It seems only fitting that Hall of Fame coach Frank Kush gave the Arizona State University football players their first pep talk upon their arrival Monday at Camp Tontozona.
After all, he is the man who first began bringing the team to the high mountain retreat in 1960 and continued doing so for the 22 seasons he was head coach at Arizona State.
During many of those stays, he and his players defied rain, muddy fields and floods to remain at Tontozona and continue to train for the upcoming seasons.
What resulted was some of the finest teams in ASU history including the 1975 team that finished 12-0, beat Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl and ended up ranked No. 2 in the nation.
Last season, after former coach Dennis Erickson had nixed preseason training at Tontozona, his replacement, Todd Graham, resurrected the Camp T tradition returning the team to the high mountain retreat for the first time in three seasons.
After arriving at Tontozona Monday afternoon, the Sun Devils practiced from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. each day and will culminate the stay with a fans’ scrimmage to kick off at 10 a.m. tomorrow, Saturday, Aug. 17. Following it, the team returns to the school’s Tempe campus to continue preparations for the season.
Due to ASU’s success last year, an 8-5 record and a win over Navy in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco, officials are expecting a huge turnout for tomorrow’s scrimmage.
That overcrowding could result in parking nightmares and long walks into the camp located just east of Kohl’s Ranch.
Due to a lack of parking on SR 260 and at the Camp Tontozona road, ASU officials are asking fans to carpool and allow extra driving time.
Since parking will be allowed on only one side of the road leading into Camp Tontozona, traditionally the east side, attendants will direct visitors to the correct side.
Once Camp T road parking is full, visitors will be directed to overflow parking inside an SR 260 construction zone.
Shuttle vans will be provided for the elderly and guests who may need assistance.