Green Bay Packers quarterback and Cal football legend Aaron Rodgers has donated a seven-figure sum to Cal Athletics on Tuesday, specifically for football locker room renovations and the creation of the Aaron Rodgers Football Scholarship.
“I’m pleased and proud to make this gift to support Cal football,” Rodgers said. “My years at Cal were among the best years of my life. My time in Berkeley created lasting, unforgettable memories. Coach Wilcox was on the coaching staff when I was a Bear, and I am excited about the team’s direction with Justin pointing the way. He is a tremendous football coach and an even better role model for his players. I hope that my contribution can help him move this program forward.”
The Aaron Rodgers Team Locker Room will be completed before the 2019 football season kicks off. Along with the renovations, a yearly scholarship will be given to a junior college transfer student. This gesture constitutes an appreciation for the junior college athletic system, as Rodgers himself transferred to Cal from Butte College in 2003.
Rodgers’ hefty donation comes after a lengthy feud with Cal Athletics. The quarterback’s frustration with the program allegedly sprouted from the 2012 firing of former Cal football head coach Jeff Tedford, who coached Rodgers in 2003-04. As a result, Rodgers preferred to be introduced on television broadcasts as a Butte College alum.
But time heals all. Current Cal football head coach Justin Wilcox was a linebackers coach when Rodgers played for the Bears.
“We are thrilled and grateful that Aaron is making this important investment in the Cal football program,” Wilcox said. “Aaron’s gift will help provide our student-athletes with a tremendous place to gather and prepare for all our football-related activities.”