Not long after the University of Arizona fell to Coastal Carolina in the College World Series final, the University received an anonymous $1 million donation to the baseball program for Hi Corbett Field upgrades, improved fan experience, and other improvements for the players.
This season Arizona put up more wins than they have in the last 30 years. Their 17th College World Series appearance, and 49 wins wasn’t good enough for a title, but it was apparently good enough for a donor. Arizona has been looking to raise money for these upgrades, and started a matching program where the University will match all donations. The University better pony up now.
Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne had this to say about the season and donation.
“This is an incredible time for our baseball program and we are excited to announce this tremendous gift…Coach Jay Johnson, his staff and the players accomplished so much this season, and the energy and support behind the program is at an all-time high.”
“This gift is a major difference-maker for our program…It reaffirms to me how great it is to coach at Arizona where people care so much about our program and especially the student-athletes.”
“Like all of our sports, it is critical that we reinvest in our baseball success…This was the second time we have been to the College World Series since we moved to Hi Corbett Field, and we want to continue competing for championships in the coming years. Support from our fans, especially Wildcat Club members, will provide us with the foundation to remain one of the nation’s elite baseball programs.”
This caps off an already incredible year for the Arizona baseball program and coach Jay Johnson. Just three years ago, Johnson was an assistant coach at San Diego. He then moved on to the head coaching job at Nevada, before moving to Arizona this past season. He took the Wildcats to the College World Series in his first year with the program. What an accomplishment to also bring some upgrades to Hi Corbett field due to their success.