By Garrett Aleckson —
Leading the charge to tackle a new project for the football program, University of Wisconsin–Stout football alumni members launched a campaign to update and renovate the football locker room.
“The first thing that we did was that we figured that we needed a new locker room. It is over 30 years old,” said Stout head football coach Clayt Birmingham. “In order to compete with recruiting, and to house a facility that is healthy for our athletes, we knew we had to do something. We made plans and then reached out to our alumni to help with the project.”
There are three different levels for donations. Each level represents one of the alumni behind the campaign. Level One is $1,000 and is represented by 2008 alumnus Marty Platek, Level Two is $5,000 and is represented by 1967 alumnus Greg Mickleson and Level Three is $10,000 and is represented by 1992 alumnus Mark LaLonde. Each donation level allows sponsors to honor past players—something that will establish the history of the football program.
“We. Us. Our.” Those three words have been the motto for the program for a while, so it is only natural that the motto is being used for this campaign.
“We adopted the motto back in 2007 to diffuse the selfishness within the team,” said Birmingham. “We also wanted to show that it takes more than just the team to build a championship—it takes the community, the boosters and the alumni. It takes all of us to build it.”
The current lockers cause potential problems and worries that those involved in the program should not need to worry about, but renovating and upgrading the facility will fix that.
“The biggest reason [for upgrading] is that we want our players to be healthy and safe,” said Birmingham. “We don’t want to worry about them getting cuts on rusty metal lockers. It just wasn’t a clean facility.”
Renovating the locker rooms will also likely help in other areas of the program. A new locker room will improve Birmingham’s ability show off the facility.
“In this day and age—being such a materialistic world—the recruits look at the bright and shiny equipment that we have,” said Birmingham. “By having a new locker room, it will hopefully improve the recruiting process and bring in better athletes.”
Bringing in new facilities will be fun and is needed for the program.
“I’d like to give a special thanks to the three alumni that started the campaign. They rolled out the campaign for us, and generated a great start with $16,000 in donations,” said Birmingham.
They have received around $27,000 in donations so far, and the campaign has only been going for about two weeks.
“We are excited to see where our alumni and boosters will take us. We think this will be a nice project for our current and future athletes,” said Birmingham.