Oct. 6, 2011
By Danny Mattie
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – When Tim Miles was hired as the 19th head coach of the CSU men’s basketball team in 2007, he clearly stated his goals to make the CSU program a consistent winner and postseason player, to foster an environment that valued education, and to create culture in which his team embodied the core values of CSU and the Fort Collins community and represented both in a “first-class manner.”
Miles has consistently shown his commitment to each goal, and on Thursday he and his wife Kari announced that they would further their support for education and the community with key campaign gifts to CSU – capping the J.J. Williams scholarship endowment and establishing the Ram Basketball Legacy scholarship endowment – while making a contribution to School is Cool, a CSU-driven program to support Poudre School District.
“Kari and I know that we are fortunate to be in a position to show our support for CSU and the Fort Collins community,” said Miles. “We believe very strongly in the importance of education, and feel like these gifts will enhance opportunities for many in the community.”
“Tim has been a tremendous leader within our department and in the community,” added Director of Athletics Paul Kowalczyk. “With this gift, he and Kari illustrate their commitment to both. They are grateful to be in a position to be able to make a difference in the lives of others and we are thankful for their generous support.”
The gifts by Miles and his wife further CSU Athletics’ commitment to the Fort Collins community and local non-profits. Last year, the department donated approximately $50,000 in tickets to area non-profits, while CSU’s nearly 400 student-athletes selflessly logged more than 1,100 hours of community service, including work at local schools, senior centers, hospitals and food banks.
Now entering his fifth year at the helm of the CSU program, Miles has taken the Rams from seven wins in his first campaign to 19 victories last season. The program’s on-the-court success has translated to back-to-back postseason appearances, the fifth-best RPI improvement in the nation over that time, and the highest average attendance at Moby Arena in 11 years.
In the classroom, Miles resurrected a program that was facing academic sanctions from the NCAA. He and his staff have now received recognition from the NCAA for their improvement in multi-year APR scores since that time, and the program posted a perfect 1,000 score in 2009-10.
And in the community, the men’s basketball team has continued to make a difference as players annually donate their time at the Columbine Health Systems’ Worthington Independent Living Center for seniors.
An investment in student-athletes
The J.J. Williams scholarship endowment was first established in 2006 to honor the legacy of the Rams’ legendary head coach and athletic director. Spearheaded by former player Ren Jensen and former player and coach Boyd “Tiny” Grant, several former players and coaches contributed to the endowment, and the Miles’ contribution will cap the endowment and provide full funding for an annual scholarship for the CSU men’s basketball program.
The Rams Basketball Legacy scholarship endowment will be fully funded by the Miles’ gift and is being established to honor and celebrate all basketball players at CSU, past, present and future.
About School is Cool
Now in its 20th year, the School is Cool program is managed and organized by Colorado State University employees. The program provides school supplies to less-fortunate students in the Poudre School District to make sure that they have the tools they need to start the school year off right. Since 1992, the program has assisted more than 24,000 children, and last year aid was provided to more than 2,500 students at 48 PSD schools in Fort Collins, Wellington, Timnath and LaPorte.