The Bowling Green Falcons have now been absent from the NCAA men's basketball tournament for 46 years. Bill Frack, who has been a fan of the program for more than six decades, is doing everything in his power to ensure that the streak does not reach 50.
Bowling Green State University announced last week that Frack's gift to the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation, which benefits BGSU men's basketball and the Hancock County community, has increased to $20 million. According to the university, it is the largest private gift that BGSU has ever received, and no other MAC basketball program has ever received a one-time donation as large.
The endowment was initially announced three years ago and totaled $10 million at the time. The value of the endowment has now doubled, thanks to Frack's ongoing generosity. It has been placed in a series of trusts that will provide annual contributions for both BGSU men's basketball and Hancock County. The distribution split of the annual funds is 75 percent for BGSU and 25 percent for the county.
The additional money in the endowment means that Bowling Green will receive an estimated $675,000 on a yearly basis. Frack also donated money to help build the Stroh Center, and BGSU honored Frack by placing his name on the Stroh Center court. Last month, Frack gave a separate donation of $700,000 for the compensation package that helped lure new coach Chris Jans to Bowling Green.
It's hard to overstate just how important this is for Bowling Green. As we fans of the MAC know all too well, monetary resources are very limited in our conference. This amount of additional money can help provide a competitive edge in virtually every area, from facilities to coaching salaries to recruiting budgets. It means that Bowling Green shouldn't have to sacrifice in certain areas and that it can take chances where other schools can't.
This announcement should also mean an improvement in scheduling for the Falcons. The program can now be more flexible in how it schedules road and neutral-site games, but it should also allow them to attract bigger names to the Stroh Center. There has been no official word from the university, but there is speculation that the program could host an annual tournament or could choose to bring in one "big name" school every season.
Frack has paved the way for the Falcons. If utilized well, his donations should give Bowling Green a financial edge over almost every other program in the conference. That edge could easily translate into regular season wins and, finally, postseason success.
The Falcons' future is as bright as it's ever been, thanks almost entirely to one incredibly generous super-fan.