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The Lehigh Football Partnership

With all the Spring football reports, coverage of FCS Players in the NFL Draft and free agency, maintenance on the Facebook page, and a general blog spring cleaning in progress (do I really need to have the 2006 schedule still up on there?), I almost missed a very important announcement made by Lehigh's athletics department in the days after the Spring game.

It's the announcement of the Lehigh Football Partnership, an extension of the existing Lehigh Sports partnership:

“This is just a first step, and an exciting one, in a series of steps we have planned to build sport-specific partnerships for each of our varsity sports,” said Bill Griffin, Associate Director of Athletics. “The mission of the Athletics Partnership is to provide a framework and support system that will enable our former student-athletes to remain connected to their Lehigh sports program, and all who participated in it, in a manner that’s fun and impactful for the sport they played.”

Pete DeLuca ’79, a member of Lehigh’s 1977 National Championship Team, will serve as the Alumni Ambassador for the Football Partnership. “The Lehigh Football program is important to me, so if we can steadily build a strong Football Partnership, the football program will only benefit from the ongoing engagement and support of our football alums.”
It's an extension of Lehigh's "Forever Family" Athletics Partnership campaign, which already boasts 3,500 participants (full disclosure: even though I'm not a football alumnus, I'm a donor to the Partnership). The Football Partnership's aim is to reach out to former football alumni specifically to keep the connection alive with the University and the team.

If you're around the Lehigh football program for any length of time it's easy to see the bond with the groups of football alumni - in some ways, it's simply putting up a formal organization to support what football alumni have already been doing informally for years - through tailgating, coming back to campus for non-Lehigh/Lafayette games, and other activities. And it's not only teammates, either: it spans generations as well.

It seems like the organization has gotten off to a flying start - Pete has already set up five committee chairmen, and the weekend of the Spring game involved a gathering with coach Coen (called "Inside the Huddle II") as well as a postgame reception at Rust Pavillion.

With such pumped-up alumni, key organizers in place, and a large initial group of members, it's hard to see this as anything but a huge positive for Lehigh football. (I just hope they keep coming to Lehigh Football Nation and the Lehigh Sports Forum for news and information!)


Anonymous said…
Is this a precursor to financial support for football scholarships?
Anonymous said…
Anonymous said…
Notice all the white faces....back then LU was not that integrated a team or a U for that it's pleasantly different.

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