Inside Gopher Athletics: The Ultimate Investment

Nov. 17, 2017

By Mark Coyle

Gopher student-athletes are among the most impressive in the country. While that's my opinion, it's an opinion based on facts.

Academically, we have been the nation's top public school in terms of student-athlete academic performance in each of the past four years, as measured by the NCAA's APR Public Recognition Awards. Our student-athletes have maintained a collective GPA above 3.2 during those four years, and we recently announced a department-record Graduation Success Rate of 92 percent, the best number for any public school in the Big Ten.

Athletically, we have won 11 Big Ten titles the past two years, which is the third-highest total across the sports we sponsor (trailing only Ohio State and Michigan). Last year alone, we had 46 individual All-Americans and eight different student-athletes win Big Ten "of the year" awards.

This success has come in spite of overcrowded and outdated facilities in which our student-athletes study, practice, and train every day. While the majority of schools in the Big Ten and in major conferences across the nation have updated or built new facilities to better support their student-athletes, Gophers continue to make the best use of what we have had for many decades.

This January, all of this will change. Gopher student-athletes will finally have everyday facilities on par with those enjoyed by their peers. For the first time in quite some time, we will offer our student-athletes competitive development facilities.

Earlier this week, I had the chance to tour the Athletes Village site for the first time in nearly a month. The progress inside these new buildings is astonishing. It's incredible to think that in just two months, our student-athlete experience will be transformed by these facilities.

Below, we have included a short video of my tour through the Land O'Lakes Center for Excellence, which is the cornerstone of the Athletes Village. It will house the John and Nancy Lindahl Academic Center, as well as our department's first Nutrition Center and Leadership Center. Please take a minute and join me in exploring these new spaces and discussing how they will change the lives of every current and future Gopher student-athlete, giving them resources that match their incredible success in the classroom and in competition.

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