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Lynn and Mike Cottrell make generous donation for new digital scoreboards at University of North Georgia
Lynn Cottrell, center, poses with a North Georgia jersey during a ceremony Friday to celebrate her generous donation for new digital scoreboards at the baseball, softball and soccer field in Dahlonega. To her left is husband Mike Cottrell. On the left is North Georgia baseball coach Tom Cantrell. On the right are North Georgia president Bonita Jacobs and athletics director Lindsay Reeves (far right).

Clark Leonard

For The Times

Lynn Cottrell, a generous benefactor for a new football and baseball field at North Hall High, has made a $1 million dollar contribution to the University of North Georgia to be used for new digital scoreboards at the baseball, soccer and softball fields on the Dahlonega campus, the school announced Friday.

“This gift from Lynn Cottrell will significantly enhance our athletic complex and the experience of our student-athletes and fans,” North Georgia president Bonita Jacobs said. “The generosity of donors like Lynn and Mike Cottrell makes an incredible impact at UNG, and we are very grateful for their support.”

Baseball head coach Tom Cantrell, softball head coach Mike Davenport and men’s soccer head coach Patrice Parris joined Mike and Lynn Cottrell and Jacobs at Coleman Field House for Friday’s signing ceremony announcing the gift.

The new scoreboards will display photos of players and their statistics during the lineup announcement or when players are at bat in baseball and softball. Eventually, the scoreboards could show instant replays. The baseball and softball scoreboards could be ready as early as the 2020 season.

North Georgia athletics director Lindsay Reeves is thankful for the Cottrells’ generosity to the athletics department.

“We have first-class facilities that rival all Division II schools and some Division I schools,” she said. “These video boards are going to take us to the next level for fan experience.”

Davenport, whose program won the 2015 national title and has won six straight Peach Belt Conference championships, is thankful for the new scoreboards on the way.

“We are blessed with some of the top facilities not only in Division-II softball but the whole nation,” Davenport said. “With the gracious donation from Mike and Lynn Cottrell, this will be another huge improvement to our facility for our student-athletes and our fans while they watch the Nighthawks play.”

Parris said the digital scoreboards give the Nighthawks an advantage against its rivals.

“Our facilities are a major recruitment tool for our program; having a digital scoreboard allows us to continue to market the University of North Georgia at the national level,” Parris said. “It is truly a blessing and inspiration.”

Earlier this year, the Cottrells gave $10 million to help fund a new home for North Georgia’s Mike Cottrell College of Business. Groundbreaking is expected next year on the Cottrell Center for Business, Technology and Innovation on UNG’s Dahlonega Campus, and the facility is expected to open in 2022. The gift announced in June was the second $10 million gift to UNG from the couple.

The 91,000-square-foot business and technology building, with an estimated total cost of $35 million, will be located off Chestatee Street near the main campus entrance. 

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