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R. Kelly, Meek Mill, Harry Potter costumes: IU volleyball coach Steve Aird focuses on the fun at Monday media



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IU volleyball Coach Steve Aird encourages the team to keep up its intensity against Ohio State on Oct. 19 in University Gym. IU finished Aird's first season as head coach with a 7-13 conference record. Steven Lin Buy Photos

On Monday, two days before his team takes on No. 14 Michigan at University Gym, IU volleyball Coach Steve Aird walked into the usual press room and posed the question, “What do you think the best R. Kelly song is?”

The question came about an hour after Aird sent out a tweet encouraging fans to come to the "party" that is IU’s match with Michigan on Halloween. But he still found a way to tie in his personality to the tweet by adding “#FreeMeekMill” at the end.

It is worth noting that rapper Meek Mill has been out of jail since late April.

“He’s not free enough,” Aird said. “I was thinking about him in practice, so I figured I’d throw some love to Meek in the universe.”

Then the usual press conference questions started. Aird answered questions regarding the team’s 1-1 weekend at Penn State and Rutgers and how the team is inching close to potential postseason play.

But among it, he still managed to have fun — or at least make sure the media was having fun.

Wednesday’s theme against the Wolverines is a costume party in honor of the holiday, but with a new arena on the horizon for the team, it will also be one of the last games the Hoosiers play at U-Gym.

“We’re having an R.I.P. U-Gym event,” Aird said. “I’ve had some meetings with some local establishments that will be showing up with some treats. I think the students are going to have a blast.”

Then the focus shifted back to the games this week, with Saturday’s match at Purdue next on task.

“We’re looking forward to Wednesday night and then obviously my first taste of the whole Purdue, Indiana thing on Saturday,” Aird said. “I’m a big fan of playing meaningful matches and big time matches in big time environments.”

The questions went back to the usual about the matches coming up, but it became clear that Aird wants that fun culture he’s beginning to create at games to carry into the press room as well.

“That was boring,” Aird said. “You guys are boring.”

So, the press conference continued. He went into some detail about the new recruits coming in the future and said he wants the team to get “exponentially better, not incrementally better.”

“Those are two big time words,” Aird said. “I just dropped exponential and incremental, boom.”

He then went into some detail of how poor trick-or-treating weather could force more fans to come to the volleyball match. However, what is for sure is that his three kids will be in attendance after showing off their Harry Potter costumes on Twitter over the weekend.



“The little guy, the outfit does not fit, but his swag makes up for it,” Aird said. 

Then back to Meek Mill.

“I’d love Meek to come if he’s not busy,” Aird said. 

And to close it out, the buckets that Aird has so desperately tried getting into matches. Complaints have come in about IU using buckets as noise makers, but Aird is not one to agree with that.

“The status is consistent that people are haters,” Aird said. “There’s haters that don’t want us to have real fun.”

The team can give Aird some more fun with two wins this week. 

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