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UofM’s #MemphisRising campaign establishes strategic plan for future of Tiger athletics

Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 10:59 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - University of Memphis (UofM) Athletic Director Laird Veatch unveiled the school’s strategic plan for the athletics department to the board of trustees on Wednesday.

Tiger Park, a new soccer stadium and a safe, holistic environment for the athletes are all features sure to inspire more Tiger pride on campus and in the city of Memphis.

The school has branded the plan #MemphisRising. It’s a comprehensive vision to raise the national profile of UofM athletics.

“It was a very engaged process, very inclusive process,” Veatch told the board. “We included staff, coaches, and a lot of feedback from different groups, including student-athletes.”

The crown jewel in the vision is the Student-Athlete Success Center which will be located in Tiger Park, a transformed section of the Park Avenue Campus. It’s a place where students can live, train, study, and play.

UofM’s emphasis on athletes’ well-being is a big part of what convinced Katrina Merriweather to become the new head coach for women’s basketball this year.

“We can make sure they have a great experience and that they graduate,” she said to the trustees. And we can, at some point, cut down some nets, compete for championships, and just create some really amazing memories.”

Also in the works are a new soccer and track stadium, and the expansion of the Murphy Complex. Building premiere facilities designed to take UofM athletes to the next level is a major component of #MemphisRising.

“Overall,” we’re just in a very special kind of unique place in time. And I believe this plan will help us to unlock that potential,” Veatch said.

The university is in the planning process for apartment-style housing featuring the latest amenities for students and student-athletes, which will bookend Tiger Park to the north.

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