There were some worries, albeit fairly limited, that Washington State Cougars donors would be pulling their money should the school follow through with relieving Nick Rolovich of his duties earlier this week. Those worries were apparently not only unfounded — but wildly misunderstood.
“We’ve raised over $3.5 million this week, and with that, we’ve hit our target goal for IPF funding,” WSU athletics director Pat Chun said at the weekly coaches luncheon today in Pullman.
Though weekly figures aren’t available, this is almost assuredly one of the best fundraising weeks in the history of the Cougar Athletic Fund — and it comes on the heels of former football coach Nick Rolovich being fired for failing to comply with the state’s Covid vaccination mandate.
Chun said that there was one multimillion-dollar donation, and then another handful of high dollar amounts. Shortly after the luncheon, WSU announced a “transformational gift” to the IPF from WSU alumnus Darren Alger and his wife, Jamie.
“This gift is my way to acknowledge the impact WSU has had on my life. I am forever grateful to the school, the Cougar community, and my lifelong friendships,” said Darren Alger, who graduated from WSU in 1993 and is president and CEO of Unify Consulting, via news release. “Jamie and I know the future of WSU Athletics is as bright as ever. Both current and future student-athletes deserve our support and we want to ensure they have the resources needed to accomplish all of their goals.
“And the most important goal of them all, to beat the Huskies!”
Chun’s announcement did not include a timeline for the $25 million project, which has been privately funded through donations because of the university’s bonding limit. The project will benefit many of the programs on campus — not just football.
“We are indebted to Darren and Jamie for their extraordinary generosity,” Chun said, via news release. “Their philanthropic support will establish a lasting legacy at WSU and will impact student-athletes for years to come. We are fortunate to have them in the Coug Family and we say ‘Thank You’ to the entire Alger family for providing the punctuation mark for fundraising of our Indoor Practice Facility.
“It has been inspiring to see so many Cougs join forces and make philanthropic contributions for the Indoor Practice Facility. We are now in a position to formally begin the approval process and look forward to making our facility dreams a reality.”
It goes without saying this is quite a boon for Chun, WSU president Kirk Schulz and the entire athletic department. The sheer enormity of that coming into WSU inside of a week is difficult to comprehend. In the previous fiscal year, WSU set a record with $30 million in donations; just this week, they raised nearly 11% of that.
In what has been an incredibly rough week for the university overall, this is a nice shot in the arm heading into a big non-conference match-up with the BYU Cougars.