Pictured above – Tennessee Tech alumnus Jim Bodak pictured with his wife, Robin.

Tech also previously announced plans to completely rebuild the west side of Tucker Stadium

Tennessee Tech University alumnus Jim Bodak says he was inspired to give to the university’s Football Operations Center because of a shared vision among President Phil Oldham, Athletic Director Mark Wilson and Head Football Coach Bobby Wilder to take Tech’s football program to the next level.

“I have a passion for football and the university,” Bodak said. “I’m excited that Coach Wilder is there, and I appreciate his enthusiasm and what all he is doing for the program. I want student-athletes to have the very best facilities to help them achieve success both on and off the field.”

Bodak graduated from Tech in 1985 with a degree in business management and credits Tech for a strong education that led to a successful career. He owns Bodak, LLC, a home building company in Knoxville, Tennessee Bodak also credits Tech for giving him the opportunity to meet his wife Robin. He noticed her from a distance in a freshman biology class at Tech, but they didn’t officially meet. The following summer, when they were both back home taking summer classes at Roane State Community College, they had a class together once again. Robin took the seat next to Bodak, he recognized her and asked if she went to Tech, and the rest is history.

Bodak says in addition to President Oldham, AD Wilson and Coach Wilder, there’s another individual who inspired him to support the Football Operations Center: the late Ottis Phillips. Phillips was a two-time Tech alumnus and member of the Golden Eagle football team from 1969 to 1972. He co-led the Football Operations Center fundraising steering committee and made a lead gift toward the project.

“I enjoyed getting to know Ottis,” Bodak said. “And I knew what he was doing for the Football Operations Center. He loved Tech, and he encouraged everyone to give. With his sudden passing a little over a year ago when fundraising was just starting to take off, well, that inspired Robin and me to give.”

While Bodak didn’t play football at the college level, he says he has always been a sports fan – especially football.

“We enjoy the games and the people we’ve met,” he said. “Tech Athletics staff, donors, alumni and fans are really like a family.”

Bodak adds that the football program at any college or university is the front porch to the school.

“Football increases awareness of Tennessee Tech,” Bodak explained. “When we play Georgia this year, it will get Tech’s name out across the southeast, the SEC and even across the country. A lot of the time when people first hear about Tech, it’s through athletics.”

Tech’s 40,000-square-foot Football Operations Center will include a new locker room and meeting rooms, players’ lounge, theater-style auditorium, sports medicine center and turf practice field.

Tech also previously announced plans to completely rebuild the west side of Tucker Stadium to offer new amenities, suites, upgraded seating and expanded concessions, among other improvements. Demolition is slated to begin later this spring.

“I believe a strong athletic program is a major benefit to the university and overall student experience,” Bodak said. “And I hope others will contribute to this effort.”

Photo courtesy of Tech.

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