How Coaching Endowments Work and Why They Are Important

We recently announced that the UC Davis men’s water polo head coaching position held by Dan Leyson, the WWPA Coach of the Year, will now be titled the Child and Meisel Families Director of Men’s Water Polo.

This title change occurred in recognition of a generous head coach endowment gift from the families of Mike Child and Steve Meisel —both longstanding supporters of UC Davis — that will provide financial support for the men’s water polo program in perpetuity.

A head coach endowment gift is comprised of a significant tax-deductible donation that is placed in an investment account and managed by the office of the Chief Investment Officer of the University of California. The gifted capital is included in the General Endowment Pool (GEP), a $9B fund that invests endowment gifts on behalf of all University of California campuses.

Every year, in perpetuity, an institutionally specified percentage of the head coach endowment gift is paid out to benefit the recipient sports program. Investment returns in excess of this specified percentage are reinvested into the corpus of the gift, which allows it to compound over time and lead to increasing future payouts.

Proceeds from head coach endowments can be used annually for various important programmatic benefits, including head coach compensation and retention, operating budget enhancements, and to meet other needs that will help elevate the competitive success of the team. An endowment gift establishes a reliable revenue stream for an Aggie program every year, in perpetuity. It is a source of consistent financial strength for the future.

In appreciation of these extraordinary gifts, the head coach position is retitled in recognition of the donor, or to recognize an individual of the donor’s choosing. As reflected on our website, on Dan’s business cards and letterhead, and in all communications, our men’s water polo head coaching position will now be known as the Child and Meisel Families Director of Men’s Water Polo.

A donor who makes a coaching endowment gift will often develop a unique relationship with the coach and the benefitting program. Head coaching endowments are becoming increasingly common in college athletics as important sources of perpetual funding, and will continue to be opportunities for donor support at UC Davis. Please contact me or our staff with any questions about head coaching endowments at UC Davis.