At perhaps one of the most critical junctures in recent memory for the University of Memphis football program, former Tiger running back and Heisman Trophy candidate DeAngelo Williams is again helping shoulder the load.
The U of M announced today that Williams, a first-round draft pick of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers in 2006, has presented the athletic department with a major donation that will go directly toward naming rights of the locker room at the Tigers’ practice facility, Murphy Complex.
Williams’ gift allows the U of M to purchase new lockers as well as begin the renovation process that was conceptualized in the athletic department’s “Vision for Victory” capital campaign.
"I am very fortunate to have been blessed with this opportunity to give back to a football program and a university that did so much for me during my career as a Tiger," Williams said in the release. "Everyone around me knows I remain loyal to the University of Memphis and am thankful for the close relationships that I made while I was there.
"It is my hope that this gift will open the door for others to get involved and give back to this program because this is such a crucial time for showing support to Tiger football.”
In 44 career games at Memphis, Williams ran for over 6,000 yards and 55 touchdowns. He led the Tigers to an unprecedented three straight bowl appearances from 2003-’05 and holds an NCAA record for most 100-yard games (34).
"We are thankful for the donation from DeAngelo and know that it will make such an impact on this program," U of M athletic director R.C. Johnson said in a statement. "We are proud of what he accomplished while he was here and all that he did for this program during his four-year career. To have him make this donation is a testament to how much he cares for this university. He is such a true ambassador for this program."