JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In just eight years of existence, Jacksonville University men's and women's lacrosse have enjoyed great success, and now, to continue that reach, the programs eye a new home in their own locker room facility.
The women's associate head coach Paul McCord helped push the Dolphins closer to that reality Monday with a substantial six-figure gift.
"We have always had the goal of striving to be the best place to play lacrosse," said McCord. "My donation is an investment in honor of the many who built an amazing legacy in just eight seasons. It's for the future Final Four teams and NCAA champions to come. We choose to focus on lofty goals, but these goals are not distant to us.
"These are goals that with this facility, and everything else around Jacksonville, are achievable. We love JU and we love growing the sport of lacrosse. It's with great joy that we invest in this amazing facility, as we continue to strive to be the best place to play lacrosse."
The project is estimated to cost $2.5 million and has received over $1 million in commitments thus far.
It is expected to break ground near D.B. Milne Field, and will house separate locker rooms and showers for each program, as well as a film room and eight offices.
"This facility has always been a vision from day one when the University announced the start of men's and women's lacrosse in 2008," said Mindy McCord, the head coach of the women's team. "Paul and I have always been behind the bigger vision of growing lacrosse in the southeastern United States. We always believed this facility would be a catalyst to help support the growth of one of the fastest growing sports in the country."
"Coach McCord's gift is extremely impactful for our lacrosse programs and their student-athletes past, present, and future," added Athletic Director Alex Ricker-Gilbert. "To have one of our own invest in a project that will enhance our student-athlete experience is both unique and noteworthy. Our goal is to make Jacksonville the lacrosse capital of the southeast and Paul's gift gets us closer to that goal."
The McCords have been committed to serving Jacksonville Athletics for years. The couple's first gift was the Kuhl Spa, a cold spa available for use by all Dolphin student-athletes, and their second was a contribution towards the scoreboard located at D.B. Milne Field.
The two were highly instrumental in bringing men's and women's lacrosse to the University, and the programs have been making history ever since.
Since its inaugural season in 2010, the women's lacrosse program has reeled off 12 combined championships and more than a dozen NCAA statistical No. 1 rankings, while the men, the 2013 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season champions, are building their way into a household name.
Led by first-year head coach John Galloway – an All-American, NCAA champion and Major League Lacrosse goaltender – the men's team crowned its 2017 season with its first-ever trip to the Southern Conference Tournament.
"This state-of-the-art facility is going to revolutionize how we develop our student-athletes here on campus," said Galloway. "It will officially put Jacksonville men's and women's lacrosse on the map in a national landscape, as student-athletes across the country will now understand our commitment to excellence."