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UConn Wins National Title: The Experience Of A Pep Band Husky In Houston

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Conn chapter.

Huskies win! As I’m sure you all know by now, this past Monday, the UConn men’s basketball team were crowned national champions after beating San Diego State 75-59 in the NCAA tournament. The energy leaving the watch party at Gampel Pavilion that night was unmatched, and an experience I will DEFINITELY never forget. I can only imagine the pride and spirit of those in Houston that got to be in the stadium for the win. My brother, Andrew Rozzi, was one of those lucky enough to get that opportunity as a member of the UConn pep band. For those who may not know, the pep band is a small group of UConn band members chosen to travel with the sports teams to build excitement in the stands. To get a little look at nationals through their eyes, here’s an interview on Andrew’s night as a pep band husky in Houston:

What is your highlight from the trip?

The highlight of the entire trip for me was, well, I’d say one of two things since it’s hard to just pick one. It was a very big trip. One of the biggest moments was the championship game, of course. It was great to watch the players you’ve been following make it this far, and be there with all of these people that you’ve traveled with. This was a great experience to bond more with everyone else and it was amazing meeting new people. Other than the game, the moments where you were just hanging out with the other members of the pep band and getting to know more people were all highlights.

What is the pep band involved in on these trips?

The pep band is there to support the team. We are involved in, of course, playing at the games but we also play at the team send-offs and alumni events. We even get to cheer the team on when welcoming them back to the hotel after the game.

What was it like being in the stadium?

Arriving in the stadium was such a magical moment. You walked in and there was a wall of sound from people cheering and going nuts over their preferred team. It makes Gampel look small. You would just look around and see thousands upon thousands of people. There were over seventy thousand people there, which is just insane seeing all of those people around and hearing that sound surround you. And you can feel it during the game. If we made a good play or scored a three, the sounds would just come from the whole stadium. It was absolutely insane.

What did you do before the game?

Being one of the many faces of UConn, the pep band first gets ready and gets on the bus for the team send-off. We warm up after getting off the bus and then we head over to the entrance of their hotel. Before they leave, we play some tunes for the whole audience to get everyone fired up and excited for the game. As the team leaves the hotel, we play the fight song and fight on for them. From there, we go back to the bus and pack up. Then we head to the stadium. At the stadium, we go through security. You have to be there early to make sure you avoid the crowds and be safe since it is a really big event. We wait until it’s our time to go out for the game. From there, you go out and just play for your team and cheer them on.

Where else have you traveled with the pep band?

While being with the pep band, since I’m only a sophomore, I haven’t gotten as many travel opportunities as the seniors may have. Still, last year as I freshman I went to Madison Square Garden to play for the men’s team, which was really fun because before this Houston trip that was the loudest stadium I have ever heard. Also, that year we got to go to Boston for hockey. That was really fun. We went around the market. It was cool being in those new places.

For this year, we got to go to Mohegan and play for the women’s team. That was really cool. After that, we went and followed the men’s team to Albany. It was very exciting being with the men, especially being in the same hotel with them was a blast. From there, we went onto Seattle and followed the women’s team. Seattle was a big one for me. That was my first time being on an airplane in a while, which in itself was crazy. Luckily, I didn’t get sick. I’ve also never been that far from home before, so being able to get out there and see differences was cool. Seattle was such a nice city, and the architecture was crazy. Going to the fish market was also so much fun. We got to see the original Starbucks which was so cool. Having the opportunity to go to all those places and being in the city to support the women’s team was great. Finally, getting to go to Houston with the men’s team for the Final Four was just insane…mind-blowing. I feel like I don’t exactly understand how much of an opportunity that was. It was just a great time being there with the warm weather in such a huge city. It was a blast being with the men’s team for their big win.

Would you do it again if you got the chance?

If I had the choice to do this again, I definitely would. It’s such an amazing opportunity to go on these trips. The number of experiences that you have are just so memorable and the people that you get closer with while being on these trips…that alone is enough to make me want to do it again. It is such a good time and will forever have an impact on me moving forward.


A big thank you to my brother for taking the time to answer my questions, and congrats to everyone who got to be in the stadium that night. Although I’m sure it was exhausting, being the soundtrack of the championship definitely makes a great memory to look back on in the future. With that, let’s show some pep for the UConn men’s team and celebrate — go huskies!

Makenna is the Treasurer of Her Campus UConn. She is currently a Junior double majoring in English and Psychology who loves using her writing to help others decompress from the chaos that is life and learn more about culture, academics, and wellness along the way. Makenna is also a Supervisor for the UC cafes around campus, so if you ever see her working behind the barista machine and need a quick pick-me-up make sure to stop by! She additionally commutes to her home in Milford, CT to work her second job as a teacher at a local children's fitness center. In her spare time, Makenna enjoys crocheting, practicing yoga, and playing her favorite cozy video games. She is a Hozier fanatic, lover of cats, and is always down for a Studio Ghibli movie night. <3