd like me to try to answer (or hunt down an answer from a coach or sports information director), I'd love that, too. Email me at: mhiggins@miacathletics.com.

**I went on a mini-tour of MIAC football camps last week to get a feel for things heading into the start of the season. I'll be doing a Friday Feature soon about the changing of the guard at Saint John's, and I got some great video at SJU, Augsburg, Bethel, St. Thomas and Hamline. I'll be blogging more with my thoughts from those practices and scrimmages, and look for some cool videos to promote the start of the season very soon. Huge thanks to the coaches and SIDs that allowed me into practice to give me my first look at 2013 MIAC football. Next year, I'm going to try to hit all nine.

**Make sure to watch our new Sportsmanship Video. It was produced by Gustavus women's hockey player Carolyn Draayer, who is incredibly gifted with a camera and an editing program. She's doing one more video for us as well that will be just as cool. Hopefully this video inspires you all to be good sports this season.

video

**With Concordia and Saint Benedict tying atop the women's soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll, I believe we have the first tie for No. 1 in a poll since I took over my current post (entering my fourth season). Pretty cool, and should lead to one heck of a season on the soccer field.

**Are you listening to the MIAC Media Weekly Podcast by Mike Gallagher? You should be. It's great. This week's episode previewing the upcoming Volleyball and Golf seasons with St. Thomas Volleyball Coach Thanh Pham and Gustavus Golf Coach Scott Moe was especially good.

**It's Friday, Aug. 30. Volleyball, Soccer, Golf and Cross Country all start today, with football kicking off next Saturday. TheJoker said it best...


Good luck to everyone as the season starts. Can't wait to see the MIAC teams in action this fall!

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