University of Georgia Athletic Director Josh Brooks tells the Board of UGA’s Athletic Association that Stegeman Coliseum will be ready for a preseason basketball event scheduled for October 6. Stegeman has been closed since spring, when chunks of ceiling tiles began falling onto the floor of the Coliseum.
From Tray Littlefield, UGA Sports Communications…
The University of Georgia Athletic Association Board of Directors held its annual fall meeting Friday at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education and Hotel.
The 90-minute gathering covered a variety of topics, including academic and financial reports, early-season updates on the progress of UGA athletics teams, a compliance report by Deputy Athletic Director Will Lawler, and updates on a number of facility projects.
Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Wes Johnson was also introduced to the board and spoke for several minutes. His team began practice Friday at Foley Field.
President Jere W. Morehead opened the meeting, followed by a presentation from J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Josh Brooks.
Highlights of President Morehead’s remarks
• President Morehead congratulated the 6,200 first-year students from the largest applicant pool ever.
• UGA has students from 143 of 159 counties, 45 states, and 14 countries.
• For the eight-straight year, the University of Georgia is in the top-20 among the nation’s best public universities and ranked No. 9 among public universities by Niche.
• President Morehead thanked Brooks, student-athletes, and all staff for helping Georgia earn a No. 7 ranking in the 2023 LEARFIELD Directors’ Cup — the school’s best finish in 18 years.
Highlights of Brooks’ remarks
• Brooks honored the life and memory of Bulldog great Sonny Seiler, who passed away in August.
• With a 3.20 cumulative GPA, Georgia student-athletes boasted the highest-ever GPA in school history last year. Men’s tennis (3.70) set the men’s record for highest GPA, while women’s cross country (3.72) earned the highest-ever GPA of any women’s team in school history.
• UGA’s fall sports are off to a strong start. Soccer currently sits at No. 8 nationally in the RPI; volleyball is 9-3 overall and coming off a win against No. 10 Georgia Tech; football has won 20-straight games; cross country just swept the Gamecock Challenge.
• The Georgia Bulldog Club fundraised a record $102 million in fiscal year 2023 and the ‘Commit to the G’ Capital Campaign has raised $129 million of its $300 million goal, with an end date of June 2027.
• Stegeman Coliseum will be opened for Stegmania on Friday, Oct. 6.
Associate AD Tanner Stines and Senior Associate AD Matt Brachowski spoke to the Athletic Board regarding numerous facility upgrades
• Phase 1 of the Sanford Stadium South Side Improvements is complete. Construction on Phase 2 will begin November 2023.
• The Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Tennis Facility is scheduled to be completed in the winter of 2024.
• The Foley Field enabling project is complete and construction on the film room, locker room, and lighting is underway. The estimated completion date for Foley Field renovations is winter of 2025.
• Construction is also underway at the Jack Turner Softball Stadium. Estimated completion date for that project is fall of 2024.
• Renovations to the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall Circle of Champions are scheduled to begin next week.
• The new men’s and women’s basketball weight room was just completed in August.
• There is a master plan for Stegeman Coliseum, which includes fan experience upgrades, a new, one-of-a-kind video board, as well as other items. A design study funding request is coming in the fall of 2023.
Highlights from a glowing academic report by Faculty Athletics Representative Professor David Shipley
• In addition to a record-setting 3.20 GPA last year, an impressive 18 of Georgia’s athletic teams finished with above a 3.0 GPA.
• This past spring, 48 student-athletes finished with a 4.0, while 155 were between a 3.50 and 3.99, and 341 were at or above a 3.0.
• Morgan Hart from soccer and Cooper Bocko of men’s cross country will be presented with the Joel Eaves Scholar Athlete Awards.
• Women’s swimming and diving student-athlete Callie Dickinson has been nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year award. Dickinson and men’s track student-athlete Mathew Boling were awarded NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships.
• Boling, along with Emily Blecher (equestrian) and Sara Lewis (equestrian) were inducted into the Blue Key Honor Society.
• Braelen Bridges from men’s basketball was named a finalist for the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award.
• Caterina Don (women’s golf), Kearis Jackson (football) and Cecily Stoute (soccer) were named recipients of the Peach of an Athlete Award by the Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts.
• Football’s Ladd McConkey is a 2023 Campbell Trophy nominee and was named to the AllState AFCA Good Works Team.
Student-athletes Caterina Don from women’s golf and Jabri Abdur-Rahim from men’s basketball were introduced as student-athlete representatives by President Morehead.
J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Josh Brooks
On response to Sanford Stadium South Side improvements so far …
“With President Morehead and his leadership, we took on a task that didn’t really have a true return on investment. It wasn’t building new suites or club areas, it was something for the fans. When you think about that South 100 level, that is really some of the most loyal, longtime patrons sitting in that area. So, to take that area and improve it with new restrooms and more than double the width of the concourses, plus new points of sale, it has been tremendous. From game one to game two, there were things we needed to improve, but by game three we were running really well, and will hopefully improve even more in game four.”
On the new basketball weight room …
“It has been extremely positive. That was one of the key things that Coach Mike White and Coach ABE asked for when they got here was a basketball weight room, which in turn has provided great relief for our other weight room and a number of sports. We are also going to build a weight room out at softball for several sports, so we are really taking the pressure off all our weight rooms to better serve our student-athletes.”
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