Averitt’s commitment to Tech football is just the latest surge of momentum for the program

Tennessee Tech University is further strengthening its longtime partnership with supply-chain industry leader Averitt – this time through a major gift from the transportation powerhouse supporting Tech’s rebuilt football stadium.

Tech previously announced plans to completely rebuild the west side of Tucker Stadium, home of Tech’s Golden Eagle football team since 1966, to offer new amenities, suites, upgraded seating and expanded concessions, among other improvements.

Demolition is slated to begin later this spring.

The university will also construct a state-of-the-art, 40,000-square foot football operations center complete with a new locker room and meeting rooms, players’ lounge, theater-style auditorium, sports medicine center and turf practice field. The venue marks a powerful demonstration of Tech’s investment in its student-athletes.

Averitt, which has served as an economic engine of the Upper Cumberland alongside Tennessee Tech for more than 50 years, said the transformational gift is a natural extension of the company’s decadeslong commitment to the university and leadership in the local community.

“Cookeville is our home, and we recognize the importance of first-rate athletic venues to the vitality of a community like ours,” said Gary Sasser, chairman and CEO of Averitt. “At Averitt, we share Tennessee Tech’s vision for what a rebuilt stadium can mean in terms of stimulating our local economy, bolstering our region’s ability to compete for top talent and giving the Upper Cumberland a new place to gather. We are proud to continue our partnership with the university through this bold commitment.”

Tech President Phil Oldham praised Averitt’s ongoing support of the university and its student-athletes.

“The Upper Cumberland and the entire state of Tennessee benefit every time that Tennessee Tech and Averitt link arms to support our students and community,” said President Oldham. “We are fortunate to have done that many times over the years and we deeply appreciate this added showing of support through Averitt’s transformational gift to our new stadium.”

Averitt’s commitment to Tech football is just the latest surge of momentum for the program, which announced the hire of head coach Bobby Wilder last December. Wilder famously restarted Old Dominion University’s football program as head coach after a 70-year dormancy and led the team to the best record ever for a first-year NCAA program in college football’s modern era.

Most recently, the Putnam County Commission voted overwhelmingly to commit $2 million to the stadium at the commission’s Feb. 20 meeting. The City of Cookeville also previously made a generous commitment of $1 million toward the building campaign. Earlier this year, the university announced a $1 million pledge to Tech athletics from alumni and Board of Trustees members Fred Lowery and Tom Jones, $500,000 of which will directly support the new stadium.

Tech Athletic Director Mark Wilson said the string of successes point to a reinvigorated football program that is ready to bring championship titles back to Tech’s campus.

“Under the leadership of Coach Wilder, and with the generous support of partners like Averitt, Tennessee Tech university is building a championship-grade football team that is poised to win on and off the field. Our new stadium and football operations center are central to this effort and will deliver an all-new experience for players and fans alike,” said Wilson.

Averitt’s significant gift to Tech’s football stadium is only the latest undertaking supporting the university. Last fall, Averitt helped launch a new operations, logistics and supply chain management minor within Tech’s College of Business. The company will continue to provide input and support to ensure coursework reflects real-world industry dynamics and equips Tech students to meet current workforce needs.

Averitt is also the namesake for the home of the Golden Eagles baseball team, the Averitt Express Baseball Complex. Sasser previously served on the university’s foundation board and the College of Business advisory board.

Learn more about Tennessee Tech athletics at www.ttusports.com.

Photo courtesy of Tech.

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