Mike McCarthy (left) with Baker University Athletics Director Dan Harris.
The Green Bay Packers and Head Coach Mike McCarthy have partnered to make a $100,000 donation to Baker University in Baldwin City, Kan., it was announced Wednesday.
McCarthy, entering his third 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.
"I'm very excited to make this donation to Baker University," said McCarthy. "The university made a positive impact on me that continues today. It's a great learning environment, from the classroom to the athletic programs. Much of my success in my career I owe to what I learned and took from my experiences there. It's an honor to be able to give back to the school and support it in a very meaningful way. I also appreciate the Packers organization in joining me."
The donation to Baker University will aid the football program in a few ways. A portion of it will fund an endowment for a football scholarship in McCarthy's name. The scholarship specifically will go to an incoming junior college athlete, like McCarthy was, who demonstrates the potential to make a meaningful impact on the program.
Additionally, portions of the funds will go to current scholarship funding, as well as into a budget the athletics director can tap for enhancements to the football program, such as facility improvements.
"Mike's gift to our university will have a lasting impact," said Dan Harris, Baker University's Director of Athletics. "The endowment will grow and become a life-long scholarship in his name. I can't think of any better way to honor his success and his commitment to this university. He is such a special individual to me personally, and he has remained a humble and dedicated professional throughout his career. I wish him nothing but the best and we will honor his gift for years to come with a successful football program."
McCarthy was named the Motorola NFL Coach of the Year in 2007 as his Packers team, the youngest in the NFL, went 13-3 and captured the NFC North Division championship and advanced to host the NFC Championship Game at Lambeau Field. In the process, he became the first Packers coach since Vince Lombardi to lead his team to a championship game in his second season.