The University of North Georgia is getting a one million dollar private donation to be used for digital scoreboards at its baseball, soccer and softball fields.
"This gift from Lynn Cottrell will significantly enhance our athletic complex and the experience of our student-athletes and fans," UNG President Bonita Jacobs said. "The generosity of donors like Lynn and Mike Cottrell makes an incredible impact at UNG, and we are very grateful for their support."
Baseball head coach Tom Cantrell, softball head coach Mike Davenport and men's soccer head coach Patrice Parris joined Mike and Lynn Cottrell and Jacobs at Coleman Field House for a Nov. 22 signing ceremony announcing the gift.
The new scoreboards will display photos of players and their statistics during the lineup announcement or when players are at-bat in baseball and softball. Eventually, the scoreboards could show instant replays. The baseball and softball scoreboards could be ready as early as the 2020 season.
UNG Director of Athletics Lindsay Reeves is thankful for the Cottrells' generosity to the Department of Athletics.
"We have first-class facilities that rival all Division II schools and some Division I schools," she said. "These video boards are going to take us to the next level for fan experience."
Davenport, whose program won the 2015 national title and has won six straight Peach Belt Conference championships, is thankful for the new scoreboards on the way.
"We are blessed with some of the top facilities not only in Division II softball but the whole nation," Davenport said. "With the gracious donation from Mike and Lynn Cottrell, this will be another huge improvement to our facility for our student-athletes and our fans while they watch the Nighthawks play."
Parris said the digital scoreboards give UNG an advantage against its rivals.
"Our facilities are a major recruitment tool for our program; having a digital scoreboard allows us to continue to market the University of North Georgia at the national level," Parris said. "It is truly a blessing and inspiration."
Earlier this year, the Cottrells gave $10 million to help fund a new home for UNG’s Mike Cottrell College of Business. Groundbreaking is expected in 2020 on the Cottrell Center for Business, Technology, and Innovation on UNG's Dahlonega Campus, and the facility is expected to open in 2022. The gift announced in June was the second $10 million gift to UNG from the couple.
The 91,000-square-foot business and technology building, with an estimated total cost of $35 million, will be located off Chestatee Street near the main campus entrance.