An open letter
to The Superintendent of the United States Military Academy
from Alan Lubke, USMA Class of 1961
2550 Fleetwood Drive
San Bruno, CA 94066
December 19, 2002
I give it as my fixed opinion that there
is no written text or speech in which the sacred words "West Point",
"The Academy", "The USMA", or "The United States
Corps of Cadets", when written or spoken by the Superintendent
of the United States Military Academy to its graduates, shall ever be
subsitituted for by secular phrases such as "this institution",
"this great institution", et. al.
As the Superintendent of the United States Military Academy,
it is my responsibility to ensure that
While we share the great disappointment that many of you feel over this year's results, we remain resolute in the belief that continuity is crucial. I firmly believe long term stability under the right leadership is the basis of a winning Division I-A program playing in a highly competitive conference. I am confident that the program's return to prominence should be built around Todd Berry and his initiatives.
When Academy leaders assessed the football program several years ago, they identified a significant shortfall in athletic facilities. Thanks to the generosity of our graduates and friends, and the support of the Department of the Army, we have begun to rectify these shortcomings with the construction of Kimsey Athletic Center and Hoffman Press Box, the installation of a new playing surface for Michie Stadium, and the installation of modern television broadcast quality lighting. As we began to upgrade our athletic facilities, we also made a change in our coaching staff and in our style of play.
These decisions were not made lightly. They were made with the understanding that their benefits might not be realized for several years. In fact, we are just now beginning to experience the recruiting benefits that our modern facilities produce.
In the coming weeks, the Academy leadership will enlist the efforts of several experienced football advisors, some of whom have been associated with Army football and some of whom have not, to conduct an analysis of the factors that affect the success of the football program, to include a review of the array of institutional support mechanisms. This analysis will enable us to assess objectively where we are, and benchmark our program against those that are successful. On that basis, necessary changes can be made - on the field, as well as by the Academy leadership and the Department of the Army - in order to restore competitive pride to the Army football program.
To the young men who are considering joining the Army Team, be certain that we are determined to build a winning football program. With your help, I am confident we can field a winning Army Team, one that you will be proud to be a member of, not only as a cadet, but for a lifetime.
Our graduates and friends are proud of our history and traditions. You provide support and concern for the welfare of the Army football program, and we are thankful for your loyalty. Army football is about much more than just winning football games. Our football program must be an important contributor to the personal and professional development of the cadets who are fortunate enough to play football for West Point.
I am firmly committed to this ideal. I ask all of you for your support in the days ahead as we continue to build a football program that accomplishes this goal.