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January 14, 2014
Dear Auburn Family,
It's been a season for the ages. There is no better way to describe the 2013 Auburn football season.
While we fell just short at the Rose Bowl, our team came home to something special. The Auburn Family braved the bitter cold to welcome the 2013 SEC Champions home. Our team also came home to a future as bright as any we have ever seen.
As magical as this season was, even better days are ahead. We will do everything we can to sustain our success and compete for championships on a consistent basis.
Coach Malzahn and his staff wasted little time getting back to work on a plan to get us back to the National Championship. I have no doubt that is our destiny.
Our donors and fans often ask what they can do to help. There is something you can do. Playing at the highest level requires support at the highest level. We need you now more than ever to ensure we can consistently compete for championships.
We need our donors to renew their Tigers Unlimited Priority memberships and to step up their outright gifts over and above Ticket Priority. That is what it will take to pay our coaches competitive salaries, fund facility improvements and educate our student-athletes.
We saw increasing demand for tickets as the 2013 season evolved into something special. The excitement over the future of Auburn football makes it even more important to renew your TUF membership and ensure your seats will be secure in the years ahead.
When I outlined a blueprint for success over the summer, hiring a Chief Operating Officer was a key goal in our efforts to become the best athletics department in the nation.
The business of college athletics has changed dramatically in recent years, and it will continue to evolve. Auburn needs to stay at the cutting edge so we can deliver the best results and service to our student-athletes, alumni, donors and the entire Auburn family.
As a result, I am pleased to announce University of Minnesota Deputy Athletics Director David Benedict will soon begin as our new COO. David has a long history of success. He is a rising star in college athletics and he has a broad base of experience and success in many areas.
David impressed the search committee led by retired Lt. General Ron Burgess with his proven track record of success, innovation, strategic planning and focus on relationships.
David will work alongside our staff to enhance internal operations, develop and implement our strategic plan, create a world-class student-athlete experience and continue to ensure we provide the best fan experience in the country.
We already have an exceptional staff with strong ties to Auburn, and I believe adding David’s skills and fresh perspective will only make us stronger.
David will work with our senior leadership team as we pursue a common goal of becoming the best athletics department in the nation.
Finally, I want to thank all of our donors, alumni and fans for making a special 2013 football season possible. We could not do it without you. With your continued help and support, Auburn Athletics is poised for great things in the future.
God Bless and War Eagle!
You can also follow me on Twitter at @jayjacobsauad.