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Former UNI football player, wife donate $1 million to UNI-Dome renovation

CEDAR FALLS - A member of the powerhouse early-1990s Panther football team has pledged a seven-figure gift to renew the UNI-Dome for the next generation. 

CEDAR FALLS – A member of the powerhouse early-1990s Panther football team has pledged a seven-figure gift to renew the UNI-Dome for the next generation.

While at the University of Northern Iowa, Brad Baumler ’93 played an integral role in the Panther linebacker corps, including the 1992 squad that finished with a 12-2 record. Graduating with a degree in industrial technology, Brad, along with his wife Mary Lynn, have invested $1 million to show their support for Panther student-athletes.

“The UNI-Dome is symbolic of the university itself,” said Baumler. “When you think about UNI, you think about that Dome.”

“Our facilities at UNI need to be the best,” he continued. “And it starts out with a major campaign like this to help set the stage for the future. We need to get this project done and moving. It’s time.”

Baumler added that his first memory of the UNI-Dome is competing in the Iowa High School Athletics Association playoffs.

“As a kid, that’s something you always looked forward to, was making it to the Dome,” he said.

“Words cannot express my gratitude and excitement for the gift from Brad and Mary Lynn,” said UNI head football coach Mark Farley. “This gift is a representation of what UNI football stands for. Brad epitomizes what drive, determination, and work ethic can achieve. As a linebacker for UNI, he represented every characteristic that we want UNI football to represent. He leads through his actions and believes in the dream of being the best. He built his company the same way he played linebacker. Always tough, always honest, and always putting the team first.”

Brad Baumler is president of the commercial and residential paving company Concrete Technologies, Inc., based in the Des Moines area. He and Mary Lynn have generously supported Panther Football, including the Van G. Miller Family Charitable Foundation Meeting Room that kicked off the UNI-Dome renovation campaign. Brad and three of his siblings are proud UNI alumni along with a sibling of Mary Lynn.

In recognition of the Baumlers’ gift, a premier space in the UNI-Dome will be named in their family’s honor.

“It’s such a great, overwhelming feeling when it’s just so loud in the Dome,” Mary Lynn said. “And the players can look up in the stands and see all of their family and friends cheering them on.”

The Baumler’s gift supports a three-phased $50 million renovation of the UNI-Dome. Included in the first phase of renovations is replacing the UNI-Dome’s nearly 25-year-old fabric roof, reconstructing the west entrance and concourse, creating new and increased restrooms, and providing new and expanded suites.

Phase two of the project will include bowl upgrades and structural improvements along with resurfacing the indoor track. Among the bowl improvements included are new seating, wider aisles, handrails and greater ADA seating. The final phase of the project will include updates to the UNI-Dome sound system, marquee signage and visual identity.

Phase one is estimated at $20 million with over half of the goal already raised. Phase two is also estimated at $20 million while phase three is estimated at $10 million. The UNI-Dome renovation is a key initiative of the university’s Our Tomorrow comprehensive campaign and will be funded primarily with private support. Multiple naming opportunities are available and can be accessed through the UNI-Dome renovation website,

Donations to the project are tax-deductible through the UNI Foundation and can be made as a multi-year pledge.

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