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Expanding Traditions, Building Champions Campaign for San Diego State Athletics

EMBRACING THE AZTEC TRADITION

The rich tradition that is San Diego State Athletics dates back to 1921, when SDSU was a small teaching college with a four-digit annual athletics budget. Our student-athletes first engaged in competition as "Aztecs" in 1925, and our distinctive scarlet and black school colors made their athletic debut on January 28, 1928, at a basketball game at Pomona College.

Over the years, SDSU Athletics has produced world-class coaches and athletes. Under the leadership of legendary coach Don Coryell, the "vertical attack" of our football program revolutionized offensive strategies in the 1960s. Led by Tony Gwynn, Aztec Baseball was a source of hometown pride in the early '80s. Aztec football fans will forever relish the thrill of watching Marshall Faulk throughout his record-setting NCAA career in the early '90s. Recently, Steve Fisher and Beth Burns have taken the basketball programs to unprecedented heights, and Stephen Strasburg electrified Friday nights in the spring of 2009 at Tony Gwynn Stadium with his 103 mph fastball.

SAN DIEGO'S ONLY DIVISION I-A PROGRAM

For San Diego, the Aztecs are the only Division I-A program. With more than 520 men and women competing in 18 intercollegiate sports, SDSU has, each of the past two years, achieved its greatest-ever overall success. Each year, attendance at SDSU athletic events totals more than a half a million Aztec alumni and fans, and that number continues to grow.

San Diego is one of the most desirable metropolitan areas in the nation. Our community takes great pride in our consistently competitive Division I athletic program. Working together, the SDSU Department of Athletics, Aztec Athletic Foundation, SDSU alumni and fans, and local business leaders can make it a dominant program, one that matches the profound excellence of our university.

ELEVATING AZTEC ATHLETIC FACILITIES AMONG THE NATION'S FINEST

Since the mid-1990s, Aztec athletic facilities have been in the midst of extensive renovations and construction - part of a long-term plan to attract better student-athletes, increase ticket revenues and build winning programs. Milestones in this renaissance include Tony Gwynn Stadium (1996), Viejas (formerly Cox) Arena (1997), Aztec Sports Deck (2000), Fowler Athletic Center (2001), Aztec Tennis Center (2005), Softball Stadium (2005) and the Aztec Aquaplex (2007).

These exciting improvements were made possible by gifts from private donors, corporate partners and SDSU Associated Students. Leading the way were John and Becky Moores, whose unparalleled generosity forever changed the master plan of Aztec Athletics. Our athletic facilities are now among the very best in major college athletics

LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD

To consistently rank among the top 50 athletic programs in the nation, SDSU will need much more than outstanding athletic facilities. Our first step is our current campaign to raise more than $30 million over the next five years.

Although SDSU is a public university, state general fund support covers only about 15 percent of its athletics budget. Decreases in that budget mandated by the across-the-board cuts of our state system of higher education means that we must raise more money to not only maintain but improve upon our standard of excellence. Private gifts, particularly from fans who share our vision of Aztec success in all sports, must help us keep pace.

For nearly three decades, Aztec Athletics has been losing ground to athletic programs that offer more in endowed funds for scholarships, larger recruiting budgets, and enhanced academic support programs for its student-athletes. It is time to level that playing field. Here is a snapshot of how Aztec Athletics' budget stacks up against our competition:

  • SDSU's athletic budget is approximately $30 million
  • The biggest budget in the Mountain West Conference is approximately $45 million
  • The Aztecs' budget ranks 3rd among the 9 schools in the Mountain West Conference
  • Aztec Athletics currently has $3 million in endowed funds. That ranks last in the Mountain West Conference. By way of comparison the top program has over $50 million in endowed funds.

The competition to attract outstanding student-athletes is a 24 hour/7 day a week job. Our vision of a championship program will hinge upon our ability to consistently recruit top talent, and then provide quality athletic and academic experiences for those kids. To achieve this, Aztec Athletics must continue to increase its operating budget and its annual giving each year, and grow its endowment substantially!

Now is the time for Aztec Alumni, fans and friends to rally... to expand traditions and build champions.

ENGRAVE YOUR NAME IN HISTORY

Expanding Traditions and Building Champions is the most significant comprehensive fund-raising effort in the history of SDSU Aztec athletics, with a goal of $30 million in private contributions over the next five years. These funds will be used to meet the increased scholarship and operating costs, enhance current facilities and create an endowment that will enable our athletes to excel both athletically and academically in perpetuity.

Unique naming opportunities exist within the spectacular Fowler Athletics Center. These opportunities range from $5 million for naming rights of the Center's 127,000 square foot Administration Building, to individual suites and offices for $25,000.

In addition to the numerous facilities within the Fowler Athletics Center, naming opportunities exist for our unique Sports Deck, which accommodates both soccer and track and field, our world-class Tennis Center and our beautiful Softball Stadium. A basketball practice facility is in our plans as well, which would add a much-needed asset to our men's and women's basketball programs.

Aztec Athletics is in the midst of Expanding Traditions and Building Champions. Today, more than ever before, we need your support; support that can ensure our successful future. Permanently placing your name (or your family's name) with SDSU Athletics will provide you with a lasting sense of pride that you played a major role in building a championship major college athletic program at San Diego State!

Football Excellence Plan

Campaign for San Diego State Football

San Diego State Football coming off a nine win 2010 campaign and a Poinsettia Bowl victory has rekindled the passion for Aztec Football. Head Coach Rocky Long will continue the momentum by demanding discipline, toughness and a winning attitude from his players and coaches.

Now is the time for the San Diego State community to step up and meet the demands of being an elite Division 1 Football Bowl Division program. To compete at and maintain championship level football, SDSU must invest in its football program.

Three areas have been identified as critical to the success of Aztec Football:

  1. Salaries - SDSU needs to improve the pool of funds available for assistant coaches. Currently, the pool of funds for assistant coaches is $1.2M. To maintain continuity among coaches, SDSU needs to be in the $1.8M range.

  2. Facilities - improvements must be made to the practice facility for football. To replace the grass field to a synthetic surface, SDSU would need $2 million. Lights that would illuminate both the field on top of the Sports Deck and the football practice field is a $1.5 million project. Improvements to the Qualcomm locker room, Athletics Center football coach's offices and recruiting lounges are a priority. In the Athletic Medicine Center, new hydrotherapy equipment would help our student-athletes recover from injuries and also be used for preventive measures. To upgrade the hydrotherapy equipment, $500,000 is needed.

  3. Scholarships - it is imperative that funding for summer school for incoming student-athletes prior to their first year of competition be available. This allows a student a head start in their academic endeavors. Thank you for your consideration of making a gift to the Football Excellence Fund. Your support is critical to maintain the momentum that Coach Long, his coaches and student-athletes have created this fall on the field! Naming opportunities in the Aztec Athletics Center begin at $25,000. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Bob Moosbrugger, Associate Athletic Director, Development/Major Gifts at (619) 594-0291. Go Aztecs!