Osprey athletics isn’t just about turning out great teams. It’s about turning out great people. Our high standards and integrity in admissions mean that student athletes play well while taking advantage of the academics to achieve overall success.It's more than just providing student athletes with facilities. It's also about providing scholarships to men and women who strive for excellence both in the classroom and on the field of play.Private funds are crucial to support a nationally competitive Division I program that will benefit both students and Jacksonville.
Scholarships will encourage students who excel athletically to benefit from a UNF education.
The Coaches’ Fund responds to annual student athlete recruiting needs.
Funding is needed for several key construction projects necessary to complete the transition to Division I:
In 2007, Osprey athletes earned the most academic all-conference honors in the Atlantic Sun Conference for the second year in a row. Osprey student athletes graduate at a higher rate and carry higher GPAs than the general University population.
The excitement of going Division I is inspiring our student athletes, the University and the wider community. Encouraging young athletes with superior facilities and post-season opportunities motivates them to excel in competition and academically. The University’s increased national visibility reflects positively on Jacksonville and brings substantial economic benefits to the region. Upgrades to the Hodges Soccer and Track Stadium were kicked off with a $2 million gift from George and Kernan Hodges in 2006. In addition to supporting our students, this world-class facility has already hosted an international rugby competition and is being sought for state and national championships. Each event has the potential to bring in 10,000 visitors, substantially boosting Jacksonville’s tourism revenue. Student opportunities are enhanced through endowed scholarships for student athletes—19 fully endowed and three pre-endowed scholarships as of 2009. Our athletic facilities enhance the academic experience of students in several fields. For instance, the new training room is a primary clinical internship site for students in UNF’s athletic training programs. Communication students use the new, state-of-theart equipment in the Hodges Stadium press box as a hands-on classroom. The University is a national leader in gender equity. Women’s athletic funding has gone from 37 to 56 percent of the department’s budget to reflect the female student population—not by dropping men’s sports but through a systematic plan of increased allocations. Women’s golf will become the University’s 18th varsity sport by 2010, supported by a planned new facility. Future facilities enhancements include Arena upgrades that will usher the University and the region into the national spotlight of March Madness, as well as baseball stadium renovations that will support one of Florida’s most loved sports. These capital projects will provide a competitive edge in attracting the finest young student athletes and preparing them for competition. Osprey athletics reached its 25th year in 2008. It has grown to 17 sports and welcomes more than 250 student athletes annually. Teams have won four national championships and 75 conference titles, and athletes have captured 249 All-America awards.
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