Creighton’s Championship Center to be renamed the McDermott Center

Jun 03, 2024

This month, Creighton will rename the men’s basketball practice facility the McDermott Center, honoring Coach Greg McDermott and his family.

Featured Testimonial About Creighton University

Image of McDermott Center and Greg McDermott.

We are humbled by the decision to rename such a great facility in honor of my family. 

Greg McDermott Head coach, Creighton men's basketball
A rendering of the McDermott Center sign.
A rendering of the McDermott Center sign.

By Micah Mertes and Rob Anderson

Creighton University men’s basketball head coach Greg McDermott will soon have a building with his name on it.

On Thursday, June 20, at the men’s basketball practice facility, University leadership, donors, friends and fans will dedicate the McDermott Center, named for Coach McDermott and his family. The new name comes almost exactly 10 years after the facility opened.

Formerly known as the Championship Center, the $13 million, 42,000-square-foot facility opened its doors to great fanfare in the summer of 2014. More than 500 donors contributed to the building’s construction, with a lead gift from longtime Creighton supporters Ruth and Bill Scott.

From left: Bill Scott, player Devin Brooks, Coach Greg McDermott and John Scott singing at the dedication of the Championship Center in 2014.
Bill Scott, player Devin Brooks, Coach McDermott and John Scott singing at the dedication of the Championship Center in 2014.

The Scott family recently requested that the building be named after Coach McDermott, a longtime friend of Ruth and the late Bill Scott, who passed away in February at the age of 93.

“Our family is very proud of Coach McDermott and his positive impact on the men's basketball program, players and the entire Creighton community,” said John Scott, Bill and Ruth’s son. “Having his name on the program's practice facility honors this legacy.”

Coach McDermott
Coach McDermott

Creighton President Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD, said he “could not be more impressed in, and grateful for, the generosity of Bill and Ruth Scott and their family. They have supported Creighton men’s basketball, as well as women Bluejay athletes and a wide range of academic programs and facilities. And I congratulate Coach McDermott and his family for this very special recognition of leadership and friendship.”

Coach McDermott said he is humbled by “the decision to rename such a great facility in honor of my family. The philanthropy of Bill, Ruth and the entire Scott family continues to transform not only Creighton University, but all of Omaha.”

Greg, Doug and Theresa McDermott.
Greg, Doug and Theresa McDermott.

Greg McDermott is preparing to enter his 15th season as head coach. During his tenure, he has taken the Bluejays to nine NCAA Tournaments, including three Sweet 16s and a 2023 trip to the Elite Eight. His 325 wins are two shy of a program record and include 19 postseason victories and 39 wins over Top 25 teams.

Other members of the McDermott family have left an indelible mark on college basketball, including Greg’s wife, Theresa McDermott.

The Creighton vs. Cancer Pink Out game that takes place every January, one of college basketball's best traditions, was inspired by Theresa’s battle with breast cancer. Since 2011, Creighton has raised more than $600,000 through its jersey auctions, gameday collections and matching donations. In 2018, Greg McDermott was recognized by the National Association of Basketball Coaches with the organization’s Coaches vs. Cancer Champions Award.

Doug McDermott
Doug McDermott

Greg and Theresa are the parents of Nick, Doug and Sydney. Nick has worked in the golf industry for more than a decade and now serves as a caddie on the PGA Tour. Sydney is pursuing her graduate degree from the University of Kansas after previously earning her undergraduate degree at KU.

And Doug McDermott, BSBA’14, recently wrapped his 10th season in the NBA. Before then, he played a standout career at Creighton, landing three First Team All-America honors, 2014 National Player of the Year accolades, and 3,150 career points to rank top 10 in Division I men’s college basketball history.

His return to Creighton for the opening of the McDermott Center will also mark his own 10-year reunion. He graduated just a few weeks before the facility opened.

“I could not be more grateful to the Scotts for their generosity and recognition of our family,” said Doug McDermott. “Creighton is a special place and home to so many fond memories. This moment will definitely be one of them.”

The Kyle Corver Courts in the McDermott Center.
The Kyle Corver Courts in the McDermott Center.

The McDermott Center is an integral piece of Creighton’s east-campus athletics corridor, offering two basketball courts, a players’ lounge, video/lecture room, hydrotherapy room, underwater treadmill, polar-plunge pool and centers for athletic performance and academic resources for all Creighton student-athletes. Coach McDermott’s own office overlooks the Kyle Korver, BA’03, Courts.

When BIG EAST Conference commissioner Val Ackerman visited Creighton’s athletic corridor at the time of what was then the Championship Center’s completion, she said Creighton contained “among the best on-campus athletic facilities we have in the BIG EAST Conference.”

As state-of-the-art as the McDermott Center is, it still pays tribute to its past, with assistant coaches’ offices named for Coach McDermott’s legendary predecessors, including Dana Altman, Tony Barone, Tom Apke, Eddie Sutton and John “Red” McManus.

Creighton's east-campus athletics corridor.
Creighton's east-campus athletics corridor.

The construction of the McDermott Center was also made possible by the major contributions of donors Wayne Ryan, Connie Ryan and Rhonda and Howard Hawks. A gift from the Peter Kiewit Foundation allowed Creighton to purchase the land where the athletic corridor is located.

Bill and Ruth Scott made transformative gifts to Creighton’s full roster of east-campus athletics facilities, including the Wayne and Eileen Ryan Athletic Center and D.J. Sokol Arena, the Ruth Scott Training Center and the Rasmussen Fitness and Sports Center (named after the Scotts’ close friend, former McCormick Endowed Athletic Director Bruce Rasmussen).

Ruth and Bill Scott, center, with Creighton student-athletes and volleyball head coach Kirsten Booth at The Ruth dedication.
Ruth and Bill Scott, center, with student-athletes and volleyball head coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth at The Ruth dedication.

“The Scott family has changed Creighton Athletics forever,” said Marcus Blossom, McCormick Endowed Athletic Director. “Their support of programs, scholarships and these top-tier facilities continues to be an essential factor in our student-athletes competing at the highest level.”

Few Bluejay fans have shaped the face of Creighton University like Nebraska natives Ruth and Bill Scott. Since 1999, their family foundation has also donated tens of millions of dollars to more than 100 area organizations.

At Creighton, the Scotts contributed significantly to the School of Dentistry building and the CL and Rachel Werner Center for Health Sciences Education. They have likewise supported scholarships for medical students and student-athletes, and established innovative services across multiple schools and colleges — from an After-hours Clinic in the School of Dentistry to a financial literacy program in the Heider College of Business to student-attorney-run legal clinics in the School of Law supporting juvenile clients and Omahans filing for bankruptcy.

 At the 2014 dedication of what is now the McDermott Center, Bill Scott said, “We understand that it is a privilege and obligation to support others, especially student-athletes, where they can pursue athletic and academic excellence in the best college environment possible.

“Creighton is that university.”