Home $5M anonymous gift pushed UVA Football Operations Center over the goal line

$5M anonymous gift pushed UVA Football Operations Center over the goal line

Chris Graham
virginia football operations center
Ground being broken on the construction of the new Virginia Football Operations Center. Photo courtesy UVA Athletics.

Virginia Athletics broke ground on its new Football Operations Center last week. Left unsaid until today was that a $5 million anonymous gift had pushed the project past the goal line.

“I would like to thank the anonymous donors who got us over the goal line with this gift for the Football Operations Center, along with many other supporters who have made valuable contributions to our athletics programs,” UVA President Jim Ryan said.

The Football Operations Center will include a locker room, strength and conditioning space, nutrition spaces, meeting rooms, coaches’ offices, video operations and sports medicine areas for treatment and recovery.

“This was an amazing gift and its timing allowed us to complete the fundraising phase for the Football Operations Center,” UVA athletics director Carla Williams said. “While the donors wish to remain anonymous, it is important for us to acknowledge how grateful we are for their generosity.

“Our donors continue to make the Master Plan a reality and that is contributing to our overall goal of making Virginia athletics a model for all of college athletics. We’ve still got plenty of work to do to complete the next phase, and as we’ve said before, we need and welcome gifts of all sizes. We have all experienced some challenging times the past few years and, despite that, our supporters have allowed us to continue to press forward. That has been inspirational to all of us,” Williams said.

The first phase of the Master Plan was initiated in the fall of 2018, when more than 400 student-athletes, coaches and staff moved out of University Hall and Onesty Hall and into the new Training Grounds area.

University Hall, Onesty Hall and The Cage were demolished, clearing the space for two lighted grass practice fields for the football program that were completed in the summer of 2020.

The Virginia Athletics Foundation continues to fundraise for the remaining projects associated with the Master Plan that includes an Olympic Sports Complex, a renovation of the McCue Center, an additional practice field and a pedestrian promenade for improved connectivity between North and Central Grounds.

The Master Plan complex will provide support facilities for more than 70 percent of Virginia’s sport programs. The complex will also include the Center for Citizen Leaders and Sports Ethics which provides programming for career development, academic achievement, leadership development, personal development and community engagement, benefiting all 27 UVA varsity sports programs.

More information about the Master Plan is available at VirginiaSportsMP.com.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].