Someone who loves football or Furman — or both — has given $1 million to the university to support its gridiron program.
The donor, who is publicly anonymous, wants the gift to fuel the football program’s momentum. It is the third million-dollar gift to Furman football since Clay Hendrix was named head coach in 2016.
“I want to get behind Clay and really support what he’s trying to accomplish, on and off the field,” the donor said in a university news release. “It will help keep his staff intact, which will assist in the recruiting process and help put a better product on the field.”
The gift will be used to advance the most strategic needs of the football program, both immediately and long-term, according to the news release. Spending strategies will be determined at Hendrix’s discretion in consultation with Director of Athletics Jason Donnelly, and could include student-athlete experience, scholarships, capital improvements, coach compensation and bonuses, travel, equipment and recruiting.
“Furman football has a proud and storied tradition on the field, in the classroom and in the community,” Donnelly said in the release. “Our former players, our alumni and our fans continue to propel us forward, as evidenced by a generous anonymous donor who was inspired to give back to continue our success under the leadership of Clay Hendrix.”
“Furman football is very appreciative of this generous gift to our program,” Hendrix said in the release. “It demonstrates the confidence our supporters have in what we are accomplishing both on and off the field — competing for and winning championships, maintaining high academic standards for our players and making a difference in young men’s lives.”
No program has won more Southern Conference football championships than Furman’s 14. The program has won one NCAA Division I-AA/FCS national championship and finished runner-up two other times, most recently in 2001.
Hendrix played at Furman from 1982-86 on three of those conference championship teams and was an assistant coach on the national title team.
“I feel really good about the program, and I’m very happy the school stuck with a Furman guy,” the donor said in the news release. “A number of the players know how fortunate they are that Clay’s their head coach, and all of them will realize that later on in life.”