Murray, KY December 22, 2017. Tony Ryan, president of the Racer Football Alumni Association (RFAA) announced today two major funding initiatives approved by the RFAA Board of Directors. Both requests were from Head Coach Mitch Stewart and approved by Director of Athletics Allen Ward.
The first request was for twelve (12) Samsung Galaxy Core Notebook computers with accessories at a cost of $9,804 which will be funded out of the RFAA Equipment Pathway. In a statement released by Coach Mitch Stewart he said, “We spend an awful lot of time recruiting and an awful lot of money recruiting. A lot of that money goes toward our recruiting board (magnets, paper, ink, etc.) and our recruiting binders (notebook, paper, ink, etc.). Then I started looking at the amount of money we could save on paper and ink if we had a way to limit how much we were printing and copying to stay organized. We only have a certain amount of “office supplies” money to use. I have been talking to some friends of mine who are coaches at other programs and they were showing me how they use tablets as opposed to paper notebooks. I realized how much more efficiently you can share information, how much money you can save by eliminating the need for paper notebooks and printed paper and decided that we needed look into those tablets those guys were using. Ultimately after looking into them and continuing to research and calling about them I decided that we needed them. I have planned to order12 (4 coaches on defense, 4 coaches on offense, the defensive GA, the offensive GA, Recruiting Coordinator, myself) and will order them through the MSU IT department so they can service them when needed and the tablets will be insured. These are NOT the coach’s personal tablets…these are the program’s tablets. If a coach decides to leave he must turn it in before he departs just as he does his keys to his office.”
The second request is for enhanced graphic murals in the locker room, the weight-training room and hallways leading to the locker room and weight-training room at a cost of $10,048 which will be funded out of the RFAA Facilities Pathway. Coach Stewart states, “How can we build our brand, create and enhance our vision, and entice top-notch recruits to our program (and also keep the ones that are already here)? We as a staff have discussed the need to “hit the reset button” and look at what we want our brand to be, what we want our program to look like to our athletes and our recruits, what is our vision and ultimately what we want to be known for. That is what makes the graphics so important.” “This graphics project will bring our program to par with other programs in the conference that are using high-end imaging in their recruiting process”, continued Stewart.
Stewart added, “We wanted our message to be simple. “FIND A WAY” – we have to Find A Way to make this program successful! We have to Find A Way to get this program to a point where it can sustain success. We have to Find A Way to continue to “DEVELOP” (our Mission Statement) our players Athletically, Academically, Socially and Spiritually (if desired). Everything we do I want to do with “SPEED” – S = Sharp P = Punctual E = Energy E = Effort D = Details. Be sharp mentally, be sharp in appearance, be focused on the task at hand (whatever that may be at the time). Be punctual (that’s sounds pretty easy – but makes the biggest difference). We play the best when we have the most energy (UT-Martin). Effort is non-negotiable – I refuse to coach it – if they don’t give 100% they don’t care! We must focus on the details (in all of the areas listed above) so that the energy and effort we are putting in aren’t wasted. Those are the things I want our players to see on a daily basis – “FIND A WAY” “SPEED” “DEVELOP” – every time they walk into this facility. That’s what I want parents of recruits to see. Ultimately, that’s what we want people to see when they watch us play on Saturdays…a team that finds a way to win, plays with speed, and players that continue to develop and get better each week.”
“We are pleased that the RFAA donor members continue to support the football program and as a group we remain committed to find ways to support the specific needs of the players and the football program”, said Ryan.
WHAT IS THE NEXT FOCUS FOR THE RFAA
“Murray State Department of Athletics informed the RFAA that MSU has been approved by the NCAA for a $500,000 grant over a five-year period to cover the cost of summer school and summer conditioning, which will bring our football program’s off-season conditioning program to a level already present in the OVC and throughout much of the FCS. This $100,000 a year grant over the next five years will cover two summer sessions for the two deep position players and two special team players; 46 players total.
Murray State Department of Athletics also informed the RFAA that there has been a small change in the scholarship allocation which will permit some additional opportunities to recruit additional players outside of Kentucky and the immediate region. RFAA president Tony Ryan commented “while this is not where we would like to be on scholarships, it is a small step in the right direction.”
These two developments mean the RFAA can begin to focus on other areas requiring funding to assists in the overall program development. A primary defined need is for a structured and enhanced nutrition program supporting a planned ramp up of player conditioning,” said Ryan. “As an Association we remain committed to listening to the needs of the coaches and players in a highly competitive environment at the top of our conference and the FCS as a whole.”
ABOUT THE RACER FOOTBALL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
Founded in 2017 the Racer Football Alumni Association, LLC (RFAA) is an organization of former Racer players, coaches, supporters and staff dedicated to the improvement of the educational and athletic experience for the Murray State Racer football student-athlete. The Racer Football Alumni Association, LLC is not part of or associated with Murray State University, the Racer Club, the Murray State University Foundation or the Murray State University Athletic Department. The RFAA is an approved 501(c)3 charitable organization where your donations are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. For more information and to register at no cost click on the link below.
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