It’s one of Louisiana Tech VP and Director of Athletics Eric Wood’s favorite words.
Why not. Louisiana Tech Athletics has plenty of it heading into the 2021-22 academic calendar.
Momentum comes in a variety of avenues, but ultimately, each road leads to the same goal – culture, class and competitive excellence on and off the playing fields.
Louisiana Tech saw growth in philanthropic giving during the past year despite the Covid-19 challenges that faced athletic programs across the country. Louisiana Tech Athletic Club (LTAC) numbers rose.
“We made some strides in giving this year which was impressive in a time that will go down as one of the most challenging in collegiate athletics history,” said Wood. “It’s a tribute to our fan base and alums. We need to continue to grow LTAC numbers, both in total donors and total dollars.”
Tech Athletics totaled $8.1M in total dollars received to athletic fundraising, the second most in an academic year dating back 40 years and a growth of 60 percent from the previous year. The athletics department also saw almost $8.4M in total dollars pledged, fourth most in the same four-decade time period.
There was a total of three seven-figure commitments made to athletics during the 2020-21 academic calendar year.
“There is a lot of momentum within our athletic department, and our focus is to show our stakeholders that their donations are having a positive impact our student athletes’ experiences and resulting in the competitiveness of our teams in the classroom and on the respective playing fields,” said Wood. “For us to continue to grow and put ourselves in the best position to compete at the top of Conference USA, we need everyone to buy season tickets, join LTAC and consider philanthropic gifts.”
Since Wood stepped on the Louisiana Tech campus in October, he has preached culture, class and competitive excellence. Internally, it has made a difference. For the first time on record, 100 percent of the full-time athletic department employees joined LTAC.
“It’s something we are very proud of,” said Wood. “We think it’s a significant sign that our own people are invested in our mission of graduating student-athletes and winning championships.”
For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021 (FY21), the Louisiana Tech Athletics Club grew in total donors by 19 percent and in total dollars by almost 10 percent. These are all substantial increases during trying financial times.
“Philanthropic support is all about the impact of the gift and the relationship with the institution,” said Vice President of University Advancement Brooks Hull. “It’s about sharing the impact of the investment with donors, former players, alumni and fans. It’s our opportunity to share Louisiana Tech Athletics success with the greater Tech family. Donors want to be a part of something that is successful and impacts the life of the student athletes.”
All of the investments did make a difference in 2020-21, including helping with the construction of more than $40M for the baseball, softball and soccer fields and complexes as well as special projects such as the upgrade to the new Karl Malone Court at the Thomas Assembly Center.
In total, Wood and members of the athletics advancement team completed over 600 face-to-face, one-on-one personal visits during the year, a 12-month time period that wasn’t always conducive to traveling.
Photo: Emerald McIntyre (LA Tech University Communications)
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