The Michigan Athletic Department released the news on Thursday that there is a new name for their defensive coordinator position. With the latest endowment it will be called the Matthew and Nicole Lester Family Football Defensive Coordinator.
This is the third endowed position for Michigan football, with the other two being Jim Harbaugh’s position as the J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Head Football Coach and Tim Drevno in the Sanford Robertson Offensive Coordinator position. Both endowments given so far were $10 million and $3 million, respectively. The Lester family did not want to publicly disclose their endowment amount.
Matthew Lester was a 1986 Michigan graduate and then in 1994 started a private real estate investment company.
"We are exceptionally grateful to Matthew and Nicole for this unique gift to the University of Michigan," Athletic Director Warde Manuel commented. He also is in an endowment position, called the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics.
“The Lester family is part of a strong group of donors and alumni that are passionate about this university. Great relationships can lead to these outcomes, and it is our student-athletes who will continue to benefit for years to come. Gifts like this make it possible for us to attract and retain the best coaches and students who participate in athletics."
What Do Endowments Mean?
The Athletic Department will use their full name in press releases while Michigan fans are used to calling them by title or name. This trend began in the Ivy League with other schools like Michigan and Northwestern seeing them more.
Those spots are paid by the endowments and are a very good thing for the university. Any position that is endowed frees up funds in the athletic department, which can go toward any number of things. While some fans may think it’s crazy to have them or use such a long name, it is a positive way to bring in revenue that not all universities have the ability to do.