Tom and Mark Jurich were enormously successful in getting their fellow Louisvillians to share their collective vision for UofL athletics, attracting tens of millions of dollars for new and improved facilities, enabling the school’s team to compete at the highest levels and in state of the art facilities.
But how much did Tom and Mark personally contribute out of their own money to the school? We now know, thanks to an open records request to the University of Louisville. First, however, a brief reminder of what they accomplished for the University.
Tom, who was fired in October, will be remembered as the athletic administrator who guided the University of Louisville out of the wilderness of college athletics and the makeshift conferences to a seat at the big table and membership in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Over nearly two decades, Jurich transformed Belknap Campus with new, expanded or greatly enhanced facilities in every sport, including basketball, football, baseball, soccer, track and field, softball and lacrosse. UofL is competing seventh season in the KFC Yum! Center and nearing completion of a third expansion of Cardinal Stadium.
His son Mark Jurich, who was fired earlier this month, was a All-America baseball player at UofL. He joined the Athletic Department as an intern in 2004, advancing to senior associate athletic director for development and overseeing the Cardinal Athletic Fund. It was easy to see Mark being offered an athletic director position at a major school or succeeding his dad at UofL.
The younger Jurich oversaw numerous major fundraising efforts, including Lynn Stadium for soccer, the expansions of Cardinal Stadium and Jim Patterson Stadium, as well as the Thornton’s Academic Center of Excellence.
Now about those individual financial contributions:
According to the Open Records response, Tom officially contributed a total of $5,040 to the University during his time at the University. The total included $3,940 for athletics and a one-time gift of $1,000 to the UofL Foundation.
Tom’s contribution total to athletics included a $1,250 check in 2005 for the expansion of Jim Patterson Stadium, a $1,360 donation in 2010 for women’s field hockey, two checks for $500 and checks for $250 and $80 for the women’s golf team. He also wrote a check for $100 for a dance marathon benefiting UofL Medical School research.
Mark officially contributed a total of $5,500 to athletic department projects starting in 2009. Those contributions include $2,000 for Cardinal Stadium expansion, $1,500 for Jim Patterson Stadium expansion, and $1,900 for women’s field hockey.
Whether those contribution totals are commensurate with the money they were making from the school or soliciting for UofL is for someone else to decide. Some would argue that individuals are not expected to make financial contributions to their employers. Others would counter that they should have been giving more when they were so frequently asking for money from the community.
Difficult to argue against either of those positions. What no one can seriously question, however, is how much better the University of Louisville is today because of their work and overall contribution to UofL athletics.
Enormous and far-ranging, forever raising the bar for those who will follow Tom and Mark Jurich at UofL.