LUBBOCK, TX - Texas Tech Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt announced Wednesday a $10 million gift to The Campaign for Fearless Champions that will be used to construct The Dustin R. Womble Basketball Practice Facility.
As part of the announcement, Hocutt recognized the Dusty and Leisha Womble family for their generous lead gift to the project while also presenting renderings for the proposed $23 million facility that will be built west of United Supermarkets Arena.
"We are so thankful to the Womble family for their unwavering commitment to our basketball programs," Hocutt said. "We believe this gift will create the momentum needed to raise the additional funds necessary to break ground on what will be a truly remarkable facility. We can't thank Dusty and Leisha Womble enough, and we look forward to having their name on this incredible facility in the years to come."
As part of the proposed renderings, Texas Tech intends to construct one of the most modern and cutting-edge practice facilities in college basketball. The Dustin R. Womble Basketball Practice Facility will feature two practice courts, a strength and conditioning weight room, men's and women's basketball coaches' offices as well as sports medicine and nutrition areas.
The facility will be made possible by gifts to The Campaign for Fearless Champions, which has already funded 22 facility projects since its launch in August 2014. The campaign has also surpassed its goal of raising $10 million in student-athlete scholarship endowments as well as $5 million in endowments for the J.T. and Margaret Talkington Leadership Academy.
"My collegiate years at Texas Tech prepared me for a successful business career. This gift is my opportunity to say 'thank you' and to give back to the university that has provided so much for me and for my family," Womble said. "Prior to today, many great Red Raiders have laid the building blocks for athletics success. Now is our time to step up and further that vision Kirby has articulated in our Campaign for Fearless Champions.
"This training facility will do much more than put Tech on equal footing with our peers. It will set the standard for what other universities can aspire to have."
The Dustin R. Womble Basketball Practice Facility will be located directly across Indiana Avenue, providing student-athletes and coaches quick access to nearby United Supermarkets Arena. Both the Texas Tech men's and women's basketball programs will move their day-to-day operations to the facility once completed, giving both teams 24-hour access throughout the year for student-athletes to practice and train.
"I speak for everyone in our program in thanking Dusty Womble and his family for this generous gift to Texas Tech University and to Red Raider Basketball," Tech men's basketball coach Chris Beard said. "This facility is a difference maker in our program and for the future of Texas Tech Basketball. It will be a tremendous asset for our current and future players. The facility will be a huge asset in both recruiting and in player development. I also want to thank all our past players and our coaches for their investment in our program. We all appreciate Dusty Womble and his vision for the future of Texas Tech Basketball."
Most importantly, The Dustin R. Womble Basketball Practice Facility continues Texas Tech's investment into its basketball programs through philanthropic gifts to The Campaign for Fearless Champions.
Over the past year, Texas Tech has made significant renovations to United Supermarkets Arena with upgrades to the locker room, film areas and sports medicine facilities for both basketball teams as well as the volleyball program. In addition, Texas Tech also installed a new center-hung video board prior to the 2016-17 season that drastically improved the gameday environment.
"Our staff is so grateful to the Womble family for its support in providing our student-athletes with one of the top basketball practice facilities in the country," Lady Raider head coach Candi Whitaker said. "This facility will be instrumental in our player development as well as recruiting the nation's top players to our campus."
The Dustin R. Womble Basketball Practice Facility is one of seven remaining projects Hocutt outlined Oct. 20 during the ribbon cutting for the $48 million Sports Performance Center, one of the top multi-purpose facilities in the country that will impact each of Texas Tech's 450-plus student-athletes.
At the time, Hocutt simply stated The Campaign for Fearless Champions was far from over. In fact, the momentum created through the campaign had encouraged Texas Tech Athletics to think more broadly about its future.
The Dustin R. Womble Basketball Practice Facility will be the first project in the final stage of the campaign, which will also include renovations to the south end of Jones AT&T Stadium as well as Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park, the Football Training Facility, the McLeod Tennis Center and the Marsha Sharp Center for Student-Athletes. Texas Tech also has plans to construct a stand-alone dining hall on campus near the Frazier Alumni Pavilion.
"The Campaign for Fearless Champions has been lifted up by the generosity of so many donors," Hocutt said. "We are far from done. Today's gift marks another milestone in the campaign and provides us the momentum to move forward with continuing our vision for the future of Texas Tech Athletics."
(Courtesy: Texas Tech Sports Communications Department)