When it comes to athletics at the University of Central Florida, new management means big changes. Since athletic director Danny White took over in late 2015, there have been plenty of noticeable changes. For starters, the football, basketball and baseball teams all received new head coaches. Now, it’s time for the baseball team to get a little more love.
On Monday, the school announced they received a donation of $1.5 million from John Euliano. The money will go toward “expansion and renovation of the UCF baseball complex,” per the press release.
Construction is expected to begin following the 2017 season with a completion date sometime in 2018. Euliano, who has a son who is an alumnus of the school and a daughter who currently attends UCF, serves as the vice chair of the UCF Foundation board of directors.
“Baseball has always been a passion of mine,” Euliano said, per the release. “UCF is world-class academically, and I want to see the university reach the same level of success in athletics. In order to get there, we need first-class facilities for our student-athletes.
“I have such an amazing opportunity to help the UCF baseball team achieve its goal by funding an upgraded baseball facility, and I’m excited to partner with them in this endeavor. We are going to build a championship program, and I’m proud to be a small part of it.”
Cost for the entire project will cost around $3 million. Per the release, a lot of the construction will revolve around a new home-plate tower that will have a 300-seat premium club section with indoor and outdoor seating.
“This is a big-time, game-changing gift for us,” White said, per the release. “When John Euliano Park opens, we’ll have a state-of-the-art facility for our baseball program that will provide great benefits to our student-athletes, our coaches and our fans.
New Knights baseball coach Greg Lovelady lauded Euliano’s donation, referencing the impact he believes it will have on recruiting talent to the school.
“When the young men we’re recruiting see the renderings, they’re going to be even more excited to come play baseball at UCF,” he said. “Great facilities, great support and great fans all played a part in my desire to coach at UCF. With this one amazing gesture, John Euliano raised the level of all those areas.”
If Euliano was looking for a way to solidify in the history books of UCF Athletics, he just hit a home run.