Head Coaches Share Impact Of Jones Family Gift To Razorback Athletics

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Last Wednesday (Jan. 21, 2015), Razorback Athletics announced an extraordinary gift that will shape the course of the lives of student-athletes for generations to come. Former Razorback football student-athlete and member of Arkansas’ 1964 national championship football team, Jerry Jones and his wife, Gene, made a gift of $10.65 million to Razorback Athletics.

The gift will help support:

  • The soon to be completed Jerry and Gene Jones Family Student-Athlete Success Center
  • The Wild Band of Razorbacks monument which will be established as a permanent tribute to the Razorbacks’ 1964 national championship football team, made possible by Jerry Jones
  • The Jerry and Stephen Jones football team locker room in the Fred W. Smith Football Center
  • The Mr. and Mrs. John Chambers entrance lobby of the Jerry and Gene Jones Student-Athlete Success Center. The lobby was named in the honor of Gene Jones’ parents.

As we celebrate the one-week anniversary of the announcement of this transformational gift and its impact on more than 460 University of Arkansas student-athletes competing in 19 sports, we invited head coaches of each Razorback program to share the impact the Jones Family gift will have on their respective programs.

Mike Anderson, Men’s Basketball
“The Jerry and Gene Jones Family Student-Athlete Success Center is quite simply a game-changer for Arkansas Athletics. The Jones family’s passion and generosity through the years has been vital to the success of the Razorback family and this gift will impact generations of future Razorbacks for years to come. I can’t tell you how much this means to our program and the best part is it impacts every aspect of all 19 programs. Thank you doesn’t even come close to summing up our appreciation of the Jones family.”

Bret Bielema, Football
“Our football program is very grateful for the generosity and support from Jerry Jones, his wife Gene, and the entire Jones Family. Our goal has always been developing men on and off the field. The new Student-Athlete Success Center will significantly improve our ability to do this and give us a great facility to showcase in recruiting. Thank you to the Jones Family for its continued support of Razorback Football. Wooo Pig!”

Chris Bucknam, Men’s Cross Country and Track and Field
“The University of Arkansas not only has a premier sports program that serves hundreds of student-athletes, but it is also a world-class academic institution. The program is successful not only because of the talents and dedication of the student-athletes, but also because of the high standards expected of them in the classroom. By investing in academic support for the members of our Razorback teams, the extraordinary gift from the Jones Family will help us build on Arkansas’ tradition of strong competitive sports and excellence in academics.”

Mark Cook, Women’s Gymnastics
“This generous donation will ensure that our student-athletes have one of the best academic centers in the country. It will also provide better nutritional support to our student-athletes while promoting excellent health.  This donation will also ensure that future generations of Razorback Gymnasts will have everything necessary to achieve their full potential in life. We are so thankful for this generous gift.”

Jimmy Dykes, Women’s Basketball
“The University of Arkansas Athletics Department has always had the goal of excelling at the highest levels on the playing field, in the classroom and in the community. The recent gift from the Jerry and Gene Jones Family allows us to continue that pursuit of excellence.  This gift and the Jerry and Gene Jones Family Student-Athlete Success Center, will allow our Razorback women’s basketball team to excel in the classroom.  It is vital to the progression of the development of our young ladies into future leaders.  We appreciate the Jones Family’s commitment to help us reach new heights in all areas of the development of our student-athletes.”

Shauna Estes-Taylor, Women’s Golf
“It is a great day for Razorback Athletics and our over 460 student-athletes.  The Jerry and Gene Jones Family Razorback Student-Athlete Success Center will be a vital tool for our student-athletes to help them pursue their goals and dreams on and off of our fields of competition.  This new facility will allow members of my team and the other teams within our program the opportunity to be more efficient in the daily demands of being a student-athlete while supplying the resources to help them prepare for their future after college.  I believe we now have the best Student Success Center in the country!  We can’t thank the Jones Family enough for this generous contribution to ensure our future successes.”

