Pattons Endow Football Coaching
will have the first endowed head football coaching position
in the Southeastern Conference as a result of a gift from
Richard and Robin Patton of Nashville, University officials
First-year coach Bobby Johnson
will have the Bronson Ingram Head Football Coach’s Chair,
which is named in honor of Robin Patton’s late father. Ingram,
a Nashville business and philanthropic leader, served as president
of the Vanderbilt Board of Trust from 1991-1995 and led the
Campaign for Vanderbilt, which raised more the $560 million
for the University.
“A vibrant Athletic Department
is important to a well-rounded University,” Robin Patton says.
“People are important -- my father knew that -- because good
things start with the right people. We believe Bobby Johnson
is the right man to lead our football program. My father loved
the Commodores and he would want all of us to help keep top
talent at Vanderbilt University. We hope this gift will inspire
others toward that goal.”
The Patton’s gift makes Vanderbilt
one of a handful in the country with endowed coaching positions,
and the only one in the SEC.
“This is an extraordinarily generous
and unique gift,” said Chancellor Gordon Gee. “Robin and Richard
have made the most important investment in Vanderbilt’s future
- a permanent commitment to excellence. We are grateful for
their continued confidence in Vanderbilt, and hope that is
will be an inspiration to others who want the University to
compete at the highest levels in all it does.”
Director of Athletics Todd Turner
called the endowment “the ultimate leadership gift” while
noting the commitment to Vanderbilt athletics that he hopes
will encourage others to follow.
Added Coach Bobby Johnson: “I
am proud to have my position endowed in the name of Bronson
Ingram. “I have been asked many times why I think we will
succeed and my answer always starts with the commitment from
our administration and friends like Richard and Robin Patton.
They are as passionate about excellence as we are.”
In addition to the new head coaching
position, the Vanderbilt Athletics Department currently has
29 endowed funds that are providing a total of 49 scholarships
for student-athletes competing in 14 varsity sports.