PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania sprint football program enjoyed another spectacular alumni weekend to kick off its 2014 season. This time, though, the weekend was enhanced more than usual as the program celebrated the endowment of the program’s head coaching position.
The endowment was officially announced by Penn’s new Director of Athletics and Recreation, M. Grace Calhoun, at the Inn at Penn during Saturday night’s reception and dinner. Eventually, the coaching position will be named after the program’s current longtime mentor, Bill Wagner.
"I want to thank the entire Penn sprint football community for their efforts over the last several years in getting this head coaching position endowed," said Calhoun. "Bill Wagner has become an absolute legend among his players over 45 years now, and I am so proud that this endowment will one day bear his name. This endowment is also so important for the program as a whole, as it allows Penn Athletics to redirect its resources to the team's general operations. It was a great weekend, and I am thankful I was able to be a part of it."
“This is a dream come true,” said Wagner, who enters his 45th season at the Penn sprint football helm. “This was a need for several years to secure the future of the sprint football program. We had many alumni and parents step up and make it happen. The efforts, leadership and loyalty of our sport board made it happen along with the energy and support of the athletics development staff. I sincerely thank everyone who has been a part of this process and made this dream a reality.”
“The Sprint alumni, the current players, and the parents are extremely proud to have finished the endowment of the Sprint head coaching position,” said John Winter C’78 G’78, co-chair of the sprint football sport board. “Our sport holds a unique place in the history of Penn Athletics, and to be able to now honor Coach Bill Wagner is very special to everyone involved with our program over the past 44 years. As a coach, mentor, friend and role model, Wags has had a positive impact on more than 1,500 Penn athletes. Reaching the head coach endowment goal is a small way to say thank you to a man to whom all his players owe so much.”
This is the 14th coaching position to be endowed at the University of Pennsylvania, along with the Director of the Penn Relays position.