*This story first appeared on ucfknights.com 

UCF head football coach Gus Malzahn and his wife Kristi have made a $250,000 gift commitment to McNamara Cove which is part of “The Gateway” football campus project made possible by Sharon and Marc Hagle.

The commitment marks a major step forward in creating momentum for UCF’s Mission XII initiative as the Knights look toward their official transition to the Big 12 Conference July 1, 2023.

“We are excited about the future for UCF,” said Kristi and Gus Malzahn. “We love Orlando, This Place, our amazing fans and our players. McNamara Cove, among other projects and initiatives for UCF Athletics, are game-changers in the lives of our student-athletes. Just as we always challenge our players, our goal is to use our influence in a positive way and hopefully this gift does that and helps us compete for championships moving forward in the Big 12.”

According to UCF vice president and director of athletics Terry Mohajir, “We are grateful that Kristi and Gus made a commitment to help fund our ongoing efforts to further develop the Kenneth G. Dixon Athletics Village, specifically McNamara Cove. We believe this gift will allow us to better serve our student-athletes and the UCF community. We hope their leadership inspires others.”

The future vision of the UCF football campus was first presented to UCF Board of Trustees in August 2021, including significant proposed new elements that will enhance the Knights’ ability to compete for football championships. The intent is to create a dedicated football campus that will consolidate Knights’ facilities in the areas of housing, nutrition, sports medicine and recovery, sports performance, academics and career services.

McNamara Cove will provide UCF student-athletes a place for recovery and recreation each day. It will also deliver one of the most unique tailgating experiences in college football and host many team, alumni and community events throughout the year.

Design of the Hagle Football Gateway project includes McNamara Cove, Nicholson Plaza, a VIP parking lot and renovated practice fields, is underway.

For more information about Mission XII or to make a gift in support of the initiative, please visit www.missionxii.com.

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