New athletics website kicks off
Dec. 17, 2010

LaGrange College has unveiled a new athletics website, www.lagrangepanthers.com .

“An attractive, up-to-date website draws interest to the school and its athletic programs,” said John Hughes, Sports Information Director. “The site was redesigned to keep LaGrange College athletics competitive with other Division III schools.”

David Beard, Webmaster, said the goal of the project was to make the athletics pages more exciting and interactive, as well as easier to navigate.

“We separated the men’s and women’s sports so visitors can get around with fewer clicks,” he said. “We are also better integrated with social media such as Facebook and Twitter, and the site is mobile-device friendly, making it compatible with Blackberries, iPhones and other handheld devices.”

A lot of research went into the changes.

“The first thing we had to do was find a content management system that would make it simple for our sports information people to upload content to the Web,” Beard said.

They decided to go with Presto Sports, which specialize in athletic websites. Then they looked at the athletics pages of peer institutions, as well as some Division I schools.

“We came back with ideas we liked and didn’t like, and formed our own design from there,” Beard said.

The site contains all the essential sports information: rosters, schedules, coaches, etc., as well as information on athletic training, the school’s sports Hall of Fame, and other activities. It features easy access to recruitment forms for students, as well as a link to the campus bookstore for Panther merchandise.

It also includes a connection to the Panther Club, a new organization designed to raise the profile of the athletics program and the college, as well as provide support for its 16 intercollegiate teams, which compete in NCAA Division III.

“The Panther Club has been a big help with this project,” said Will Jones, Vice President for Advancement. “They offered us a lot of encouragement and support.”

LaGrange College coaches have been quick to praise the new site.

“First impressions are important,” said Warren Haynes, Head Men’s Basketball Coach. “When potential student-athletes view our new site, they will be instantly impressed. This alone won't win a recruit, but it can be a critical component in the endeavor to spread the word about what a great product we have to offer.”
Jennifer Claybrook, Head Softball Coach and Assistant Volleyball Coach, thinks the site will be invaluable to students.

“It is an effective tool for prospective student-athletes to research specific details about their interests in our athletics department during a time that is most convenient for them,” she said. “It gives us an opportunity to actively recruit athletes throughout our state, as well as those who live in other states or in other parts of the world.  It enhances our recruiting resources and definitely gives us an advantage over our competition.”

Jim Robbins, Head Women’s Soccer Coach, said a quality website speaks volumes about a college.

“It demonstrates that we are committed to providing the resources to make our athletes and teams a vital part of the overall campus community and campus life,” he said. “It shows prospective student-athletes that we value what each brings to the campus and the college.” 

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