Sept. 15, 2010
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech’s football program will have an indoor practice facility, thanks in large part to the generosity of the Brock family.
A commitment from Mary R. and John F. Brock III, ChE 1970, MS ChE 1971, will go toward the construction of an 80,000-square-foot facility on the current site of Rose Bowl Field, Tech’s current practice facility off of Fowler Street.
The cost of the facility is estimated at between $6 million and $7 million, and the Brocks have committed to fund one-half the total project cost, up to $3.5 million.
“Early in Coach Paul Johnson’s tenure, we discussed the importance of having a place where the team could practice away from the elements,” athletic director Dan Radakovich said. “There have been times recently when we have used the Georgia Dome or the Falcon’s practice facility in Flowery Branch for practice, but it has become increasingly difficult for us to utilize those spaces efficiently.
“This new facility will provide us with significantly more efficiency in scheduling our practice sessions.”
Johnson knows the impact that the facility can have on the football program.
“Having a new facility will give us many more options,” Johnson said. “Throughout the year, we have thunderstorms that make it unsafe to practice outdoors, and Atlanta summers are well known for their incredible heat. This new facility will prevent any disruption of our practice routine. It will also significantly help with recruiting.
“It’s very thoughtful and kind of John and Mary Brock to step forward and provide something we need so much, and we really appreciate their generosity.”
Construction is expected to begin in early 2011 and to be completed in time for preseason practice in August.
“The driving force for our commitment is to support the outstanding leadership and vision exhibited by Dan Radakovich, as well as the attitude toward winning exemplified by Paul Johnson,” John Brock said. “In addition, we believe that a more successful football program will result in attracting even better students to Georgia Tech, which improves the overall excellence of the institution.
“Furthermore, we are confident that our gift will encourage other alumni to provide additional financial giving across both academic and athletic opportunities. For many years, Georgia Tech football has been a tremendous source of pride and enjoyment for Mary and me, and we look forward to its continued winning program.”
Brock is chairman and CEO of Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), the world’s largest marketer, distributor, and producer of bottle and can liquid, nonalcoholic refreshment. CCE sells approximately 80 percent of The Coca-Cola Company’s bottle and can volume in North American and is the sole licensed bottler for products of The Coca-Cola Company in Belgium, continental France, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Monaco, and the Netherlands. Prior to his appointment at CCE, Brock served in senior executive positions at InBev in Brussels, Belgium, and Cadbury Schweppes in London.
A member of both the Georgia Tech Foundation Board of Trustees and the Alexander-Tharpe Fund Board of Trustees, Brock is also chairing his 40th Reunion Committee this year. He previously served as a member of the Georgia Tech Advisory Board and his 25th Reunion Committee, and he was named a College of Engineering Distinguished Alumnus in 1996. Along with the Georgia Cancer Coalition, Mary and John Brock recently provided funding for two Georgia Research Alliance Chairs and Eminent Scholars in cancer research at both Georgia Tech and Emory University. Additionally, the Brocks have established the Brock Family Fund, which supports the Child and Adolescent Moods Disorder Program at Emory. The Brocks have also established an undergraduate scholarship for the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.
“John and Mary Brock are tremendous friends of Georgia Tech and its athletic program,” said Radakovich. “They genuinely enjoy supporting our athletes and watching them compete. We are elated that they have chosen to build this state-of-the-art facility on our campus.”