The University of North Georgia (UNG) dedicated its new baseball and softball field house this past weekend to brothers George ('53), Larry ('59) and Richard ('56) Coleman for their long-standing support of UNG athletics. The ceremony was attended by nearly 100 family members, friends, community members, and university personnel.
"This is a wonderful, special day for UNG," said UNG President Bonita Jacobs. "This building is such a symbol — a symbol of our alumni and friends, and a symbol of the importance of our athletics programs to our community. Our athletes deserve this, and it will make a huge impact on our ability to recruit."
|Jacobs and the Coleman brothers cut the ribbon.|
Construction on the Coleman Field House was completed in January. The building houses baseball and softball locker rooms, coaches' offices, meeting rooms, and training rooms. The brothers have been staunch supporters of UNG baseball and softball. Also contributing to the field house were Paul and Frankie Stringer, Scott and Kathy Head, and Bill and Helen Hardman, among others.
"We were born and raised in Sandy Springs, and life consisted of church, Boy Scouts, and baseball," said George Coleman, who also is chairman of the UNG Foundation – Dahlonega, Inc. "Baseball was the reason I came to North Georgia. We participated in the Corps of Cadets, and met our wives here. We are honored that our names will be associated with this university for years to come."
Athletic Director Lindsay Reeves said she had never experienced more joy than watching UNG student-athletes as they toured the building. She called the facility a dream come true.
Dr. Andy Leavitt, vice president for university advancement, said the Coleman Field House was made possible by the philanthropy of many generous individuals, as private funds are increasingly more critical to help educate UNG students.
"Private philanthropy plays such an important role in support of our athletics programs," Jacobs said. "This building will stand as a lasting testament to our students, alumni and friends of the love of the game and of great loyalty to the University of North Georgia."
Tom Cantrell, head coach of UNG's baseball team, said the new building and clubhouse have made a big difference in the camaraderie and chemistry of UNG ballplayers. It's a place to hang out as well as get dressed, and it also helps with recruiting; the Peach Belt Conference that UNG competes in is highly competitive in that area, he said.
Double-headers by the UNG softball and baseball teams followed the dedication and ribbon-cutting along with a cookout to celebrate the facility's official debut. The field house was also opened for tours before and after the dedication.