I was fortunate enough to go behind the scenes with Matt Borman, Executive Associate Athletic Director for Development for the UGA Athletic Department, to discuss the plans for the renovations of Sanford Stadium and more.
WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR START IN THE FUNDRAISING BUSINESS, AND HOW EXACTLY DID YOU END UP HERE, AT THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA?
Borman: “I started off at a small school in Virginia called Lynchburg College. I went there for my undergraduate degree. I ended up receiving my Master’s degree in Sports Management at West Virginia University. At West Virginia, I worked a little in their fundraising office, so that’s where the true start of my career began. Then, I accepted my first full-time job at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. I was at James Madison for a couple of years, and after my time there I moved on to West Point University, the United States Military Academy. I also worked in athletic fundraising West Point. After I worked at West Point, I went back to Virginia to work at Old Dominion University. At Old Dominion, I helped with fundraising for their first football team. They did not have a football team until 2009.1 only worked at Old Dominion for one year, 2008, because one of my former co-workers at James Madison ended up taking a job at West Virginia, and he asked me to join him there. I decided to return to my alma mater, West Virginia, with my friend, and I worked there for eight years. About three years into my time at West Virginia I actually took over their athletic fundraising office. Late last year, I was lucky enough to be offered the job here at UGA, and I started working here in February.”
WILL YOU TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE STADIUM RENOVATIONS?
Borman: “I was really excited to arrive in February for the ribbon cutting of the indoor practice facility and to announce the fundraising campaign of the West End Zone Project. The renovations to the stadium are just as important to our football program as the construction of the indoor practice facility because for a long time we haven’t had the facilities that our peers or competitors have. Since we have gotten into the stadium renovations later than most, ours will be the best of the best with the latest technology. The main thing we need in the stadium is an area to host recruits, so right now we’re going through the stadium and trying to piece together the perfect experience on game day for our recruits.”
Borman: “By the end of the West End Zone Project, we will have a first class area designated for our recruits, and they will be able to experience game day in the best way possible. In addition to the recruiting area, we will build a new locker room. Our current one is not luxurious, to say the least, and our players deserve better. The small but important part of game day for a player is getting dressed and being with their teammates to get pumped for the game, so during that time they deserve the best. The renovations will also enhance the game-day experience for the fans by adding new restrooms, concessions, and other fan amenities.”
DO YOU AND YOUR TEAM HAVE ANY MINI PROJECTS Y’ALL ARE RAISING MONEY FOR WHILE RAISING MONEY FOR THE STADIUM RENOVATIONS?
Borman: “We’re always working on our annual giving programs: the Hartman Fund, the basketball and gymnastics endowment funds, along with the baseball endowment fund. A couple of other projects that we have going on are the Boyd Golf Center Renovation and Turner Soccer Complex Renovation. The annual funds are a huge priority, along with the endowments. We are very fortunate to be able to work on so many projects while we are still raising money for the West End Zone Project.”
TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR FAMILY.
Borman: “Well, my grandfather, Frank Borman, was the first man to orbit the moon. He was the commander of the Apollo 8. (Matt, very humbly speaking) So… That’s pretty exciting! He also served in the Air Force. He’s still alive and living with my grandmother in Billings, Montana. I don’t get to see him much, but I do talk to him on the phone as much as I can. My parents live in Williamsburg, Virginia. My dad also served in the Air Force, so I moved around a lot as a kid. I have a fabulous family, my wife, Carter, and my two daughters, Mary Carter and Winnie, who will be moving here soon from West Virginia.”
WITH YOUR GRANDFATHER BEING AN ASTRONAUT AND SERVING IN THE USAF AND YOUR FATHER CHOOSING A SIMILAR PATH, WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE SPORTS MANAGEMENT?
Borman: “First off, I don’t think I’m smart enough to be going to space or fly a helicopter. I also think the support I had from my parents growing up was great. Nothing was ever pushed on me. I had a passion for sports, and I knew I wanted to work with sports. I think what my parents wanted for me was that I should do something I want to do every day, and sports was definitely that. My job was to find somewhere in the sports world where I could fit in. So far, fundraising in athletics has been that fit.”
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO IN ATHENS THUS FAR?
Borman: “Well, my family isn’t moving here until June, and I’ve been traveling back and forth to West Virginia, so I haven’t really had time to find my favorite thing to do in Athens just yet, but we are all excited to be living here. My two daughters have thrown away all their West Virginia gear. We are all Bulldawgs now!”
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS UPCOMING FOOTBALL SEASON?
Borman: “I’ve been privy to some spring practices. I thought we looked great. It’s really exciting to be a part of this football program, and I think Coach Smart has brought a new energy to it. I feel like the trajectory is heading in the right direction. We’re all at the point where we are sitting in a movie, and we’ve finally reached the good stuff, and we’re enjoying what we’re seeing. I’m very excited. I don’t want to put any pressure on anybody, but I expect us to keep building on the foundation that Coach Smart has put in place, and I believe the sky’s the limit. I think with that awesome trip to Notre Dame, a pretty good home schedule, and the SEC East being wide open, Georgia is in a pretty good spot.”
Looking back on what he accomplished in his previous jobs at other schools, I know Matt Borman is going to be an excellent asset for Georgia, and that our athletic development and fundraising continue its upward momentum under his watch. I enjoyed our great conversation and would like to thank him again for his time. Go Dawgs!
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