“¡Viva ’Dogs!” has been the battle cry of the Chicano Alumni chapter as it supported Fresno State Bulldog football the past three decades – dating back to Ratcliffe Stadium .
Now the group will partner with California State University, Fresno Athletics for Football Fiesta Night at the first home game of the year on Sept. 5. The event marking Hispanic Heritage Month was announced by football coach Pat Hill who was joined by Manuel Olgin, Chicano Alumni past president and other community partners.
For the game against UC Davis in Bulldog Stadium, there will be live Mexican music at Bulldog Boulevard prior to kickoff, bilingual video board messages, discounted group tickets and family plans, and a special halftime salute to the region’s Latino heritage.
Olgin said Hill and recently hired assistant Micah Alba will be guests at the monthly Chicano Alumni Red Friday no-host reception 5-7:30 p.m. Friday, June 5, at the Agave Grill, 25 W. Shaw Ave. in Clovis.
Alba was a cornerback and return specialist for BYU in 2001-4, leading the team in interceptions as a senior and named a Mountain West Conference Scholar Athlete. He became a graduate assistant for BYU, working with the Cougars’ defense four seasons before joining the Bulldogs.
“We are thrilled that Coach Hill has taken such a passion not only with this promotion for Hispanic Heritage Month but also in giving young Latinos like Coach Alba this great opportunity,” said Olgin.
Olgin recalled Chicano Alumni’s first tailgate in the mid-’70s. It was held at Ratcliffe Stadium near the university’s old central Fresno campus (now Fresno City College), before Bulldog Stadium opened in 1980.
“We have been through thick and thin with our ’Dogs over the years,” he said.
Fresno State’s Latino student enrolment is nearly 7,300, or 32.5 percent. The annual Latino Commencement Celebration, founded by Chicano Alumni in 1976 and now organized by the College of Social Sciences, is considered one of the largest in the state, if not the nation.
The event will be promoted heavily with Univision television partner KFVT, Channel 21, and with radio partners Lotus Communications, which operates radio stations La Buena 101.9 FM and ESPN Deportes 1600 AM, the Spanish home of the Bulldogs.
Tickets are available by calling 559.244.5621 or via the Chicano Alumni Web site, www.chicanoalumni.com.