UMass receives $5.58-million gift to help fund a practice bubble

Published: 6/20/2018 7:39:46 PM

A $5.58-million gift from Marty Jacobson will help UMass fund the construction of a temporary practice bubble at McGuirk Stadium.

UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford announced the gift in a release on Wednesday. The football team facility will also be named the “Martin Jacobson Football Performance Center.”

“I felt compelled to make this gift that allows Ryan Bamford and the athletics department to make several infrastructure improvements that will benefit our student-athletes and fans,” Jacobson said in the release. “We are in the midst of a renaissance and I hope this is a catalyst which continues that momentum. I’m excited about moving McGuirk Stadium into a modern era with some of the planned amenities and believe that the seasonal bubble will allow our student-athletes to train at a higher level than ever before.”

The $5.58-million pledge will also contribute to a high-definition scoreboard at McGuirk, among other planned facility improvements.

The bubble will be located on McGuirk’s turf field and be available to all UMass athletes, as well as special events.

Construction will begin at the end of the football season.

JOAN HOPKINS TO RETIRE — After 12 years at UMass and 42 in higher education, Associate Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Development Joan Hopkins has announced she will retire effective Aug. 31.

“Throughout her career, Joan has shown a great dedication to helping student-athletes achieve at the highest level,” Bamford said in a release. “Her work has laid a terrific foundation for better student-athlete support in the areas of career preparation and professional and academic development. We are so appreciative of her efforts and wish her a relaxing and well-earned retirement!”

Hopkins joined the department in 2006 as the head of the Academic Services unit. She most recently was appointed to lead UMass’ Student-Athlete Development program through the newly created UMass ASPIRES program. This past spring, her work with ASPIRES was highlighted by the NCAA’s Champion Magazine and she will be the recipient of the 2018 Lan Hewlett Award at the National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development Professionals (N4A) Convention later this month.

ON THE BALLOT — Former UMass football running back Rene Ingoglia and receiver Steve Schubert are among the 76 players on the 2019 College Football Hall of Fame ballot.

The voting deadline is June 22.

Ingoglia finished his career ranked second all-time in FCS history with 54 touchdowns and as UMass’ all-time leader in yards rushing (4,624) and carries (905). He was the first UMass player to average more than 100 yards per game rushing in his career.

Schubert was named First-Team All-American in 1972 when he averaged 81.9 yards receiving per game, which ranks fourth all-time in school history. He holds the school record for average yards per catch in a season with 20.1 in 1972.

Former Amherst College coach Jim Ostendarp is up for nomination in the coach category. Ostendarp, who coached from 1959-91, was named UPI Small College Coach of the Year in 1964. He was selected as the New York Football Writers Division II/III Coach of the Year in 1984. he captured 13 Little Three titles and was named AFCA/Kodak New England Coach of the Year in 1961 and 1964.

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