Annual Refresher: Tribe Athletics’ 10 Year Plan

We’re jumping for joy too, as the future looks bright for your William & Mary Tribe. [photo via Jim Agnew,]
It was just over two years ago to the day that William & Mary released its 10 year plan for the FUTURE of Tribe Athletics. You can find the 10 year plan detailed in its long, 29-page report here. But you don’t have to read it all. We got you covered. We at the W&M Sports Blog released a very similar article to this one back in 2015, but believe that this 10 year plan is so important that it requires an annual refresher until the job is done.

Of course, the College has been and will always be thought of as an academic institution first and foremost, but one cannot ignore the Tribe’s athletic success across the board in recent years. Near-multiple NCAA Basketball Tournament appearances, Tribe baseball going to the NCAA Tournament multiple times, Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving domination, Gymnastics’ prowess, and Men’s and Women’s Cross Country, the list goes on. So, with all of this current success, William & Mary Tribe Athletics has been more than due for a new and improved strategic plan for the future of its sports programs. Below, we highlight the main goals (the Sparknotes version, if you will) from the 2015 report, detailing the future of Tribe Athletics! Get excited everyone. Roll Tribe.

  1. Endowments for Scholarships: (Estimated Cost: $1.3 million per scholarship, $192 million to fully endow all scholarships)
    1. “If all athletic scholarships at William & Mary were fully endowed by FY 2020, it would free up to $13 million from the annual budget to provide for other Tribe Athletics priorities. That would be in addition to the $2 million in existing endowment income.”
    2. “William & Mary currently funds 220 athletic scholarships despite being allowed 258 scholarships by the NCAA based on the sports sponsored by Tribe Athletics. Endowment revenues currently provide for roughly a quarter of the expense of providing those 220 athletic scholarships.”
    3. “In 2013-14, Tribe scholarship athletes’ overall graduation rate ranked 14th of 346 NCAA Div. I institutions, and it placed above the 95th percentile among that group. William & Mary boasts the highest graduation rate for scholarship athletes of any public university in the country.”
  2. A [New] Multi-Sport Indoor Practice Facility: (Estimated Cost: $20 – $25 million)
    1. “At present, William & Mary Hall is the only game and practice venue for men’s and women’s basketball as well as volleyball, which presents substantial challenges in scheduling for the needs of each of these three programs.”
    2. “In the near future Tribe Athletics should provide an appropriate home for these programs that are so vital to realizing the enhanced alumni and community engagement, institutional marketing, and university branding envisioned in this plan.”
    3. “The new practice facility should include two practice courts capable of supporting men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball as well as consolidated space for sports medicine, sports psychology, academic support, and compliance.”
      kaplan arena
      Good ole Kaplan Arena has served us well, but it’s time for an upgrade. [photo via]
  3. William & Mary Hall 2.0: (Estimated Cost: $60 – $75 million for new construction, $22 – $28 million for renovation)
    1. “William & Mary Hall is more than 40 years old and showing its age. Opened in 1971, it is home to most of Tribe Athletics – team locker rooms, coaching offices, and support services – and is the athletic department’s operational base.”
    2. “The next incarnation of William & Mary Hall is of strategic importance to the university and region. In reaction to the 2014 update to William & Mary’s master plan, the student body president noted the need for an appealing 3,000-seat venue on campus, which is acknowledged to be a regional need in the City of Williamsburg and the Historic Triangle.”
    3. “The Committee does not have the architectural, engineering, or campus planning expertise to determine whether replacement, as occurred via the John Paul Jones Arena at the University of Virginia…or a comprehensive renovation, as occurred in the Robins Center at the University of Richmond (opened 1972, renovated in 2013 for $17 million), is the best solution for William & Mary.”
    4. “A new or made-like-new William & Mary Hall would be transformative for Tribe Athletics, the university, and the Historic Triangle region.”
The University of Richmond's newly renovated Robins Arena features four hospitality suites
The University of Richmond’s renovated Robins Arena features four hospitality suites. Cheaper than a complete re-do, this may be the most feasible option for the Green and Gold. Not too shabby.
  1. A Swimming Facility: (Estimated Cost: $15 – $20 million)
    1. “Although our men’s and women’s swimming teams annually contend for CAA championships, Tribe Athletics has no swimming facility. The teams do not have locker rooms and are forced to practice in the Campus Recreation pool in the Rec Center or sometimes in the Adair Hall pool.”
    2. “The consequences of this situation were particularly obvious at the conference championships in 2014. The men’s team, which discontinued its diving program because of no diving facility, outswam every conference opponent. Its point total in the swim events was the best, yet the Tribe finished second in the overall competition because it earned no points for diving”
    3. “In 2015, Tribe men’s swimming, despite having no divers, won the conference in dominating fashion and posted the second-highest point total ever at the CAA championship meet. Men’s and women’s swimming competes at the championship level, but, due to the current facility limitations, the experience for its student-athletes and fans falls short.”
  2. Financial resources for Athletic Scholarships, Salaries for Coaches and Staff, and other Operating needs
    1. “Three priorities guide our recommendations for increasing financial resources to achieve the vision: (1) scholarship budgets able to provide a full complement of opportunities to Tribe athletes, (2) operating budgets able to support championship programs, and (3) coaching salaries appropriate for retaining and, when necessary, attracting the talented, highly-demanded professionals capable of leading championship programs while embracing William & Mary’s academic and ethical standards.”
  3. Updated Admissions Practices without diminishing university standards
    1. “William & Mary should not alter its current admission standards for Tribe Athletics. It should, however, recognize the heightened intensity of pursuing these highly sought-after potential student athletes. Once implemented, these process improvement are likely to strengthen the qualifications of incoming Tribe athletes because coaches will have the ability to pursue more of their best qualified and most talented recruits, and Tribe coaches will be able to respond more quickly to any opportunities that arise during the recruiting cycle.”
Who else would be psyched to tailgate on the Sunken Gardens on gameday?
Who else would be psyched to tailgate on the Sunken Gardens on gameday?
  1. Improved fan experience
    1. “Starting with opportunities for new campus traditions like a Sunken Garden tailgate for football games and promotional events for other sports (e.g., a “Gold Rush” game), William & Mary should continually evaluate the fan experience from the moment of arrival on campus to the appearance of athletic venues (i.e., graphics and visual impression) to the game environment (i.e., in-game and halftime entertainment).”
    2. “William & Mary recently completed a comprehensive review of its visual identity, establishing a new style guide reflecting the university’s standards. In addition, a university-wide licensing committee is working toward improving the quality and appearance of William & Mary merchandise. The Committee on Competitive Excellence applauds and strongly encourages the licensing committee in its work.”

To say the least, we are insanely excited about all of these new announcements–particularly about a new and improved Kaplan Arena! And how about that new swimming pool for our dominant squad? If there is anything you want to read in depth about in the report itself, here is the link one more time. What do you think of the Tribe’s 10 year plan? Did W&M hit the nail on the head, or does it leave you longing for something more? Either way you look at it, Tribe Athletics looks like it is headed in the right direction. We can’t wait for these changes, and look forward to cheering on the Green and Gold in the next decade (and beyond) to come! LET’S GO TRIBE!!!

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