The University of Northern Iowa started the ‘Panther Caravan’ last year as a way for UNI fans to connect with the school administration and the athletic programs. The Caravan has expanded to include Sioux City this year — one of six stops across the state.
Purple and gold supporters from all over Siouxland were at the Sioux City Convention Center. It was a ‘who’s-who’ of UNI athletics, from basketball coaches Ben Jacobson and Tonya Warren to wrestling coach Doug Schwab. Northern Iowa President Mark Nook was also on hand.
Cedar Falls is nearly a 4-hour drive from Sioux City, but this is a way to connect, and say thanks to the fans and alums.
"You’ve got five or six of the head coaches so you’ve got us all together," said men’s basketball coach Ben Jacobson. "It’s a chance for us to come and be where some of our fans and supporters are. Up until last year we hadn’t been in a position to do that so I think it’s great."
"We want to bring our show on the road," said women’s basketball coach Tonya Warren. "We’re used to having fans come to the McLeod Center. We’d like to take this opportunity where we go out, we take our show and we connect with Panther fans."
"If they’re not going to come to us then we’re going to come to them," said wrestling coach Doug Schwab. "Then we’re going to try to get more people in the state wearing these colors. The more that wear it, the better for us."
The Panther Caravan goes to Omaha/Council Bluffs on Tuesday.