“Just show up once.”

That’s the invitation issued by Assistant Athletic Director Nate Mathis. The guarantee? You’ll want to come back.

“Show up once, and you will feel the excitement of UVU athletics,” Mathis said. “The way we run games, the entertainment value … it’s going to get you hooked.”

Mathis was adamant that his endorsement was not a plea to make something out of nothing. Rather,  Wolverine sports are can’t-miss spectacular events, and students should take advantage of them.

“It’s a great time to be a Wolverine,” Mathis raves.

Students don’t have to take Mathis’ word. The championships, awards and accolades speak for themselves.

The 2009-10 campaign featured six regular season conference championships, two conference tournament championships, two MLB draftees and the Great West Conference Commissioner Cup.

In other words, this isn’t a small-school, wannabe sports program. This is NCAA basketball, volleyball and baseball. This is a legitimate shot at March Madness, the College World Series and the National Volleyball Championship.

“Last year, basketball was maybe four wins from playing in the NCAA Tournament,” Mathis said. “Same for volleyball. Every sport we have has the ability to compete for a national championship. If that doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what will.”

Given the fairly recent transition from community college to NCAA-recognized university, the identity of Wolverine athletics has been difficult for students to grasp. That should cease this year.

At the first home game of their respective seasons, each team will raise championship banners dating to the very beginnings of Utah Valley athletics, including those earned during the community college era of the school.

Students will get the opportunity to not only witness, but also be part of the Wolverine sports scene.

“We want to give students of all different backgrounds a chance to come watch us play,” Mathis said.

The idea is for today’s Wolverines to be part of something the current students at Duke, USC and ASU can’t do – be part of establishing the image and fervor behind their university’s athletic program.

As student fans grasp the legitimacy of the program, they’ll be the first to see it become a national powerhouse.

“The  sky’s the limit,” Mathis said. “We’re dominating the Great West Conference right now. If we do get invited to another conference in the future, we’ll be competitive there as well.”

Wolverine fans won’t want to miss that.