UNI’s outdoor football practice facility receives $2 million gift

UNI’s outdoor football practice facility receives $2 million gift

UNI NEWS SERVICES – A $2 million gift from Doug and Ann Goschke, residents of Port St. Lucie, Florida, has set the stage to make outdoor artificial turf a reality for the University of Northern Iowa football program.

“This past summer Ann and I visited with UNI Head Football Coach Mark Farley. I asked Mark what he needed to make his strong football program better. Without hesitating he said, ‘an artificial turf outdoor practice field.’ Ann and I are pleased to make this gift that will provide that facility for Panther football,” said Doug Goschke. “As a former collegiate football player, I know that you play like you practice. Having a practice field with turf similar to your competition is a plus.”

“Doug and Ann's extraordinary gift will have a tremendous impact on UNI football. The key to the development of a team is through the ability to practice and prepare in a safe and competitive environment,” said UNI Head Football Coach Mark Farley. “This new field will allow future Panthers to prepare through all weather conditions on a surface that is safe and usable late into the fall as well as in early spring. I couldn't be more grateful for Doug and Ann's incredible support for our team and our university in transforming our football facilities.”

With the Goschkes’ generous investment, funding will be in place to ensure there is a safe and quality surface and amenities for years to come. The outdoor facility will relieve the strain of scheduling conflicts currently experienced in the UNI-Dome. It is extremely challenging to coordinate the schedules of football, track and softball practices around revenue-generating events like the high school football championships, sport shows and concerts. This facility provides another practice space and in turn, creates more opportunities for other teams to share the UNI-Dome field.

In recognition of their gift, the facility will be named in honor of the Goschkes. The Goschkes made their gift in memory of Doug’s late sister, Junean Goschke, a 1966 alumna of the State College of Iowa, now the University of Northern Iowa. During her lifetime, Junean served on a number of UNI Athletics advisory boards. The field serves as a testament to the Goschke family legacy at the University of Northern Iowa. Doug’s sisters, Pam Goschke and Sue Goschke, also graduated from UNI in 1973 and 1977, respectively. Additionally, Doug and Ann have several nieces and a nephew who graduated from the University of Northern Iowa.

The upgrade to artificial turf is an initiative within Panthers Rising, the UNI Athletics’ strategic plan to achieve unprecedented success for Panther student-athletes.

“Doug and Ann’s gift will help our football program prepare to compete at a championship level,” said UNI Director of Athletics David Harris. “Over the next several years, our plan is to continue to provide our sports programs the resources necessary to achieve unprecedented success as outlined in our strategic plan. Doug and Ann are helping us achieve the lofty goals we’ve set for our football program and are propelling UNI Athletics to new heights. We are extremely thankful for their generous support of our department.”

Plans for the outdoor practice facility are being finalized. Construction on the project is set to begin in the spring of 2021.

The Goschkes’ gift was made to UNI Athletics through the UNI Foundation. If you are interested in supporting athletic projects, please contact Jamar Thompson, senior director of development for athletics at 319-273-7817 or jamar.thompson@uni.edu. More information can be found online at supportthepanthers.com.