Feb. 28, 2012
The news comes as the CAF begins its Volunteer Fund Drive in an effort to increase the CAF membership and raise funds to offset the expenses of student-athlete scholarships and related athletic department support at WSU.
"Cougar fans have risen to the challenge presented them last summer and the result has been a spike in donors to the CAF," said Senior Associate Athletic Director Mike Marlow. "There is great momentum on campus, from our football program to the many facility projects in place, and our fans are responding like never before."
WSU Athletics ended 2011 with 4,084 CAF members (minimum $50 annual donation to the CAF). That number placed the Cougars 10th among Pac-12 schools in number of donors making an annual scholarship gift. Oregon leads the conference with 8,800 donors at the end of 2011. Following February's highly successful Night With Cougar Football events in Spokane, Tri-Cities and Seattle, the CAF sits with more than 5,200 members, which under last year's totals would pass Utah (5,000) for ninth place and just behind USC, which ended last year with 5,400 total donors.
'I want to express my appreciation to Cougar Athletic Fund members, both long-standing and new members, for supporting Cougar Athletics,' WSU Director of Athletics Bill Moos said. 'But we must continue our effort to increase our annual donations. Our goal is to meet the needs of our scholarships costs, which is over $7 million annually. We are raising only $2.6 at this time.'
Since that time the Cougars have broken ground on the Cougar Football Project, which will replace the old press box on the south stands with a new structure that includes a new press box, club seats, loge boxes, luxury suites and a club room. A second phase is expected to begin at the conclusion of the 2012 football season, called the West End-Zone Project, it would provide a home for the Cougar football program, including new weight, locker, equipment and training rooms for players, in addition to meeting rooms and coaches' offices.
In addition to the facility enhancements underway, WSU Athletics is in the midst of a complete rebranding effort that extends throughout its current facilities, including the Bohler Athletic Complex, Beasley Coliseum and Martin Stadium.
'When you look at what has been accomplished in the two years since Bill Moos became the Athletic Director, there is a great deal of pride Cougars everywhere can take in the direction of Cougar Athletics," said Marlow. 'We want to make sure our donor base is funding our scholarship needs and we need everybody involved to not just say they're a Cougar but show it through their financial support, regardless if it's $50, $500, or $500,000. We've got a lot of catching up to do with our Pac-12 counterparts and we need Cougars everywhere helping us."
The CAF Fund Drive is aimed to build on the "Wave The Flag" marketing campaign Cougar Athletics debuted in 2011. Cougars everywhere are asked to "Wave The Flag" for Cougar Athletics by doing one or more of the following:
► Joining the CAF at the highest possible level or if a current CAF member, increasing their current giving level by an extra 10 percent.
► Purchasing season tickets and attending games.
► Informing family, friends and colleagues about the CAF and encouraging them to join.
► Providing referrals to CAF staff of people and/or businesses who are interested in WSU Athletics but are not currently members of the CAF.
The Fund Drive, which lasts through March, consists of volunteers from Cougar Clubs in every region making calls to athletic donors to thank them for their past and current support of Cougar Athletics, increase donations levels of donors, and to expand the donor base of Cougar Athletics.