HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- The Southern Miss Department of Athletics announced Monday that the Eagle Club has produced another record-breaking year, thanks to the generous donations from its supporters of the program.
This past fiscal year, which ended June 30, marked the first time the Eagle Club eclipsed the $2 million mark, which directly goes to support Southern Miss student-athlete scholarships.
"We have had a great year in the Eagle Club," said Chad Foote, Southern Miss Associate Athletic Director/Executive Director of the Eagle Club. "The reason for our record-breaking success this year is the teamwork of our fans and staff as they came together to help us accomplish our goal. Our staff did a great job implementing and believing in our strategic plan, and it showed through the increased support of our fans."
This total does not include the monies generated for endowments, facility projects and special needs.
The record breaking year was due to numerous factors including the loyalty of Golden Eagle fans, with the addition of the 20-for-20 challenge - asking fans to donate an additional 20 percent in support of the school's 20th head football coach) - increased efforts to engage the local community and the presence of Southern Miss fans becoming Eagle Club members for the first time.
"Chad Foote and the entire Eagle Club staff have done an outstanding job of engaging our fan base and helping raise the level of commitment," said Southern Miss interim Director of Athletics Jeremy McClain. "Our fans and supporters have answered the challenge in impressive fashion during a critical time, as we look to move Southern Miss Athletics forward."
The previous year saw the Eagle Club raise $1.875 million for student-athlete scholarships.