Coach Fernandez Endows Women’s Basketball Scholarship

By on October 7, 2015
Longtime Bulls' Head Coach Becomes First Active USF Coach To Endow A Scholarship; Lead Gift Made With Goal Of Endowing All 15 Scholarships For Program (Aaron Doster / USA TODAY Sports)

Longtime Bulls’ Head Coach Becomes First Active USF Coach To Endow A Scholarship;
Lead Gift Made With Goal Of Endowing All 15 Scholarships For Program (Aaron Doster / USA TODAY Sports)

TAMPA, FLA.- – Already having etched his name as the most successful head coach in USF women’s basketball program history, Jose Fernandez has taken another step toward securing the future success of the program he has built.

Just a few months after signing a contract extension that will keep him at USF through 2021, Fernandez and his wife, Tonya, announced a gift to create the Jose & Tonya Fernandez Women’s Basketball Scholarship. It marks the first endowed scholarship for the program that has made 11 post-season appearances in the last 12 years under Fernandez.

“Tonya and I are very fortunate to be able to make this gift,” Fernandez, who is entering his 16th season, said. “USF has been an incredible place for us the past 15 seasons. The opportunity to be able give back and contribute to building the long term foundation of our program is very powerful and rewarding.”

The endowed scholarship is the first for the USF women’s basketball program, which provides full scholarships for 15 student-athletes. In becoming the first active head coach at USF to endow a scholarship, Fernandez makes a lead gift in hopes of the entire program endowed in the future. The first recipient of the Jose & Tonya Fernandez Women’s Basketball Scholarship will be announced prior to the 2016-17 season.

“Jose and Tonya have such passion for this University and for our outstanding women’s basketball program, which Jose has built to national prominence,” USF Director of Athletics Mark Harlan said. “We were thrilled when we were able to extend Jose’s contract through 2021, and he and Tonya’s generosity and commitment to USF continue to underscore how lucky we are to have him leading our program and both of them as part of our USF family.”

Fernandez’s 2015-16 team has been ranked as high as No. 15 in preseason polls and returns all five starters from a team that posted a program record 27 wins while earning the Bulls’ third NCAA Tournament berth under Fernandez. The all-time winningest coach in program history, Fernandez took over the Bulls’ program in 2000 and led USF to its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 2006. He has guided USF to six 20-win seasons, two WNIT final four appearances, the 2009 WNIT championship and won more than 260 games in his 15 seasons.

“I am extremely proud of the young ladies that have come through our program and the teams I’ve coached,” Fernandez said. “At the end of the day, it’s about doing for others and leaving a legacy for others to follow.”

About USF Athletics Endowments

Establishing a scholarship endowment with USF Athletics allows supporters to leave a legacy that creates a transformational experience for USF student-athletes for years to come. Named endowments exist in perpetuity with a minimum commitment of $25,000 (payable over five (5) years) to establish a fund toward your area of interest.

Gifts for endowed scholarships are invested by the USF Foundation and a percentage of annual earnings, as is determined by USF Foundation policy, will be made available for scholarship awards in any given year. The balance of earnings, less a small administrative fee that underwrites the cost of investment and management services, is reinvested with the scholarship principal to ensure that the endowment keeps pace with inflation. Currently, USF uses the figure of 4.0% to conservatively project the annual spending rate.

For more information on how you can establish your own legacy with USF Athletics please call Brian Clark, Assistant Director of Athletics for Major Gifts, at 813-974-7489 or

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