Touchdown Terrace now named for Richard Giannini - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Touchdown Terrace now named for Richard Giannini

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

As of Thursday night, the south endzone suite, or Touchdown Terrace, at M. M. Roberts Stadium is now named the Richard Giannini Touchdown Terrace. The announcement came as a pleasant surprise to Giannini at the conclusion of a tribute dinner to the man who served as athletics director of the University of Southern Mississippi for the past 13 years.

Southern Miss Interim President Aubrey Lucas attended and made the announcement.

A number of Southern Miss supporters, and even former and current coaches, attended the dinner, including Mississippi Senator John Polk. He wasn't the only big political player to honor Giannini. Governor Phil Bryant sent a letter of commendation read by one of the event's coordinators, Ed Langton.

Upon stepping up to the podium to share his thoughts, Giannini showed emotion on a number of occasions in thanking his support system, some who've passed on, in both his personal and his professional life.

"Tonight wasn't about Richard Giannini," said Giannini, "Tonight was about all the many friends, and the people that have supported this program, and have built the facilities that we were able to build in the last 13 years. I just can't thank them enough.

"My heart goes out to every one of them."

Giannini of course is credited with gathering funds needed to build and renovate a number of the athletic facilities at Southern Miss, along with guiding a number of teams to success in his 13 years. He retired at the end of the 2011 football season.

"[Richard] is the real deal," said Langton, "What you've heard here tonight are not to be talked about as things that are intangibles. It's all tangible. You look around and you can see the leadership, the vision, and the things he's accomplished."

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