Red Wolf teams step up to the Challenge

The inaugural Red Wolf Athletics Challenge Match raised nearly $50,000 in total contributions. IU East’s NAIA athletics teams were challenged to raise $2,500 per program in donations from November 1 to November 15 during Homecoming 2019.

Teams that reached the $2,500 goal unlocked a matching $2,500 gift from a community champion, resulting in a potential total benefit of at least $5,000 for teams that met the challenge. Red Wolf teams will use the contributions for needed equipment and gear, for scholarships, and for special travel and new experiences for the student-athletes.

“The devotion, support, and pride that has been demonstrated for our current Red Wolves inspires me!” said IU East Director of Athletics Joe Griffin. “With the support received through the Athletics Challenge Match, we will help our athletes improve their performance in athletics as well as in the classroom. On behalf of our athletes and coaches, we thank our Community Champions and supporters, and we look forward to making this season the best one for all of our teams!”

Head volleyball coach Kim McConaha doubled her team’s goal. A group of over 20 volleyball players and coaches are planning to travel to Puerto Rico at the end of the spring semester, May 4-12. While in Puerto Rico, members of the volleyball team will complete community service projects to help those affected by hurricanes and recent earthquakes. The team will also participate in enriching culture experiences and team-building projects. The team will have opportunities to play volleyball while in Puerto Rico, but it isn’t the primary focus of the trip, McConaha said.

McConaha hopes to organize a similar trip for the volleyball program every four years. “A major focus of the volleyball program the past year has been serving others and reaching out more into the community to create better relationships with community members,” McConaha said.

“This has, in turn, created a better team culture, relationships within the team, and in the classroom. When the challenge was started, we knew we had to go above and beyond to reach our goal of doubling $5,000 in order to make our dream of going to Puerto Rico a reality. The relationships and culture we have developed, I believe, demonstrated to our donors that we are creating and earning opportunities to better the program and their donations will not go underutilized. Thank you to all that donated to our program and thank you for your continued support.”

There is already a Red Wolf connection to Puerto Rico. IU East Athletics has five student-athletes on its teams from Puerto Rico including men’s golf, women’s golf, women’s soccer, cross country and track and field.

For the Athletics Challenge Match, teams that practice and travel together were grouped together. Programs include:

  • Men’s Basketball
  • Women’s Basketball
  • Men’s and Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field
  • Men’s Golf
  • Women’s Golf
  • Men’s Soccer
  • Women’s Soccer
  • Men’s and Women’s Tennis
  • Volleyball

IU East athletes succeeded in competition and in the classroom during the 2018-19 school year.

The Red Wolf athletics program finished second in the River States Conference Commissioners Cup All-Sports Standings for 2018-19, the school’s best finish yet in the league’s all-sports standings. IU East athletes also posted a 3.14 GPA during the 2018-19 school year.

To support an IU East team, contact IU East Director of Gift Development Paula Kay King at 765-973-8331 or at pkayking@iue.edu.