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Winter Park couple pledges largest ever commitment to UCF Athletics ahead of move to Big 12

ORLANDO, Fla. — A Winter Park couple recently launched into space has turned their attention to successfully launching UCF Athletics into the Big 12 Conference.

Local developers Sharon and Marc Hagle have pledged to commit more than $5 million to UCF Athletics, the largest cash commitment ever made to the department by an individual or couple.

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The pledge was made as part of the new “Mission XII” initiative launched by UCF to help with their transition into the Big 12 Conference, which becomes official on July 1, 2023.

The “Mission XII” objectives include positioning UCF Athletics to “win conference and national championships, increase the UCF Athletics operating budget to be in the top half upon entry into the Big 12, and to deliver unique, indigenous athletics facilities for all student-athletes and fans, starting with the UCF Football Campus.”

The new enhanced football campus will be named “The Sharon and Marc Hagle Gateway” in their honor, pending approval by the UCF Board of Trustees.

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The new football campus will include renovated practice fields and a VIP parking lot.

“With a thriving community in Orlando, a bustling Space Coast nearby and one of the largest yet youngest alumni bases in the nation, UCF is well positioned to be a university for the future,” the Hagles said in a statement. “We are thrilled to help the Knights take their next steps into the Big 12.”

UCF will hold a special recognition ceremony during one of the 2022 home football games.

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“I am glad they are on our team,” UCF Head Football Coach Gus Malzahn said in a statement. “Sharon and Marc dream really big. Their passion for space exploration, not only for themselves, but also for many future engineers and scientists through their SpaceKids Global initiative, will continue to be a game-changer. Their investment in our program will push us to new limits too.”

For more information on Mission XII, click here.

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