MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- The goals are changing for Niles Eggleston and the Mountaineer Athletic Club. The performances are not.
For the fourth straight year, the MAC, which is WVU's chief athletic department fundraising organization, generated a record amount in contributions.
Eggleston, who is the executive director of the MAC and an assistant athletic director for development, said the WVU Foundation has validated a final number of $21.54 million for the 2010-11 fiscal year. Last year, the MAC raised $18.75 million.
"Our internal goal was $21 million, but what we said we really wanted to do was increase it about 15 perccent or so," Eggleston said. "There are still a number of projects out there we have to get into, so I was hoping to hit $22 million and knock the goal out of the park, but $21.5 million is solid."
Eggleston was named the MAC interim director in April 2008 and promoted to the full-time position that June.
The 2010-11 fiscal year is the second year of the MAC's plan to be at $30 million for the 2013-14 fiscal year.
The MAC is ahead of schedule, but also aware similar high-percentage leaps may not be attainable.
"If we continued at 15 percent, we'd be way above $30 million and way above what was a pretty big goal before," he said.
"We have a lot of payments coming up for the basketball practice facility and things like that. I'd just like to keep our trajectory moving up. We want to be realistic about it."
The reality for now is the MAC continues to excel for WVU's self-sustaining athletic department.
Eggleston came to the Mountaineers in October 2006 as director of development for athletics and was promoted to senior director of development for athletics in August 2007. He entered the interim executive director position near the end of the 2007-08 fiscal year and saw the MAC finish with an audited total of $13.85 million. For 2008-09, it was $15.01 million.
In 2002-03, the MAC raised $5.55 million.
"I remember when it was $9 million," Eggleston said. "When I got here six years ago, we'd just hit $9 million ($9.689 million, plus a $9.226 million piece of Mike Puskar's largest gift in WVU athletics history). We've really taken off since then.
"Obviously, there's a lot more emphasis on it now and it's become increasingly important to educate the fans to help them understand how important it is for them to help us. If we're going to keep moving forward and keep football and basketball and the athletic department competitive and relevant, it takes money."
One major change in 2010-11 was staging more of the Coaches Caravan functions. From April 2-June 7, the caravan made 15 stops in Houston, Atlanta, Pittsburgh and throughout West Virginia with combinations of coaches from all WVU sports. Sometimes there were two stops in a day. Sometimes two days were spent in the same city.