Launched in tandem with the start of the Coach Dean Hood era, the “Clear the Track” campaign has received gifts and pledges in excess of $700,000 to date
The Murray State Athletics Department has announced a new six-figure commitment to the “Clear the Track” fundraising campaign in support of the Racer Football program. Murray State alumnus and former Racer football student-athlete Billy Young (1971-74) has made a $100,000 gift in memory of Tonya Hugueley-Young.
“Murray State Football represents a special time of development in my life,” Young said. “Through the game of football, my teammates and coaches, I learned critical lessons and skills that have served me well in the decades that have followed. I want to do this in memory of the late Tonya Hugueley-Young, and all that she contributed to the development of young people throughout her life and career, including me. This gift also represents my commitment to support similar developmental experiences for the young men whose maturation and growth process continues within the Murray State University Football program today. Finally, I want to challenge Racer Football and Murray State University alumni/supporters to step up, donate and support the remarkable whole-person development currently ongoing within the football program.”
Excerpt from Tonya Hugueley-Young obituary, published on May 26, 2020 by The Daily Memphian
After her high school graduation (Rutherford, TN) Tonya Hugueley-Young attended Murray State University where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Education in 1969. At Murray State, Tonya was honored to be “Ranger Sweetheart” (1967) and “Homecoming Queen” (1968). While at Murray State, Tonya met her future husband, Gerald Young, and they married on October 3, 1971. Later, Tonya received her Master’s + 30 from Murray State University. Tonya had a long and storied career in Henry County, TN where she served as a Physical Education Teacher, Driver’s Ed Teacher, Guidance Counselor, High School Cheerleading Coach and Soccer Coach for 31 years. Tonya was instrumental in starting and serving as Chairman of the Drug Free Alliance “D.A.R.E to Keep Kids off Drugs.” On November 25, 1982, Tonya and Gerald were blessed with the birth of their beautiful daughter Brittney Darling Young.
Full obituary can be found via this link.
Murray State is committed to growing resources for Racer Football by combining new football revenue generated through season tickets, premium seating sales, concessions and multimedia partnerships. In addition to these revenue streams, Racer Athletics aspires to provide $250,000 in new, recurring annual funds with 4-year pledges obtained through the “Clear the Track” campaign to match resources to expectations and support a consistent championship-level program.
“Developing our young people as students, persons, players and eventually professionals is the cornerstone of our student-athlete experience,” said MSU Director of Athletics Kevin Saal. “Mr. Young’s incredibly generous gift, in memory of Tonya Hugueley-Young, not only affirms our collective commitment to developing leaders of character, competence and consequence, this gift further strengthens the resources upon which we can build a consistent championship-level football program equipped to provide additional future resources to all of our 15 sports programs.”
Launched in tandem with Dean Hood‘s hiring as the head football coach in December of 2019, the “Clear the Track” campaign has received gifts and pledges in excess of $700,000 to date. Currently, the total per year commitment (over the next four years) is nearly $175,000 in new resources to support Racer Football. All private funds contributed to the campaign directly support Racer Football in several critical areas including but not limited to facility upgrades, nutrition, recruiting and equipment.
“We are humbled and honored by Mr. Young’s generosity, in memory of Tonya Hugueley-Young and in support of Racer Football,” said MSU football head coach Dean Hood. On behalf of our student-athletes and staff we extend our sincerest thanks and gratitude to Mr. Billy Young, and many others, who have generously contributed to the “Clear the Track” campaign. Your contributions fuel our mission, utilizing football as a tool to develop authentic men. You inspire others to make a similar significant and important impact on our football program, and the young men who develop within it.”
Individuals interested in partnering with Murray State Athletics to support the Racer Football program through the “Clear the Track” initiative should contact Taylor Mudd(firstname.lastname@example.org) for further information.