The Mustangs are on the move.

Reflecting the resurgence of the Mustang football program and the national scope of The Second Century Campaign, SMU Athletics set new annual giving records for the fourth consecutive year.

Total giving to Athletics, including both operating and capital gifts, exceeded $19.7 million in fiscal 2012 (which ended May 31), up 131 percent from fiscal 2009.

Contributing to this total, the Athletics Annual Fund reached an all-time high, surpassing $8.3 million, an increase of 77 percent over fiscal 2009. Additionally, contributions to the Mustang Club hit $2.6 million, exceeding the $2.5 million fiscal year funding goal, an increase of 73 percent from fiscal 2009.

The new excitement about Mustang Athletics is being felt at the box office. Season ticket sales for Mustang home football games in fall 2012 have already set a record for the most in the recorded history of the University. As of August, sales were up 56 percent over 2011. In addition, early sales of season tickets for Mustang men’s basketball had exceeded sales in the same period the previous year by 45 percent.

Momentum in Athletics fundraising parallels SMU’s success on the playing field, particularly in football, with the Mustangs having reached three postseason games in a row. The support also reflects a recognition of the University’s commitment to having a top Athletics program moving forward.

That commitment is embodied in a number of new initiatives as well as the naming of two key leaders who will play prominent roles in the future of SMU Athletics.

In July Rick Hart was named as the University’s new director of Athletics, arriving on the Hilltop after having served for six years as director of Athletics at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. During his tenure, UTC teams captured 17 regular season and 22 Southern Conference tournament championships, more than any other school in the conference, and competed in numerous NCAA championship events. Hart also has a record of commitment to athletes’ academic success and to fiscal responsibility.

Hart’s arrival followed the announcement in April that legendary coach Larry Brown had been named as the new SMU head men’s basketball coach. Brown is the only coach to have won both an NCAA national championship and an NBA title.

SMU Athletics will take another major step forward when the University joins the BIG EAST in 2013. In addition to enabling SMU teams to gain the benefits of top competition, the move will dramatically raise SMU’s national profile.

In anticipation of the move, SMU has embarked upon a major renovation and expansion of iconic Moody Coliseum, home to men’s and women’s basketball and women’s volleyball, as well as numerous other University and community events.

Enhancements will include expansion of the coliseum’s north side concourse, new premium seating, courtside retractable seating designated for students and renovation of the entry lobby and concourses. Technology improvements throughout will enhance the spectator experience. In addition, office suites, restrooms and locker rooms will be upgraded.

A “Tip-off at Moody” event to celebrate the new era in SMU Athletics and the Moody Coliseum project will be held October 10, 2012. The gathering, which will take place in the coliseum, will include food and festivities as well as the introductions of coaches, players and major contributors to the Moody project.

Join the momentum and be a part of the Mustang stampede, charging into a new era for Mustang Athletics. To learn more, contact Tim Leonard, senior associate Athletics Director for Development, at 214-768-4465 or tleonard@smu.edu.

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