Clarksville, TN – When it comes to fundraising in college athletics… some years get the job done, some are good – and maybe even great – years, and then there are years like the one we just had at Austin Peay State University (APSU).
Now you’re surely wondering what I mean by “and then there are years like the one we just had” and I am here to tell you that we shattered the APSU athletics department record by raising $16,766,017 during the 2021-22 fiscal year.
Here’s some context. The department-record $16,766,017 is nearly seven and a half times more than the $2,240,541 Austin Peay State University raised during the 2020-21 fiscal year and is just over six times more than the previous department record of $2,789,340.43, which was raised during the 2014-15 fiscal year.
“These generous gifts have positively impacted every single student-athlete at Austin Peay State University and helped us continue to level up as an athletic department. I also want to thank the athletic and advancement staffs that made this possible. Their hard work and dedication have helped to immensely improve the student-athlete experience at Austin Peay,” Harrison stated.
Aside from the hard work of many people on the Governors’ staff, this kind of uber-successful year wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of a number of people who give to better the student-athlete experience at Austin Peay State University, so let’s check the donation stats:
- 521 donors gave 1,087 annual gifts ($1,000 or less), raising $181,443.
- Another 54 donors gave 97 major gifts ($1,001 or more), raising $16,425,928.
- 183 gifts were made during Govs Give, raising $158,646.
- There were 22 five-figure gifts, four six-figure gifts, and one eight-figure gift.
“The University’s record-breaking fundraising year would not have been possible without gifts to APSU athletics,” Austin Peay Vice President for Alumni, Engagement, and Philanthropy Kris Phillips said. “We are excited that the department reached this milestone in giving. We can always depend on our Governors fans, friends, and alumni to help us reach new levels of achievement each year. Because of their involvement, the future is bright for our sports teams and our entire campus community.
Now to the good stuff… where did the money go?
The biggest, and probably most obvious improvement, to APSU athletics in the past year is the brand-new football turf on the Maynard Family Field at Fortera Stadium. The new turf features a nearly 40-yard-long State of Tennessee logo with a Governors logo tucked inside.
When you’re checking out the field at Fortera Stadium, the next thing you’ll notice is the brand-new surface on the Morton Family Track. The state-of-the-art track surface coupled with the brand-new turf makes Fortera Stadium one of the premier athletic facilities in the state of Tennessee and the ASUN Conference.
On the surface, those are the only upgrades you’ll notice at Fortera Stadium, but if you’re an APSU student-athlete, then that’s just not the case.
Upgrades to the training room and nutrition room inside Fortera Stadium will help all 320 Austin Peay State University student-athletes stay healthy and properly fueled, giving them the best opportunity to accomplish all their goals in their particular sport.
Then there’s the new football locker room. Brand-new lockers and more efficient use of the space gives the APSU Governors football team the best chance to compete in the inaugural season of ASUN Conference football and for many years to come.
Right outside of Fortera Stadium, a new video board can be found in the Jenkins Family Fieldhouse. The sizable LED board gives student-athletes and their coaches another space where they can utilize top-of-the-line technology while improving their craft on the practice field.
Just a stone’s throw away from the Jenkins Family Fieldhouse, you can find renovations being done to the inside of the baseball program’s Jamie “Cat” Walker Indoor Facility.
Another improvement that can be found in the Winfield Dunn Center is the renovated softball coaches’ offices. After the softball team moved into its brand-new locker room in the Downey Building just across the street from Cathi Maynard Park, the coaching staff was next to get a revamped workspace.
The list of the upgrades and improvements Austin Peay State University has been able to make is thanks to this banner fundraising year goes on and on from new branding across the entire Joe and Cathi Maynard Athletic Complex, to new basketball stanchions in the Dunn Center, new concrete pads for bleachers at the Govs Beach Volleyball Complex, resurfaced courts at the Governors Tennis Courts, and a refreshed scoreboard at Morgan Bros. Soccer Field.
Aside from facility upgrades, the record-breaking $16,766,017 helped power a number of new student-athlete development initiatives. In the Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) era of college athletics, Austin Peay State University has capitalized on its partnership with Teamworks and INFLCR to create the Stacheville Exchange.
The Stacheville Exchange provides student-athletes with a free and easy-to-use forum where they can interact with businesses, donors, alumni, and collectives to pursue, construct, and fulfill NIL opportunities.
Austin Peay State University also used funds raised during the 2021-22 year to send three student-athletes – Yamia Johnson, Drae McCray, and Olivia Prock – to The NIL Summit, hosted by the Student-Athlete NIL (SANIL) and sponsored by NIL platform INFLCR, at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
The first-ever summit gave student-athletes from across the nation a platform to converge on as a community of influencers and change agents, to share ideas, and collaborate alongside the transformative brands and organizations shaping the future of college sports.
Aside from its NIL benefits, APSU’s continued partnership with INFLCR gives the athletics department an efficient and modern way to connect with student-athletes and share media that will allow them to build their own brand while simultaneously enhancing the Austin Peay brand.
All of this and more would be impossible without the generosity of everyone who gave to Austin Peay State University athletics during the 2021-22 year. As we move forward into a new year, we are going to continue to level up. Records are meant to be broken, and we’ll have time for that, but now there is just one thing left to say… thank you and it sure is a great day to be a Gov.