UAA and its new athletic director manage earthquake
As the UAA campus reopened Wednesday, the athletic department also got back on line.
In truth, it was never that far off the track.
The Alaska Airlines Center sustained its share of damage, though mostly minor. Glass broke in the trophy cases on the concourse. The auxiliary gymnasium and gymnastics center have ceiling and sheet rock damage, again minor. The main floor of the center flooded but was cleaned up in a few hours following the earthquake. Officials are hopeful there is no long-term effect.
Regarding upcoming events, the gymnastics team's annual Green and Gold meet for this Saturday has been canceled.
December is a light month on the schedule, so very little will be affected. The basketball teams have relocated to Grace Christian School to practice. Gymnastics is calling the Anchorage Gymnastics Association home. Cross country remains at The Dome and the hockey team is on the road for two weeks. The Wells Fargo Sports Complex, including the pool, is open.
It's been an eye-opening experience for everyone. For the athletic director, even more so: Greg Myford just arrived.
On the job just four months, Myford has worked for the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning, the NBA's Detroit Pistons, and Penn State University. His resume is extensive, but nothing could have prepared him for a 7.0 earthquake to pelt Alaska.
"At other places, I've dealt with tornado warnings and hurricane and things like that. The major difference I see is there is absolutely no warning for something like this. And you go from your normal day, and just getting going in this case for your normal day ,to what is turned upside down," he said while overlooking the concourse which still remains partly closed.
Thankfully — and many would say miraculously — no one was killed or even seriously injured. Myford says what's happened in the quake's wake is extraordinary.
"What has occurred since Friday has been more remarkable. People have quickly come together regardless of what their real job is to get things done and get things back on the road to repair," he said.
Even Myford's weekend was eventful. Living in temporary housing on campus, he was scheduled to move on Saturday: the day after the earthquake.
He still did.
"I moved across town on Sunday, but having to deal with that was minor compare to what everyone else was dealing with," Myford said.
After this welcoming, it should be smooth sailing from here.
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