Chairman’s Corner

September 10, 2016

CFA Members and Friends of Cornell Football,

The challenge of leading the “New CFA” is no small task, especially considering the progress that has taken place during the last few years. When Marty Rauch called last month and said “Get ready Big Boy, you are the next man up”, I realized there is no time to waste. Taking over for Marty will be big shoes to fill and thankfully I have Dan Scully’s guidance on how to fill big shoes: Big socks!

So let’s get down to business. The agenda coming out of the gate focuses on continuing to grow the CFA throughout our alumni base. Over the course of the CFA’s existence, we have seen our membership level go through peaks and valleys. Since forming our own independent 501(c)(3), our membership year now mirrors the calendar year. Our goal for 2017 will be to reach 600 dues paying members; this will represent an increase of more than 20% over last year’s numbers. We will accomplish this by creating and promoting additional benefit levels of membership, focused on recent former players, parents of current and past players, friends of the program, including those of us who have supported the program in the past, as well as those who will support the program going forward. Nonetheless, 600 dues paying members will be our goal. Become a CFA member now.

We will introduce an effort to raise additional funds for the football program through non-traditional methods. In February of 2017, we will hold our first such event in Miami Beach Florida. A former alumnus of the Hotel school has agreed to sponsor this inaugural event on behalf of the CFA. The official announcement and details of this very special affair are in the final planning stages and will be transmitted later this month.

As we move forward, embracing the importance of a competitive “marquee” football program and ALL that it brings to the entire Cornell University community is paramount. Both the university and the CFA leadership realize our best opportunity for success in the board room and on the playing field, will be if both parties are working harmoniously together on an agenda that has direct and detailed goals for each other, along with an accountability process that insures accomplishment of our joint goals and objectives. This game plan will outline specific areas of responsibility engineered to create a 5 year blueprint which establishes an operating budget for the football program commensurate with the top tier teams in the Ivy League and using Coach Archer’s “Cornell Victorious” plan as a strategic model. With both parties working diligently, we expect to see additional investments by the university and its alumni which will provide for a championship type football budget to be realized and effectuated. We fully recognize that success on this monetary front is attainable based on the recent improvements we have seen with the streamlined admissions process as well as the improved AMI tuition match as covered in the CFA “White Paper”. By applying this same effort on increasing our football operating budget capacity over a 5 year time frame, achieving this goal will be challenging, but not IMPOSSIBLE!

In closing, we all know the CFA effort over the past 5 years has been totally a volunteer effort and we have had some fantastic results. But the Board of the new CFA realizes that in order to continue to reach greater heights with our efforts, we need a dedicated person on staff to maximize the timing of opportunities, grow the association and support for Cornell Football. We also understand our budget capacity to do so has some initial constraints. This initiative is not to diminish the work of the many members and friends that have volunteered their time and treasure to support the organization since its inception. This is about continuing the momentum of the past few years and making the next level of achievement for the Cornell Football Association a reality. With that in mind, the board has moved to hire Marty Rauch as its initial Executive Director. Marty’s contributions speak for themselves. He has assumed day to day responsibility for the association and will be central in moving forward the Board’s agenda as outlined above. We all want the same thing! WE want Cornell Football to compete year in and year out for the IVY League Championship! So in recapping the CFA Agenda:

  • Grow the membership to 600 dues paying membership in 2017
  • Create Nontraditional revenue opportunities/fundraising
  • Work jointly with Andy Noel’s staff to execute a 5 year plan to increase the Football budget to be commensurate with the top tier teams in the Ivy league annually

As coach Archer says: “Everyone can do something!” If you’ve been away from the program in the recent past, it’s Ok to get involved again. If you want to get more involved, that’s OK as well. We are moving forward and will continue to push an agenda that accomplishes our ultimate goal of supporting an Ivy League championship!

Doug Pratt ’84
CFA Chairman

(636) 262-0048
Coach Archer’s philosophy: “EVERYONE CAN DO SOMETHING” – please help spread the word!