Harvard's football program will receive a $2.5 million boost from lot mer player and coach Thomas Stephenson '64.
Harvard football coach Tim Murphy will be the first Thomas Stephen son Family Coach of Harvard football, a position endowed by $2 million of Stephenson's gift, according to an article in yesterday's Gazette.
The remaining $500,000 will be used to support other aspects of the football program.
"We're absolutely thrilled and pleased by the Stephenson gift," Murphy said yesterday. "This is the best way to guarantee the future of the program and set the foundation for the next century."
Stephenson would not comment on the gift yesterday.
The new football coach, who took a substantial pay cut when he came to Harvard from the University of Cincinnati, will be the chief beneficiary of the endowment, along with the football program in general.
Murphy was hired after former Coach Joe Restic stepped down following a lackluster 1993 football season, when the team's record was 2-7-1.
Harvard's first endowment of the coaching position follows the lead of such schools as Princeton, Stanford and Yale, Murphy said.
Director of Athletics William J. Cleary Jr. '56 said yesterday that the establishment of a permanent fund to support the coaching position is a milestone for the athletic department.
"This is the first time we have been able to publicly announce the endowment of a coaching position here at Harvard," Cleary told the Gazette.
Cleary could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Murphy's record bears witness to his ability to serve as Harvard's first endowed coach. On the Division I level, Murphy led the Bearcats of Cincinnati to their best season in 17 years in 1993 and directed the University of Maine to their first-ever NCAA Division I-AA playoff berth in 1987.
Stephenson is also an accomplished football player and coach who garnered all-Ivy and all-New England accolades as an offensive end during his senior season at Harvard.
He continued to work on the Harvard football program after graduation and served four seasons as a varsity assistant coach to Coach John Yovicsin while attending Harvard Business School and Boston College Law School, according to the Gazette.