Cleveland Browns OL Joel Bitonio donates $1M to Nevada Athletics for new weight room

Joel Bitonio and his family celebrate the unveiling of the Bitonio Family Strength &...
Joel Bitonio and his family celebrate the unveiling of the Bitonio Family Strength & Conditioning Center on April 21, 2023. The $1 million donation made to the University of Nevada, Bitonio's alma mater, was called one of the largest donations to the athletic department to date.(Source: Nevada Athletics)
Published: Apr. 22, 2023 at 7:30 AM EDT
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RENO, Nev. (WOIO) - Cleveland Browns OL Joel Bitonio this week donated $1 million to the University of Nevada, his alma mater, to fund a new weight room.

A press release from the school’s athletic department says the donation made by the Browns’ 2022 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award nominee, who attended the university from 2009-2013, is one of the school’s largest donations to date.

Bitonio, along with his wife Courtney, unveiled the ‘Bitonio Family Strength & Conditioning Center’ Friday night.

“It’s really a surreal experience,” Bitonio said. “You go into the NFL, and you hope you have a big career and get to a point where you have some money and can help people out. Me and Courtney have done a lot in the Cleveland community and Long Beach, (California), where I’m from, and Nevada football is a huge part of our lives and my life.

“It was just a no-brainer and something I’m very passionate about,” Bitonio continued. “We wanted to help where we can and leave a legacy at the University of Nevada as well.”

Joel and Courtney’s gift is a transformational statement about the importance the University of Nevada plays in the lives of our student-athletes. This gift will significantly impact our football program and the momentum we are creating within our athletics program. I am personally so grateful to Joel and Courtney for their generous gift and their leadership, and hope it encourages others in the Wolf Pack community to support our efforts to build a championship-caliber athletics program.

Stephanie Rempe, University of Nevada Athletic Director