UNCP begins building its new football program


“It’s first and 10,” UNC Pembroke Athletic Director Dan Kenney told the Football Advisory Committee at its June meeting.

The installation of 1,100 new seats at the Belk Athletic Complex will be completed by June 30, Kenney said. A date to begin the search for a head football coach is near.

“The head coach is the key to a start-up program,” Kenney said. “We are asking you to think about what qualities we want in a coach.”

“We are seeking someone with public relations skills, someone who can relate to our community and our community can relate to,” he said. “Our coach should be an unbelievable spokesman for the University and have unbridled enthusiasm for the program.”

The athletic director announced that Chancellor Allen C. Meadors will give the public more information on Monday, July 11 at a 6 p.m. live radio program from IT’Z Sports Bar and Grill in Fayetteville, N.C. Chancellor Meadors and Kenney will appear on “The Press Box,” WFNC’s live sports talk show, hosted by Fayetteville Observer sports writer Brett Friedlander and Allen Smothers.

“We’re asking our alumni and supporters to come out and cheer us on,” Kenney said.

Football returns to UNCP in fall 2007 after a more than 50-year absence. Faculty, students and alumni gave overwhelming support for football in surveys.

The first recruiting class will be signed in spring 2006. Construction and planning for upgraded and new facilities are well underway.

June construction will bring stadium seating up to 1,600 with plans for more. A new irrigated practice field, located on the north end of campus, was completed last spring and additional drainage work on the two practice fields has also been completed at the Belk Athletic Center.

Sandy Waterkotte, vice chancellor of UNCP’s Office for Advancement, said planning on a campaign for football is well underway.

“The two most asked questions are: ‘who is the coach’ and ‘how can I get season tickets?’” Waterkotte said. “We are working on a ticket plan as we speak.”

UNCP is also seeking honorary chairs for its fund-raising campaign.

“We’re talking to several really exciting prospects to lead the campaign for football,” Waterkotte said. “We are on the edge of history and excitement is building.”

Members of the Football Advisory Committee include: Carl Meares Jr., from Fair Bluff, N.C., and chair of the Board of Trustees, Trustee Dick Taylor of Lumberton, N.C., Jesse Oxendine, from Charlotte, N.C., and a member of UNCP’s 1951 football team, Olivia Oxendine, from Southern Pines, N.C., and former president of the Alumni Association, former trustees Bob Caton of Lumberton and Mac Campbell of Elizabethtown, Alphonso McRae, an alumna and Athletic Hall of Fame member, and Steve Bourquin, a faculty member.

For more information about football at UNCP, please contact the Athletic Department at 910.521.6227 or athletics@uncp.edu or the Office for Advancement at 910.521.6252 or advancement@uncp.edu.