By: KDKA-TV News Staff
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - The Pitt Panthers received a $20 million gift, the largest donation in program history.
The gift was paid by 1997 alumnus Chris Bickell and in turn, the head coaching position will now be permanently named "The Chris Bickell '97 Head Football Coach."
"Chris is a generous and longtime supporter of the University of Pittsburgh's football program," said Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. "This gift, however, is perhaps his most powerful, and it will help to shape the future and success of Pitt football for years to come."
"We are forever grateful for Chris's generous donation that demonstrates his commitment to our football program and the extraordinary experience we want for our student-athletes, both in the present and into our future," Director of Athletics Heather Lyke said.
Bickell has worked largely in the IT industry and is currently the CEO of WellHive, a firm that helps military veterans find healthcare services.
"I am a proud Pitt Man and it is my honor to give back to this great University," said Bickell. "I believe the leadership is in place to take Pitt Athletics and our football program to the next level. I hope my gift inspires others to do their part in making that happen."
Bickell will meet with the team on Thursday to offer words of encouragement and the university will celebrate his gift at the season opener on Saturday.
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