UF Athletic Director Calls Superfan to Reconnect During Social Distancing

Press release from Cox Communications

Stricklin joined the Cox One Call a Day Campaign to Encourage Staying Connected

Cox Communication’s “One Call a Day” campaign inspired a special video chat recently, when University of Florida Athletic Director Scott Stricklin placed his call to one of the Gator Nation’s biggest fans.

A video of the call, posted to the Gator Sports Properties Facebook page, shows Stricklin catching up with Jerome Millman, who spoke from his Gator memorabilia-filled home. Stricklin recounted how he first noticed Millman at a UF softball game, shortly after he arrived in Gainesville. He then spotted Millman among fans two weeks later at the women’s tennis championship in Athens and again a month later in Omaha. He said he’s missed seeing Millman and other fans during this period when sports have been suspended due to COVID-19. He said he looks forward to the time when he’ll be able to see those who love the orange and blue in person again.

“These little phone calls are a nice substitute, but I’m really looking forward to getting back together,” Stricklin said on the call.

Cox created the One Call a Day campaign when states started issuing shelter-in-place recommendations in response to the COVID19 pandemic. It is airing a series of public service announcements stories encouraging people to fill the void isolation may create. In them, Cox volunteers initiate a series of surprise calls to isolated seniors in their communities and encourage others to do the same.

Cox Central Florida Market Vice President Aimee Pfannenstiel said Cox always has been focused on connecting people to the things and people they love most but wanted to raise awareness about people in their communities who may be feeling especially lonely while isolated.

“We know that now, more than ever, people need to know they are not alone,” Pfannenstiel said. “It’s our business and our privilege to make those human connections.”

Cox also recognized that social distancing is keeping people from congregating to enjoy activities they love, like Gator sports. Stricklin was immediately on board with the One Call a Day campaign and knew superfan Millman would be his first call.

After reminiscing about their favorite games, Stricklin closed the video by urging other people to join the Cox campaign of letting friends and loved ones know they are not forgotten.

“The Gator Nation is a special community, and in these times, making a connection with the people you care about is very important,” Stricklin said. “Make that one call today; it could really help someone who needs it. Go Gators.”