Atlanta philanthropist Tom Cousins endows UGA baseball position


Atlanta philanthropist Tom Cousins endows UGA baseball position

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John Kelley Jr.
Scott Stricklin will be known as “Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach."

While it may be difficult to fit into a headline, the University of Georgia is extremely proud to now call Scott Stricklin its “Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach.”

That’s because well-known Atlanta philanthropist and UGA swim team letterman Tom Cousins has stepped up to permanently endow the position in the name of his father, Ike, a standout baseball player of his own right in the 1920s and a big Bulldogs’ fan. The announcement was made jointly Monday by Georgia’s Greg McGarity, who had his position of athletics director permanently endowed by the J. Reid Parker family in 2013, and the Cousins family.

“All his life, Dad loved baseball and The University of Georgia,” Tom Cousins said in a news release circulated by UGA on Monday. “I thought this would be a memorable way to honor his life and two things he cared a great deal about ­ baseball and The University of Georgia.”

It is the first endowed head coaching position at UGA. The school would not say how much Cousins donated for that privilege.

Tom Cousins, who lettered in swimming at Georgia, was a member of the relay team that won the 1950 SEC championship.

He is the founder and chairman of Cousins Properties Inc. He built the Omni, Atlanta’s first sports arena, and lured pro basketball and hockey to the South. Cousins is probably best known for acquiring East Lake Country Club and leading an initiative to revitalize the surrounding community.

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