BERKELEY – University of California Director of Athletics Mike Williams announced on Thursday the first endowment of a coaching position at Cal Athletics, to be named the Alex and Marie Shipman Director of Men’s Golf. The gift from the Shipmans will fund the position in honor of outgoing head coach Steve Desimone.
“Marie and I are fortunate to be able to endow the men’s golf coaching position,” said Shipman, a long time Bear Insider subscriber who earned his B.A. in Economics at Cal in 1978. “Under Steve, the men’s golf team has become an elite program on the course and in the classroom. This endowment will assist in attracting great coaching leadership in order for the program to continue to thrive in the future.”
Shipman, a retired real estate attorney and corporate executive, called the gift an example which other prospective donors are encouraged to follow. “From a business-model standpoint, endowed coaching positions provide an opportunity to establish a long-term, sustainable funding base for all of Cal’s athletics programs while achieving recognition for donors,” he explained.
The Shipmans, ESP holders in Memorial Stadium who journey to Golden Bear football and basketball games from Southern California, are longtime supporters of Cal men’s golf.
“This endowment is a testament to Steve Desimone and his teams,” said Shipman. “Marie and I believe that Cal Athletics, and Cal men’s golf in particular, impart valuable life lessons to student-athletes from their experience in competition and being part of a team.”
“I applaud Alex and Marie for pioneering this permanent support of Cal Athletics in a way that celebrates a legendary Golden Bear,” said Williams. “Steve Desimone has been synonymous with the success of men’s golf and it’s fitting that his name is attached to the first endowed named head coaching position among our 30 programs.”
A 1970 graduate who also played basketball for the Bears, Desimone established a culture of excellence for men’s golf both on and off the course, as evidenced by the program’s virtually equal balance of All-America honors on the golf course (21) and in the classroom (23). His tenure as head coach began in 1979 and lasted 37 years through the Bears’ just completed season at the NCAA Championships.
“I’m honored to have my name associated with the first named coaching position,” said Desimone, whose program’s overall endowment has now reached $9 million on its way to a goal of $12 million. “I really want to thank Alex and Marie Shipman for their huge role in achieving this. There’s no doubt in my mind that it's the way forward for our department, and a model for what very creative and generous alumni and supporters can do for our athletics programs. It speaks loud and clear that Cal support does not come only from the Bay Area. We're far and wide.”
About Cal Athletics
The University of California is represented by more than 850 student-athletes in 30 sports. Striving for excellence in the classroom and the arenas of competition, Cal teams have earned 91 national championships in 15 different sports, with nearly 300 individual and relay national championships won by student-athletes. To learn more about how to support the Golden Bears, visit calbears.com/bearbackers.