There have been a lot of changes inside the University of Mary athletic department the last year.
The latest change, unveiled on Thursday inside the McDowell Activity Center, is the most visual of the lot. The university presented a new Marauders logo, featuring a three-dimensional more contemporary look.
The old logo dated back to 1990 and was not technically in the correct school colors of navy blue and orange. Updating the logo had been kicked around for a couple of years but ramped up over the past year.
Still, it's not something that just happens overnight.
"You don't do something like this without getting a lot of input from people," Lennon said. "We did a good job making sure the stockholders were happy with what we were doing and the final product."
Sean Thorenson, a graphic design artist in Bismarck with more than 27 years of experience, was commissioned with the project.
"When we made the decision to refresh the logo we contacted Sean and asked him to put some designs together and they came back looking pretty good," Lennon said. "We feel like as we enter this new era of Marauders athletics we have a logo that is reflective of what we think our student-athletes can accomplish in the future."
Along with the updated pirate head logo, there's also a new letterman throwback Marauder-less version with MARY, in white and orange lettering, superimposed over an orange U.
"The old logo served us well, but it made sense to make the change now," Lennon said. "The feedback we received just today alone has been extremely positive."
SOFTBALL COACH COMING SOON
The search for the next Marauders' softball coach is heating up.
Lennon said some of the leading candidates for the job have been brought on campus for interviews.
"We're working through the list and kind of re-evaluating where things are," he said. "We could have a new coach in place before classes start."
The fall semester begins on Sept. 5. The new coach will be replacing Kerry Shaw, who was hired as the lead assistant at the University of Texas in July.
The number of applicants is smaller than it was for the head baseball coach, but Lennon was pleased with the pool.
"We had a pretty decent number of applicants and part of that goes toward the timing of the year and with it being at the end of summer," he said. "We're going to get a quality coach. I'm confident of that."
The Marauders went 18-19 last season and narrowly missed qualifying for the NSIC tournament.
FOOTBALL COUNTDOWN ON
The Marauder football team officially is in game week.
First-year head coach Craig Bagnell's team opens the season in six days in St. Cloud against the Huskies on Aug. 30.
"Optimism is high and that's what we want. The players and the coaches have been working hard putting in the foundation, and now it's just a matter of finalizing game preps and getting ready for upcoming opponents," Lennon said. "The players have the right attitude and the coaches are doing a good job putting in the schemes. Now we just need our players to stay healthy and play well."
Some early-season success also would be nice. The Marauders have not had a win in August or September since 2014.
"Getting off to a good start and building confidence in any season is very important," Lennon said. "Talking about it is easy, going out there and doing it is the hard part, and really the only way to build confidence is by winning."
Follow Tribune sports editor Dave Selvig on Twitter: @dave_selvig
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