THIBODAUX — Nicholls State University and the Manning Passing Academy have signed a six-year contract extension to host the popular football skills camp on the Thibodaux campus through 2021.
“We are very excited to enter into a long-term agreement with Nicholls State University,” said Archie Manning, founder and executive director of the Manning Passing Academy. “The past 10 years have been terrific. Our staff, the campers and their families get to experience the true Southern hospitality that Louisiana and Lafourche Parish are famous for. We feel that Thibodaux is the home of the Manning Passing Academy.”
“The facilities, residence halls, athletic fields and personal attention that Nicholls provides are first-class and a big part of the Manning Passing Academy brand,” added Jeff Hawkins, co-camp director for the Manning Passing Academy.
Nicholls has hosted the four-day summer football camp since 2005, annually attracting more than 1,000 high school athletes and over 100 coaches and counselors from the NFL, colleges and high schools across the country. Previously held each July, the 2016 Manning Passing Academy and future MPA camps will welcome campers June 23-26 to comply with NCAA recruiting regulations.
“The ongoing partnership between Nicholls and the Manning Passing Academy is a win-win-win for Nicholls, the Mannings and the City of Thibodaux,” said Nicholls President Dr. Bruce Murphy. “Nicholls, along with our community partners, are committed to delivering the best experience possible, and we are grateful to the Mannings for choosing our university to help educate and inspire young athletes each summer.”
High school quarterbacks, receivers, running backs and tight ends travel from all 50 states and around the world to learn football fundamentals from retired NFL quarterback Archie Manning and his three sons, Fox Sports host Cooper and Super Bowl MVPs Peyton and Eli.
Since arriving at Nicholls, the Manning Passing Academy has helped the university make campus improvements including a new AstroTurf surface at John L. Guidry Stadium. The Mannings also worked with Nicholls, the South Louisiana Economic Council and state Sen. Norby Chabert to secure private and state funding for a drainage project designed to optimize surface conditions for the 20-acre field behind the stadium, where most of the Manning Passing Academy takes place.
“We feel that the green space and practice fields that Nicholls has make the campus the perfect location for the Manning Passing Academy,” said Buddy Teevens, co-camp director for the Manning Passing Academy.
“The improvements to the facilities along with the outstanding support from the community have been important factors in developing such a positive relationship with the Manning Passing Academy,” added Vic Lafont, president and CEO of the South Louisiana Economic Council. “Nicholls does a superb job hosting the camp, which provides a massive boost to the region’s economy.”
Counselors, campers and their families travel to Thibodaux and annually contribute more than $2 million to the local economy by staying at local hotels, eating at local restaurants and shopping at local retailers. For some businesses, the week the Mannings are in town is the busiest week of the year.
“Hosting the Manning Passing Academy is a tremendous value for our community,” said Timothy Bush, executive director of the Bayou Lafourche Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The camp brings in countless visitors from across the country and adds a significant economic impact to our local economy. It’s also a big boost to our local tourism because people who may have never been here before have a chance to experience our food, culture and attractions.”
“This commitment from the Mannings to Nicholls State University ensures that our local economy will continue to reap the benefits of having such a fine organization like the Manning Passing Academy hosted right here in Thibodaux,” added Thibodaux Mayor Tommy Eschete. “It also means our city will continue to share in the tremendous publicity and notoriety.”
One of the Manning Passing Academy’s biggest draws — the Saturday Night Lights quarterback challenge — benefits Nicholls athletics programs. The challenge gives campers a front-row seat as they watch some of the country’s top college quarterbacks compete in a football passing competition.
For more information on the Manning Passing Academy, including eligibility and registration, visit manningpassingacademy.com.