SBJ/December 20 - 26, 1999/No Topic Name

Marquette to help Crean rise to the top

Marquette University fund-raisers see more than a basketball coach in Tom Crean — they also see a possible ticket to a new athletic training center.

With a likely price tag of $5 million to $10 million, the facility would help both recruiting at the Milwaukee school and the retention of a coach such as Crean, whom many Marquette donors see as a rising star on the collegiate coaching circuit.

Since Crean arrived as the school's men's basketball coach this spring, he has raised the chances of getting a sports facility by making himself available to alumni, the people most likely to give money for a center.

"You always have a wish list, and you test the waters with a fairly compact list of donors to see which programs generate the most interest," said John Hopkins, vice president of communications at Marquette. "It can never be bad for your plan when you have someone who is a great ambassador for his program and for your university."

Crean, who came to Marquette after serving as an assistant coach at Michigan State, is known as a solid recruiter. A new training facility would add to Marquette's appeal to high school recruits.

Crean replaced Mike Deane, who had four postseason tournament appearances in five years, but whose occasionally biting sense of humor was said to bristle some big-money boosters.

"People make all the difference in the ability to raise money," said Joe Sweeney, president of Milwaukee-based sports management agency Sports Marketing Group.

"Tom Crean is slapping people in the face with his enthusiasm, and that is going to help raise money," Sweeney said. "You still have to win, but people will give money to a training facility if they think it will help him win."

Brad Hoeschen writes for The Business Journal in Milwaukee.

Return to top
Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug