By: Michael Hanich | Sports Editor
The University of South Alabama is one step closer to finishing their home football stadium. On Tuesday, Hargrove Engineers + Constructors donated $1.5 million towards constructing and renovating of the Hancock Whitney Stadium that is projected to finish before the Fall of 2020 on campus.
Jaguars athletic director Joel Erdmann presented the gift of the donation while school president, Tony Waldrop recognized the donation. This donation towards the on-campus stadium is the continuation of the relationship between the University of South Alabama and the Hargrove Engineering + Constructing. Over 160 University of South Alabama alumni have been employed by Hargrove Engineering + Constructing. The company has also supported the University regarding the athletics, the alumni association, the departments of engineering and computer science, supporting USA Endowed Scholarships, and the University Hospital.
The University of South Alabama and the athletics department will rename the second floor of the stadium’s press tower as the “The Hargrove Club.” This space will have highly prestigious loge seats and amenities.
Hargrove Engineering + Constructing CFO and former South Alabama alumni Jeb Shell then shared an emotional story of the beginning of the Jaguars football program 20 years ago. Shell, along with fellow students, alumni, various trustees and community leaders came together to form a club football program for one game against a club team from the University of North Carolina. This club game between the universities progressed the University of South Alabama to plan for an official football game program.
In 2009, the University of South Alabama Jaguars football team had their first official season and accounted for a perfect 7-0 season. That was a day that Shell remembers well and looks back to the club game he took part in to get the program started.
When asked about the positive student impact from the on-campus stadium, athletic director
Joel Erdmann said, “Just the fact to have a home stadium, walking distance from residence halls and plenty of green space and to have a traditional college experience on a college football gameday in the south is going to add to memories and going to add to pride and enthusiasm.”
The next time Shell says he will get emotional will be the first home of the 2020 College Football season when the Jaguars kickoff in their new home stadium.