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Word from Jay Jacobs

June 15, 2017

A Year in Review

As we close out another academic year, it is important to evaluate our performance and establish our vision for the days ahead. And while the in-depth review my team and I will undertake is far more comprehensive than this outreach can include, I did want to offer a top-line summary as measured against our strategic commitments of (1) consistently competing for championships, (2) graduating our student-athletes, (3) managing our money, (4) playing by the rules, (5) providing a best-in-class experience for our donors and fans and (6) upgrading our facilities.

Athletics Success

  • Auburn Soccer advanced to the 2016 NCAA quarterfinals for the first time in program history.
  • Football was the second highest ranked team in the SEC earning a post-season berth in the Sugar Bowl.
  • Volleyball finished with its best SEC record since 2010.
  • Women's Basketball received an NCAA Tournament bid for the second consecutive year.
  • Men's basketball had the most wins since the 2008-2009 season.
  • Gymnastics finished the year ranked 15th in the country.
  • Equestrian finished the year ranked 3rd in the country.
  • Men's Swimming & Diving finished third in the SEC Championships. This marks the 25th year in a row in which they have finished in the top three; the longest active streak in the conference.
  • Softball began the 2017 season ranked #2 in the country. Finished 49-12, and hosted a Super Regional for the 3rd consecutive year.
  • Men's Baseball reached the rank of #4 in the country. Advanced to the final game of the NCAA Tallahassee Regional.
  • Women's Tennis reached the rank of #4 in the country, the highest in program history. Finished the year ranked #14.
  • Men's Golf had its 4th best finish ever in the NCAA Tournament Championship finishing #11.
  • Auburn Men's Track & Field finished 5th at the NCAA Outdoor Championship, its highest outdoor finish since 2008.
  • Four teams had Top-10 Recruiting classes: Football, Men's Basketball, Softball, and Baseball.

Academic Excellence

  • In 2016, 397 student-athletes received the Top-Tiger Award (GPA of 3.0 or higher). This reflects a 57% increase over the number seen in 2011.
  • The average cumulative GPA for our student-athletes is 3.17, the highest in program history. In the last five years, the percentage of student-athletes with a GPA of 3.0 or higher has increased from less than 50% to 62%.
  • 40% of our student-athletes are on track to graduate with honors. Five years ago that percentage was less than 25%.
  • During the 2016 season, 157 SEC football student-athletes were eligible to wear the new SEC Graduation Patch in post-season bowl games signifying they earned their college degree. Auburn University had 18 student-athletes who earned the right to wear the patch during the Sugar Bowl. Auburn was ranked third in terms of total athletes participating in a bowl game with their diploma in hand.

Fiscal Responsibility

  • Finished FY 2016 with record revenues of $137.5 million and an operating surplus of $13 million. After transfers, including $7.5 million to deferred maintenance, our net surplus was $4.2 million.
  • The multi-media rights agreement with FOX Sports at $121 million over 10-years reflects an almost $60 million increase over the previous deal.
  • At an average annual value of $7.8 million per year from 2016-2025, the agreement with Under Armour is one of the most valuable sports apparel deals in the country.


  • Auburn is currently in the longest stretch in its history without major NCAA violations. There have been no major violations since April 27th, 2004.
  • In the last 10-years, 43% of all universities that compete at the FBS level reported major violations and over 50% of all schools in the Power 5 conferences reported major violations.

Game Day Experience

  • The game day experience at Jordan-Hare Stadium has been ranked best in the conference for the past two years.

Capital Campaign for Facility Upgrades

  • While more than $200 million has been invested in our athletics venues over the past decade, we must continue to advance our competition and practice facilities for our student-athletes and fans. We have exciting plans to continue our success by launching Fearless and True - A Facilities Campaign for Auburn Athletics. This campaign will focus on improving athletic facilities to ensure the highest competitiveness in the toughest conference in the country.
  • A feasibility study conducted by the J.F. Smith Group - an independent fundraising firm - revealed there is great potential for Auburn Athletics to seize the moment and move forward with our plans for state-of-the-art facilities. Based on information gathered, leadership of Auburn Athletics identified several areas of opportunity for funding that will enhance the program's ability to recruit top student-athletes, which in turn will enable the Tigers to compete at the highest level in the Southeastern Conference and the nation.
  • Our goal for Fearless and True is $61.7 million and includes investment opportunities that will impact every student-athlete at Auburn University. We set high expectations for our coaches and student-athletes, likewise we have high expectations that our loyal supporters and fans will help make these new facilities possible.

As the steward of this elite program, I am acutely focused on serving the needs of our student-athletes, donors and fans while enhancing and promoting the Auburn Athletics brand. In our quest to be the best athletics department in the nation we recognize that the bar will always be set higher. It is my commitment and that of my entire staff to ensure a future that exceeds the best days of our past. As we look back on this past year, we are not satisfied nor are we complacent. Being the best in everything we do is what the Auburn Family desires and deserves.

God Bless and War Eagle!

Jay Jacobs

You can also follow me on Twitter at @jayjacobsauad.

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