Zayden Cantrell gets a high-five from Fresno State football head coach Tim DeRuyter. Grandmother Charlotte Brewer looks on. (Wendy Alexander)
With an emphasis being the Central Valley’s premier athletics school, Fresno State Bulldogs athletics director Jim Bartko and several coaches embarked on a three-day tour of the San Joaquin Valley going as far south as Hanford, head through the west side, heading north through Madera and finally making their way to Modesto.
“We want people to know we care,” Bartko said. “We have always cared. It’s now showing people we care. It’s our job to go see them.”
The Bulldog Express made its stop at Black Bear Diner in Madera for breakfast6 Wednesday morning. Chatting with Madera residents were football coach Tim DeRuyter, men’s basketball coach Rodney Terry, women’s swimming coach Jeanne Fleck and Bartko.
“It’s been great going around to these towns,” Deruyter said. “We talk about being the Valley’s team and we mean it. Jim had a great vision to get to the little towns around the Valley. Yesterday, we were out in Mendota and ended up in the Giant Burger in Firebaugh. We’ve got fans throughout the Valley and we want to have a team that represents all the values of the fan base and we get out and meet them.” ...