Porter will provide $200,000 for the renovation, which is expected to begin later this spring. When completed, the renovated facility will include new lockers, carpeting, showers, and other amenities for the players.
“I am excited to be able to provide this gift to Colorado State football. My time at CSU was very special as a football player and a student-athlete. Coach Lubick provided me with an opportunity to pursue my dream of playing in college and the NFL. I am grateful for having had that opportunity, and this was a way for me and my family to invest in the future of the Rams,” said Porter.
Ram’s coach Sonny Lubick said Friday’s announcement is exciting for the program.
“This is a very exciting day for our entire football program and our athletic department,” said Lubick. “I cannot thank Joey and his family enough for contributing back to our program. During his career at CSU, Joey was always a player who worked very hard in practice and in games, and it paid off with how successful a career he has had.
“It means a great deal to our coaches and our student-athletes to have Joey Porter step forward and provide this gift. It provides a resource to our program that will help us in continuing the success we’ve had at CSU. I could not be happier nor could I be more proud of Joey and his achievements.”
CSU President Larry Penley said Thursday’s announcement is unique in the world of intercollegiate athletics.
“This gift is a great testament to our Athletics program and its lasting, positive impact on the lives of our student athletes. Our coaches and staff are dedicated to the success of their students—not just on the playing field, but in the classroom and in life. Joey Porter’s achievements and generosity are an outstanding example, and we’re very grateful for this gift,” Penley said.
CSU Director of Athletics Mark Driscoll said Porter’s gift signifies his willingness to give back to the program.
“During his career at CSU, Joey was always a leader on the field,” said Driscoll. “Today’s announcement symbolizes Joey’s willingness to step forward and lead the way for other former student-athletes who valued their experience at CSU to give back to the program.
Porter completed his sixth season with the Steelers in 2005, after having been selected in the third round (73 player chosen overall) by Pittsburgh in 1999. In 2004, en route to being selected to the Pro Bowl, Porter amassed 70 total tackles including 53 unassisted stops, intercepted on pass, and led the team with seven quarterback sacks.
He enters 2006 with 42.5 career quarterback sacks, including 10.5 in 2000, the best figure in his career. In 2001 and ’02, he had nine quarterback sacks, added five more in ’03, and seven last season. Porter has also intercepted six career passes, including a career-most four in 2002.
Last season, Porter helped the Steelers to a 15-1 record and the AFC North divisional crown. Pittsburgh defeated the New York Jets in the divisional playoffs before losing to eventual NFL champion New England in the AFC Championship Game.
Lubick lured Porter to Colorado State in 1995 after the latter had a standout prep career in Bakersfield, Calif. He formerly played wide receiver, H-Back, runningback, and was later moved to defensive end where he earned national acclaim for his play.
In just two seasons at end, Porter accounted for 22 quarterback sacks, which currently is the fourth highest career total in school history. He tied former Ram and current NFL star Brady Smith’s school single-season record with 15 sacks in 1998.
Porter was named first-team all-conference as a senior in 1998, and played in the East-West Shrine and the Senior Bowl all-star games following his senior season. He was a second-team all-conference selection as a junior in 1997, when he played a critical role in the Rams’ 11-2 season which included a conference championship and win over the University of Missouri in the Holiday Bowl. The Rams concluded the season ranked 13th nationally, the highest end-of-season ranking in school history.
Porter’s coach at Colorado State, Sonny Lubick, is in his 13th season at the helm, and has won 95 games during his career. During that time, he has guided the Rams to eight bowl games, six conference titles, and at one point, 10 consecutive winning seasons.