By Christie Melhorn, November 9 2017 —
On Nov. 8, a new part of former Dinos Athletics sports information director (SID) Jack Neumann’s legacy was revealed. In addition to the passion and volunteer work Neumann dedicates to the University of Calgary, he is now permanently providing funding for the Dinos football team’s jerseys.
In his 39 years with the U of C, Neumann received multiple awards recognizing his selflessness and perseverance, such as the Order of the University of Calgary and the Alberta Sports Achievement Award.
Nuemann announced the life-long fund with gratitude and modesty among close friends and co-workers at an event at McMahon Stadium. He only agreed to go public with his donation in hopes of inspiring sponsorship for other teams.
“I want to thank everyone for taking time off to be here. Everyone’s busy in their professional and personal lives but to see so many people who mean a great deal to me is very special,” Neumann said at the event. “I wanted to leave a legacy gift that was something unique. Every team needs jerseys. I hope that by [announcing this publicly], we can approach other respective donors and supports for the other teams.”
Neumann reflected on the development of his special bond with the Dinos football program.
“I think back to my first Dinos football practices. The first student athlete I met welcomed me with open arms,” Neumann said. “The coaching staff were so good to me and took the time to explain the game to me — I never played football. They had so much patience and I’m extremely grateful. It means a lot to me that [current Dinos football head coach] Wayne Harris allows me to still be a part of the program.”
The value of mentorship and support in the Dinos athletic community strongly resonated at the event. His successor as SID, Ben Matchett, says that Neumann’s values are integral to Dinos culture — both in games and behind the scenes.
“Jack was my predecessor. I’ve often thought back to how he mentored me in my role in communications culture with athletics,” Matchett said. “The first thing he said to me is that the focus is on the student athletes — the effort they put forth in the classroom, the field, the ice. His passion permeates through them. He really inspired us to always come back to question of, ‘How can we make the student athlete experience as good as possible?’ ”
Neumann closed his announcement by spotlighting U of C’s student athletes.
“Hopefully, they can use that money [allocated to uniforms] elsewhere to help cover costs to run the program and do more things for the student athletes — that’s what it’s all about.”
Nuemann’s gesture will likely boost the Dinos football team’s determination in the Hardy Cup this Saturday, Nov. 11 against the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds at McMahon stadium. Kick-off is at 1 p.m.