Georgia Southern University President Dr. Kyle Marrero and Director of Athletics Jared Benko announced on Wednesday the largest philanthropic gift ever committed to Georgia Southern Athletics as Anthony Tippins and his family have committed to the lead gift for the Indoor Practice Facility (IPF). Pending Board of Regents approval, the Indoor Practice Facility will be named in honor of this monumental gift.
"We are extremely humbled and grateful to the Tippins family for their generosity and the impact they are making on Georgia Southern Athletics and our student-athletes," Marrero said. "This is truly a game-changing gift for our university and certainly our athletics programs."
The Indoor Practice Facility, which has now reached over $5 million in commitments since January of this year, will be instrumental in the future success of Georgia Southern Athletics and will greatly enhance the football gameday experience for fans. The 100,000-square-foot facility will provide an elite and year-round practice and training facility for all 17 intercollegiate athletic teams and give many sports a place to practice during inclement weather. Gone will be the days of the football team practicing in The RAC or Hanner Fieldhouse or teams canceling practices due to lightning in the area or heavy rain. This facility will also provide relief for these sports during extreme heat and give the student-athletes the ability to train to compete at the highest level.
"Georgia Southern has meant so much to my family and me, and we saw an opportunity to give back and make a positive impact," Tippins said. "We have been blessed to be able to do so, and we look forward to seeing the exciting changes this gift will bring not only to Georgia Southern athletics but to the University and the region."
The fan experience has been an area of emphasis for Benko since he started, and this new facility will continue that trend. Included in the current plans for the Indoor Practice Facility are gameday tailgate suites that run the length of the facility as well as turnkey tailgating options inside the facility.
"As we continue to identify various initiatives to improve our football gameday experience, the opportunity to incorporate unique, one-of-a-kind suites embedded into an indoor practice facility truly sets this facility apart from its peers," Benko said. "As our fan and alumni bases continue to grow, our goal is to provide premium amenities at various price points while also incorporating added convenience."
This transformational gift by the Tippins family allows the Eagles to work on finalizing the schematic design and the total construction costs for the facility, to be submitted for final review and approval from the Board of Regents. This project will be funded entirely through the Georgia Southern Athletic Foundation. This commitment, along with every other commitment over the past 11 months, has provided enough evidence that there is support for the facility, and the funding should be obtained. Along with private donations, which will continue to be raised through the Athletic Foundation, future revenues will be expected from the tailgate suites and turnkey tailgating, which will also provide additional cash flow for the facility.
Anthony Tippins, originally from Claxton, is the current President of Coolsys Professional Solutions. A retired 23-year Veteran and Commissioned Officer in the United States Naval Reserve and a Registered Professional Engineer in the state of Georgia, Tippins is a 1992 graduate of Georgia Southern University. Tippins earned his BS in mechanical engineering technology from GS and an Executive MBA from Emory University. After working in multiple key management and engineering roles, Tippins co-founded Aztec Energy Partners, which was sold to Danfoss in 2006. He then started Axiom Energy Solutions, which Coolsys acquired in 2018.
This gift will put Anthony Tippins in the prestigious Oak Circle, the highest level of recognition in the Georgia Southern Athletic Foundation.