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Coaches Caravan: Day III - Richmond and Camp Hill

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Photo Gallery - Coaches Caravan in Richmond

Photo Gallery - Coaches Caravan in Camp Hill

Coaches Caravan Registration

RICHMOND, Va. and CAMP HILL, Pa. - The Penn State Coaches Caravan rolled into the Marriott Richmond West shortly after midnight on Wednesday morning in preparation for stop No. 5 during the nine-day event co-hosted by the Nittany Lion Club and the Penn State Alumni Association.

Day three included an early breakfast in Richmond, a four-hour drive to Harrisburg and a dinner event in Camp Hill.  Take a look through highlights from the final day of week one on the caravan.

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Stop V - Richmond
For the first time on the Coaches Caravan, head coaches Bill O'Brien and Beth Alford-Sullivan addressed a Penn State crowd during a breakfast event.  With the Richmond event slated to begin at 8 a.m., you wondered how enthusiastic the crowd would be at an early hour.

That was quickly answered with a boisterous We Are... chant from the crowd in the room at 7:55 a.m. before the program began.  The Penn State fans in Richmond were terrific.  Eagerly anticipating Penn State's trip to Virginia on Sept. 8, the crowd gave both head coaches a warm welcome, which included a standing ovation for Coach O'Brien when he finished speaking.

Coach Alford-Sullivan spoke first at breakfast, telling the crowd that the Caravan is a great opportunity to spend time together as an athletic department.  She and Coach O'Brien have shared ideas and coaching tips with one another on the bus during the past two days.

Coach O'Brien kicked off his speech with stories from each stop on the caravan thus far.  All five speeches have been genuine representations of his personality and vision for the football program.  The fan reception towards Coach O'Brien, and all of the coaches on the Caravan, has been outstanding.

"There have been so many things that have impressed me in the first four months, and this has to be right near the top," Coach O'Brien said.

Richmond CaravanBlog_1.jpg Throughout the Caravan, Coach O'Brien has spent a great deal of time talking about recruiting.  He has repeatedly stated the importance of recruiting the core of the team that is within driving distance to Happy Valley to enable parents of the student-athletes to be able to drive and see their sons play in Beaver Stadium.

Being under six hours from State College, Richmond is well within that range.  Former Nittany Lion great Michael Robinson hails from Richmond, and Coach O'Brien used the 2005 First Team All-Big Ten quarterback as a prime example of the type of student-athlete the coaching staff is looking for in recruiting.  Robinson earned two degrees from Penn State (Advertising/Public Relations and Journalism) and a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection before being drafted in the NFL.

With breakfast complete, the Coaches Caravan bus loaded up and headed north on I-95 en route to I-81 and Harrisburg for the final dinner session of week one.

VIDEO: Media Interviews in Richmond
Watch Coach O'Brien address the Richmond media.  He talks about the importance of recruiting in Virginia and how the caravan has gone so far.

Stop VI: Camp Hill
The Coaches Caravan returned to the Keystone State after driving through four states and the District of Columbia since the bus pulled out of Philadelphia on Monday night.  For the third stop on the tour, field hockey head coach Char Morett joined Coach Alford-Sullivan and Coach O'Brien inside the Camp Hill Radisson for the sixth and final event of week one.

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The first leg of the Coaches Caravan wrapped up with a great crowd in the Harrisburg on Wednesday evening.  Coach Morett kicked off the speaker panel with another pride-filled speech, like she did on Monday in Philadelphia.  She and Coach Alford-Sullivan spoke at great length about what makes Penn State such a special place.

"It's the people," Coach Morett said.  "The people make Penn State a great place."

"I just want to let everyone know how proud I am of being at Penn State and coaching my teams," Coach Alford-Sullivan.

Coach O'Brien's message again featured a detailed PowerPoint presentation on the vision of the football program.  He told the crowd that nothing will be accomplished in the football program without hard work.  Coach O'Brien assured the room with more than 400 that he and the team will work incredibly hard at achieving in the classroom and on the football field.

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All six stops this week have all had a unique Penn State feel to them.  The constant is the unrivaled support and enthusiasm for the coaches and student-athletes on the University Park campus.  With 761 miles down, we look forward to seeing you next week on leg two of the Coaches Caravan next week.

"This has been a fantastic trip. It's proven to me why I took the job," Coach O'Brien said.

VIDEO: Coach O'Brien Meets With the Media on the Caravan Bus
Prior to Wednesday night's program at the Radisson in Camp Hill, Coach O'Brien met with some of the local beat writers on the Coaches Caravan bus.  Take a look at some of his thoughts on the Caravan and more here.

For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and purchasing season tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can call 1-800-648-8269 (1-800-NITTANY) weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or visit the Bryce Jordan Ticket Center.

Follow Media Specialist Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

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