Lance Harter, Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field
“Over the past four years the Arkansas Women’s Track Team has been ranked either first or second nationally for academics as well as competing consistently in the NCAA’s top 10. Our competition for quality student-athletes continues to be ALL of the top academic institutions in the country. The Jerry and Gene Jones Family Student-Athlete Success Center will continue to provide us the opportunity to maintain that competitive edge as well as recruit new bright academic stars. Thank you for your gift which will allow our staff to recruit the best student-athletes in the world.”

Colby Hale, Women’s Soccer
“The gift that Jerry and Gene Jones have given to athletics will have enormous implications on the success of our soccer team far beyond the field. Our student-athletes benefit every day from the investment Jeff Long and the student-athlete development staff make in them. Now, because of this generous gift the extent to which that staff can impact the lives of our student-athletes is limitless. With a state of the art facility for nutrition, tutoring, conference rooms and more; the Jerry and Gene Jones Family Student-Athlete Success Center will place our Student-Athlete Development program at the very top in the country.”

Michael Hegarty, Women’s Tennis
“You often hear there has never been a better time to be a student-athlete. This gift from Jerry and Gene Jones will affect every Razorback student-athlete in the most meaningful of ways. For our tennis team, the Student-Athlete Success Center is focused on maximizing our team’s efforts both in the classroom and on the courts. This facility gives us a competitive advantage and we are so grateful for the generosity of the Jones Family.”

Andy Jackson, Men’s Tennis
“The Razorback men’s tennis program is so grateful to the Jones Family! The Jerry and Gene Jones Family Student-Athlete Success Center will be close to our tennis facility and we know it will provide great benefit to our student-athletes as they pursue their academic and athletic dreams. The Jones Family’s loyalty and commitment to the University of Arkansas is a shining example to us all and we will strive to not only meet, but also to exceed their high expectations both athletically and academically.”

Mike Larabee, Women’s Softball
“I can’t express enough how grateful we are to Jerry and Gene Jones and their generosity to the student-athletes of the University of Arkansas. Their generous gift toward our new Student-Athlete Success Center goes above and beyond in creating an environment in which our student-athletes can be difference makers both in the classroom and in competition. This is the kind of dedication and commitment to the Razorbacks that allows the University of Arkansas to stay at the forefront of student-athlete success.”

Brad McMakin, Men’s Golf
“A major part of our program is being able to provide the best resources we can for our student-athletes to be successful in the classroom and with the generosity of the Jones Family we can now say that the University of Arkansas can do that better than anyone. The Jerry and Gene Jones Family Student-Athlete Success Center is a difference-maker for our current student-athletes and the many to come at the University of Arkansas. Being able to walk into the Success Center and affiliate it with one of the most passionate Razorback families is perfect.”

Robert Pulliza, Women’s Volleyball
“There is no doubt that this Success Center will greatly help us in the recruiting process but most importantly, it will help provide our student-athletes all the tools necessary for their academic success. With this gift, Jerry and Gene Jones are going to be impacting young lives that will, in the future, help shape this country and the world. It doesn’t get more powerful than an alumnus giving back to their alma mater to help shape young minds and help change the world. This is not only a gift to our student-athletes but to the Razorback Nation and to the great state of Arkansas! I want to thank Jerry and Gene for seeing the best in our student-athletes and for supporting them! Go Hogs!”

Sean Schimmel, Women’s Swimming and Diving
“The Razorback swimming and diving team wants to sincerely thank the Jerry and Gene Jones Family for their most generous gift. This new facility will help us maximize our classroom achievement and enhance our continued pursuit of being one of the top performing academic teams in the nation while helping lead the way academically for teams on our campus.”

Dave Van Horn, Baseball
“Thank you to the Jerry and Gene Jones family for such a generous gift to our entire athletic department. The new state-of-the-art academic facility will allow us to attract the right kind of student-athletes and prepare them for a lifetime of success during their time at the University of Arkansas.”

For more information regarding Razorback Athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.