Day 2 of Bulldog Express Features Military Flavor

June 4, 2013

By Jason Clay

FRESNO, Calif. - The second day of the Bulldog Express sponsored by Paul Evert's RV Country and 940 AM ESPN Radio brought head football coach Tim DeRuyter to the Lemoore Naval Air Station, Rock'n JK Farms and the Firestone Walker Taproom in Paso Robles.

The Bulldog Express left the Lexus Blue Lot at 8 a.m. from Bulldog Stadium and headed out to the Lemoore Naval Station.

"What a great opportunity it was to really get to know and personalize with the people who protect our freedoms and the things that we are extremely grateful for in this country," DeRuyter said. "For them to be as close as they are to Fresno State, I think it is a great partnership for us to get over to Lemoore and hopefully have Lemoore people come over and enjoy Bulldog football."

At the Naval Air Station, DeRuyter spoke at the Navy's ceremony to commemorate the Battle of Midway, which honored its 71st anniversary on Tuesday.

"We had a great opportunity today to commemorate the 71st anniversary of the Battle of Midway with some brave sailors at the Naval Air Station in Lamoore," DeRuyter said. "We had the chance to meet some of the maintenance workers that work on the flight line and it was an opportunity I was grateful for."

Other highlights from the stop at NAS Lemoore included observing a petty officer frocking ceremony, meeting and spending time with Captain Eric Venema and Senior Chief Mike Condell along with a tour of a hanger full of F18 fighter jets by Captain Mark Black.

After leaving Lemoore, the Bulldog Express headed off to a lunch with boosters at Rock'n JK Farms in Mendota.

Following lunch, the Bulldog Express headed out to the Firestone Walker Taproom in Paso Robles.

There DeRuyter meet with fans, which included a family from Santa Barbara that drove up for the event. Autographs were signed and DeRuyter talked with the fans about the upcoming season.

Master Sargent Dan Rodriguez from Vandenberg Air Force base drove up to meet the coach. Master Sargent Rodriguez is a huge Bulldog fan who has traveled to 24 Fresno State road games over the years and is a season ticket holder. He spent a good amount of time with DeRuyter, who is an Air Force veteran himself, swapped stories and talked football at the Firestone Taproom.

Their connection and signing autographs for the children were the big highlights from the visit in Paso Robles.

The odometer for Tuesday's road trip on the Bulldog Express read well over 300 miles throughout the Valley.

Next up on Wednesday is a trip to Bakersfield for another meet and greet with fans at the Me-n-Ed's on 9000 Ming Ave. That will run from 4-6 p.m. and senior quarterback Derek Carr, a native of Bakersfield, will be accompanying coach DeRuyter for the Wednesday trip on the Bulldog Express.

"Discover Fresno State Football" - 2013 Fresno State football season tickets are now on sale and can be ordered online at or over the phone at 559-278-DOGS (3647).