McCarthy donates to BU football program

Story by Kyle Davis

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Baker University alumnus and Baker Hall of Fame inductee Mike McCarthy was only a Wildcat for two years, yet he continues to make his presence at Baker felt more than 20 years later.

For the third consecutive year, Green Bay Packers head coach McCarthy has donated $50,000, with the Packers matching the donation to equal $100,000, to the Baker University football program. This is the third year of a proposed five-year plan.

“I think that’s a tremendous commitment from such a class individual,” Dan Harris, former athletic director and one of McCarthy’s coaches at Baker, said. “Especially a guy who has reached the pinnacle of coaching.”

Each year, $50,000 is set aside for an endowed scholarship in McCarthy’s name, while the other half is used for scholarships and to enhance the program through the weight room or stadium. The McCarthy endowment is up to $175,000 and will reach $275,000 by the end of the five years.

This year, head coach Mike Grossner spent $5,000 on a new dumbbell set for the weight room. Scholarship money from McCarthy’s donation was given to four players who were also transfer students; freshman James Guyton, junior Kyle Rooks and seniors Brandon Hill and Charleston DeLa Cruz.

“I think it’s huge for the school to show that type of gifts and I know it’s allowed us to survive for the last three years,” Grossner said. “We’ve had budget cuts and it’s allowed us to scholarship four players with a little extra money that we didn’t have.”

Grossner said even after the five years of donations ends, he is hoping McCarthy will continue to give back to the university.

“My gut feeling is, if he has the opportunity and can get it done, he’ll keep helping us in any way he can,” Grossner said.

McCarthy may be hours away in Green Bay, Wis., but he has not forgotten about his alma mater.

“Every time I’ve seen him every year, he’s always asked how things are, what are they doing for you, are they getting it done,” Grossner said. “He’s real concerned with where we’re headed as a football program.”

Harris said his humble attitude could be seen since McCarthy’s playing days.

“That’s the kind of leader he was,” Harris said.” As a team captain back in ’85 and ’86 he was such a humble guy, but yet he was such a dominating force on the football field as a tight end.”