A Vision For Excellence: Strategic Planning For Athletics

University of North Georgia Athletics Five-Year Business Plan - Fiscal Years 2013 through 2018

The University of North Georgia - Dahlonega campus - is a fully diversified university with a student body of more than 6,000 students. A unit of the University System of Georgia, North Georgia was founded in 1873 and holds distinction as a state leadership institution. The historic town of Dahlonega, GA, has expanded dramatically in recent years to support the growth of the student body and faculty.

In January 2013, North Georgia College & State University merged with Gainesville State College to form the University of North Georgia. The result of this consolidation created a student population of 15,000 plus students across four campuses. These campuses are located in Dahlonega, Cumming, Gainesville and Watkinsville, GA. The role that the athletics program will play in unifying these four campuses will be pivotal to the success of the new institution, the University of North Georgia.

“Athletics is essential to help the university build community to support all of our endeavors,” said Lindsay Reeves, Director of Athletics. “We have excellent student-athletes who compete at the highest levels and need facilities to match this.”

To enable our student-athletes and coaches to continue their ascent in both the classroom and as true challengers in the Peach Belt Conference, the University of North Georgia, in conjunction with the Athletic Department has launched the A Vision For Excellence strategic plan. A Vision For Excellence is the largest plan ever at North Georgia to focus on athletic facility renovations and program endowments, providing our student-athletes and coaches with the resources necessary to be successful both academically and athletically on the field of competition.

The A Vision For Excellence plan focuses on three strategic areas:

Continue to Improve Our Facilities – In the next five years we want to enhance our existing sports venues so that our student-athletes will be competing in among the most contemporary facilities in the PBC.  

Attract the Finest Coaches & Student-Athletes – We must continue to raise the scholarship and other funds necessary to recruit both the best coaches as well as the most athletically and academically qualified students available. 

Operations - Additional funding will provide the security of access to the equipment, training and travel monies needed for our coaches and athletes to perform at the highest level.

Like all public colleges and universities in Georgia, the University of North Georgia receives no financial support for athletic facilities from the State of Georgia. Thus, the Department of Athletics must raise the money for facilities, scholarships and operations either through private funding or student activity/athletic fees. Interestingly, some of North Georgia’s competitors in the PBC are in states that do fund athletic facilities. South Carolina is one such example.

The funding challenge is further complicated by the limits to which the University can charge an athletic fee. Even with one of the highest fee rates in the University System of Georgia, the University of North Georgia - Dahlonega Campus still falls short in athletics funding. Athletic fees will simply not provide the means necessary to fund capital improvements.

To be sure, the A Vision For Excellence plan will have a tremendous impact on athletics at the University of North Georgia - Dahlonega Campus, as it will promote unprecedented revenue growth.

“This project is more than an effort to improve athletics facilities. It is about the continued development of the university as a regional academic and athletic power and its ability to continue to attract the best and brightest students,” said President Bonita C. Jacobs. “I am convinced these improvements will move North Georgia forward.”

Each of the facilities projects listed below will not only take North Georgia athletics to another level of training and competition, but will also make available to the community athletic venues capable of attracting conference, regional and national events. A driving force for local and regional economic development, state-of-the-art athletic facilities will bring about an improved quality of life, a strong sense of community pride and an enhanced image of North Georgia as an institution.

North Georgia Athletic Complex
The A Vision For Excellence plan includes $10 million in new construction and renovations at the North Georgia Athletic Complex which is located off Morrison Moore Parkway (currently home of the men’s and women’s soccer, baseball and softball teams). It is important to note that this $10 million is NOT part of the funding projections needed for renovations and other work done to Memorial Hall. 

Since its inception in 1998, North Georgia has worked hard to make the North Georgia Athletic Complex one of the most beautifully located and designed athletic facilities in the country.  However, there remains work to be done as we endeavor to have a first class facility.

Baseball/Softball Field House - SCHEDULED FOR COMPLETION BY AUGUST 2013
Kicking off the A Vision for Excellence plan is construction of the Coleman Fieldhouse for baseball/softball.  Coleman Fieldhouse, which will support the baseball and softball programs at North Georgia, would not be possible without the generous support of the University of North Georgia, brothers George, Richard and Larry Coleman, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Stringer, Mr. Scott Head, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Hardman and Dr. John and Mrs. Mary Helen McGruder.

A 5,000 square ft. facility, the Baseball/Softball Field House will be at the North Georgia Athletic Complex and will feature:

  • Public restrooms
  • Concessions
  • Baseball and Softball locker rooms with team meeeting rooms
  • Baseball and Softball coaches and assistant coaches offices
  • Remote Athletic Training facility
  • Umpire locker room

Soccer Field House
Renovations to the soccer portion of the UNG Athletic Complex will be the next phase of the project and will include a similiar field house featuring:

  • Public restrooms
  • Men’s and women’s locker rooms with team lounges
  • Coaches and assistant coaches offices
  • Athletic Training facility
  • Meeting Room / Hospitality Suite
  • Referee locker room

Shared Indoor Hitting Facility

  • Multi sport use including baseball, golf, soccer, softball and tennis
  • State-of-the-art video system for sports performance analysis
  • Climate controlled indoor facility

Future Projects

  • Synthetic field turf on baseball, softball and soccer fields
  • Hospitality suite at Bob Stein Stadium
  • Hospitality suite at Haines and Carolyn Hill Stadium
  • Lighting set to NCAA standards on baseball, softball and soccer fields
  • Tennis Complex featuring 10 Courts and field house with hospitality suite
  • Additional Parking

Memorial Hall

Memorial Hall, completed in 1960 as a multipurpose facility designed to house both North Georgia’s athletics and military programs, currently houses classroom space, the men’s and women’s basketball programs, as well as a variety of  coaches, athletic administration and faculty offices.  Initially built for a student population of approximately 1,000, today Memorial Hall serves approximately 6,000 students. 

The renovations needed at Memorial Hall are not part of the improvements planned for the North Georgia Athletic Complex.  We are making minor improvements in Memorial Hall in anticipation of major renovation work to the building in the future.  Because the building houses classroom space, the use of state funds for renovations is feasible.  Short of a major overhaul of the space, which may take several years to fund, certain specific projects have been identified to make the building more conducive to recruiting student athletes and hosting guests at athletic and other events.

  • Men’s and Women’s Locker Room renovations/relocated
  • Training Facilities (Weight Room) - equipment purchase and replacement
  • Main entrance/lobby renovations
  • Chair back seating installed - COMPLETED PRIOR TO 2012-2013 SEASON
  • Reception/Hospitality Suite
  • Improved lighting
  • Improved sound system

Scholarship Endowment

Each of North Georgia’s 12 athletic teams is allotted a maximum number of scholarships by the NCAA.  Last season, North Georgia provided approximately 60% of that maximum number, which was the fifth lowest number of scholarships awarded in the Peach Belt Conference.  Further, not only has the competition for the most talented student-athletes continued to rise, but North Georgia’s academic standards are among the highest in the Peach Belt Conference. 

Currently, a full scholarship at North Georgia is valued at approximately $25,000 annually.  This figure includes tuition, books, room and board.  At current market returns, it takes approximately $500,000 to fully fund an annual scholarship.  In comparison, $25,000 will endow a scholarship of approximately $1,000 annually. 

Our hope is to give our student-athletes the opportunity to succeed in and out of the classroom while enjoying college life here at North Georgia. Your donation to scholarships is greatly appreciated and is one of the most important ways to show your pride and support for North Georgia Athletics.