Michigan had previously announced that its head coach and offensive coordinator positions, as well as that of athletic director, had been endowed. Thursday, the defensive side of the football has received the same financial treatment.
U-M announced in a press release that the defensive coordinator position has been endowed through a donation from Matthew and Nicole Lester. Thus, moving forward, Don Brown will technically be referred to as the Matthew and Nicole Lester Family Football Defensive coordinator.
Matthew Lester, owner of a real estate investment company, is a 1987 graduate of the university. His father, Dr. Melvin Lester, is also a graduate and founding member of the Victors Club.
The specific amount of the endowment from the Lesters wasn’t divulged.
“We are exceptionally grateful to Matthew and Nicole for this unique gift to the University of Michigan,” said Warde Manuel, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics, in a statement. “The Lester family is part of a strong group of donors and alumni that are passionate about this university. Great relationships can lead to these outcomes, and it is our student-athletes who will continue to benefit for years to come. Gifts like this make it possible for us to attract and retain the best coaches and students who participate in athletics.”
“This gift represents a long-standing commitment by the Lester family to the University of Michigan and football program, and we have so much appreciation for their generosity,” said Jim Harbaugh, the J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Head Football Coach, said in his statement. “This gesture will have a great impact on the coaches and student-athletes who represent our team. We are appreciative of the commitments made by Ira (Harris), Sandy (Robertson) and now the Lester family. Their support and dedication is much appreciated and means a lot. It has been great to spend time getting to know Matt and his son, Asa, and we look forward to their family remaining a part of our program for years to come.”
There was no statement from Sanford Robertson offensive line coach Tim Drevno.