DURHAM, N.C. ó Duke head coach David Cutcliffe announced on Friday a combined commitment of $10 million to the Blue Devil football program from Steve Brooks and Bob Pascal.
The donation will be used to enhance Duke’s facilities including outdoor practice fields, the visiting team lockerroom and a fieldhouse featuring a full length practice field. In addition to having a dynamic impact on the football program, the indoor facility will significantly augment the school’s Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department where over 5,000 students participate in club and intramural sports annually.
"Duke University, and the football program in particular, is grateful to have the tremendous support of Steve Brooks and Bob Pascal," Cutcliffe said. "Their generosity to our program is paralleled only by the Yoh family. We are proud to call Steve and Bob members of the Duke football family. The maxim for our program is the "Pursuit of Excellence", and certainly Steve and Bob exemplify that motto themselves. This financial commitment, especially considering the current state of the economy, is truly remarkable and speaks volumes to their loyalty and passion for Duke. This is a great day for Duke football."
A native of Atlanta, Ga., who currently resides in Pinecrest, Fla., Brooks entered Duke in 1966 (Class of T’70) served four years in the U.S. Air Force as a pilot, including 13 months in Vietnam. Following his military service, he received a master’s degree in business administration from Georgia State University. Brooks serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Phoenix American Insurance Group. He and his wife, Eileen, have two children, Matt and Steven. Matt, a four-year football letterman (2001-04) at Duke, ranks ninth on the school’s all-time list for field goals (19) including a career-long 53-yarder on the game’s final snap in the Blue Devils’ 16-13 triumph over Clemson on November 13, 2004. Steve currently serves on the Athletics Advisory Board and the Duke Law School Board.
"We believe this is the perfect time to invest further in Duke football," Brooks said. "We have the right coach in David Cutcliffe, the right Athletic Director in Kevin White, great student-athletes, and strong support from the schools’ administration and Board of Trustees. We as a family have been blessed and are proud to be able to make this gift to Duke."
A native of Bloomfield, N.J., and current resident of Easton, Md., Pascal is a 1956 graduate of Duke and the owner of the Pascal Group. He has four daughters, Catherine Anne, Margaret, Clara and Robin. Catherine Anne is a 1979 Duke graduate. A standout on the gridiron at Duke from 1953-55, Pascal was a two-time first team All-ACC pick (1954-55) and first team All-America selection (1955). He helped the Blue Devils to a three-year record of 20-8-3 including three ACC championships and a 34-7 win over Nebraska in the Orange Bowl on January 1, 1955. Pascal, who served as a Maryland State Senator (1970-74) and Anne Arundel County Executive (1974-82), rushed for 1,523 career yards with 19 touchdowns and was a third round pick of the Baltimore Colts in the 1956 NFL Draft.
"The athletic and academic experience I received at Duke was a tremendous boost to my confidence to take on life’s challenges after I graduated," Pascal said. "Growing up, a Duke education was prestigious; just as it is presently. This commitment is a way for me to repay the debt, and to hopefully enable future generations of student-athletes the opportunity to have the Duke experience."
Duke will hold its annual Spring Game tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Wallace Wade Stadium. Admission to the game is free of charge.