Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy and the Packers organization have partnered to make a $100,000 donation to Baker University in Baldwin City, Kan., it was announced Thursday. This is the second year McCarthy and the Packers have made a donation to the university.
"It's an honor to be able to continue this support of Baker University," said McCarthy. "To this day I continue to apply what I learned there, both in the classroom and in the college's community. The lifelong lessons have been invaluable."
McCarthy, now in his fourth season as head coach of the Packers, earned a degree in business administration from the school and was an all-conference tight end and senior captain in 1986, helping lead the Wildcats to an NAIA Division II national runner-up finish. He was inducted to the school's hall of fame Oct. 20, 2007.
The donation to Baker University will continue to aid the football program through its support of an endowment for a football scholarship in McCarthy's name. The scholarship, first established last year, specifically will go to an incoming junior college athlete, like McCarthy was, who demonstrates the potential to make a meaningful impact on the program.
Players on last year's team who were junior college transfers and benefitted from the contribution were Tyrell Spain, Charleston Dela Cruz and Kyle Rooks. Transfers for 2009 that will benefit are Brandon Hill and Verlain Betofe.
Additionally, portions of the funds will go to current scholarship funding, as well as into a budget for enhancements to the football program, such as facility improvements.
"The Green Bay Packers' and Mike's yearly contribution has allowed us to improve in many areas," said Mike Grossner, Baker University's head coach. "It also allowed us to purchase some much needed weight equipment last summer for the George Shore Weight Room on the Baldwin City campus, which benefited the university as a whole."
This is the third such donation this year for McCarthy and the Packers. Previously, a $100,000 donation was made to the Autism Society of Northeast Wisconsin (ASNEW) and to the Greenfield Neighborhood in McCarthy's native Pittsburgh.
In 2008, in addition to Baker University, McCarthy and the Packers teamed up to make $100,000 donations to Pittsburgh's Greenfield Neighborhood and to the Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay.