UCO Receives $4 Million Donation
Chad Richison, founder of Paycom, speaks at the UCO Athletics press conference on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. Richison donated $10 million to UCO in November 2015, and another $4 million this Fall. (Cara Johnson/ The Vista)
$4 million was donated to the University of Central Oklahoma Athletic Department from Chad Richison, founder of Paycom, to upgrade the universities sports facilities.
UCO Athletic Director, Eddie Griffin, said, “With the support of our donors in Broncho athletics, and Chad, the momentum here at UCO is unbelievably moving great.”
Richison, a UCO alum, has now donated $14 million the past two years to the UCO Athletic Department. The donation comes after the university announced on August 22 that its $13.5 million donor was “unable to meet the expectations of the agreement.”
Richison said that he was encouraged by other alums that started to donate money to the department, so he thought it was a good opportunity for him to make another donation.
“Anytime you have better facilities, you’re able to produce a better student athlete experience and that’s what our goal is,” Richison said.
With Richison’s most recent donation, Assistant Athletic Director Kevin Freeman said the majority of it will go toward the new sports performance center. The rest of the donation will go toward the Hamilton Annex project and renovating the baseball field.
Freeman said work on the baseball field will begin over the next couple of weeks. The improvements on the field will include putting in artificial turf and creating a new outfield fence. Freeman said they are trying to finish the renovations on the baseball field before the start of UCO’s baseball season.
The North Hamilton Annex project will start this spring, with an expected completion date of the fall of 2019. Chris Brannick, sports information director at UCO, said some of the main additions will include new locker rooms, a wrestling practice facility and an auxiliary gym. Right now, Brannick said volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball all share the current gym and the addition of the auxiliary gym will give the sports more options for practice times.
When it comes to why the department plans on adding these new features, Brannick said they are “trying to give the student athletes today what we feel like they deserve and that’s top-notch facilities.”
Construction on the new sports performance center is underway and is expected to be completed by next fall. The facility will be located in the north end zone and will feature locker rooms, team meeting rooms, a sports rehab area and a weight training room. The facility is expected to be 40,000-45,000 square feet.
The sports performance center, the Hamilton Annex and upgrades to the softball stadium were some of the goals UCO’s athletic department set out when it started its Complete the Dream campaign in 2015, with a goal of $15 million, which they have now surpassed.