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Lycoming College's Robert L. Shangraw Athletic Complex will receive a major facelift this summer. Projects include the installation of FieldTurf to replace the grass football field surface at David Person Field and a prominently displayed bronze bust of legendary head football coach Frank Girardi. The field project is scheduled to be completed in time for the kickoff of the 2012 football season while Girardi's bust will be officially unveiled during the Warriors' Homecoming game on Oct. 20. Along with improving the overall aesthetics of the football stadium, the addition of an all-weather surface will help eliminate practice space issues at the complex.
A ceremonial groundbreaking for the project was held Wednesday, June 13. The project is set to begin on Monday, June 18.
"We are incredibly excited about the installation of FieldTurf and the much-deserved recognition for Coach Girardi," said Mike Clark, Lycoming's head football coach and director of athletics. "This project will help us to improve an already outstanding facility while at the same time honor one of the greatest coaches in college football history."
A vast majority of the $1.1 million project was raised during a four-month period beginning in January. More than 325 donors, including many former football players as well as individuals from the Williamsport community and elsewhere, made gifts to honor Girardi's legacy and strengthen one of the most storied NCAA Division III football programs. Fundraising efforts are continuing for both projects with special donor recognition available for major contributors. For more information, please contact Greg Bell, senior major gift officer, at (570) 321-4395 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apart from the FieldTurf and Girardi recognition, several donors are supporting a redesigned athletic complex entrance and parking lot expansion, both of which are still in the planning and design phase.
"We're very excited about the opportunity to improve the football stadium," said Steve Wiser, Lycoming's assistant head football coach. "The improvement it will bring to the program as a whole and the advantage it will give us in recruiting under Coach Clark's leadership will be great benefits. The time is right to honor Coach Girardi in this special way and to strengthen the program he played a monumental role in building through the years. And it gives me great pleasure to say that these projects are being made possible through the tremendous financial support of many of our alumni and community members."
Girardi, who retired in 2007 with 257 wins during his 36-year career at Lycoming, is the 17th coach at any NCAA level to reach the 250-win plateau. The bust is a permanent way to recognize Girardi's character, leadership and excellence. Overall, the football program has won 14 Middle Atlantic Conference titles, has made 12 trips to the NCAA Division III playoffs and has appeared in two national championship games. During the last 40 years, the Warriors have won more than 71 percent of their games, compiling an impressive record of 282-113-5.
Founded in 1812 and celebrating its bicentennial during the 2011-12 academic year, Lycoming College is a national liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. It offers 35 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 institution by U.S. News & World Report. Located near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation. For more information, visit www.lycoming.edu.
Pictured from left: Chair of the Board Peter Lynn '69, Chairman Emeritus Robert L. Shangraw '58 '04H, head football coach Mike Clark '93, 2012 football team captains Cody Moyer '13, Parker Showers '13 and Nate Oropollo '13, former head football coach Frank Girardi, assistant head football coach Steve Wiser '74 and President James E. Douthat break ground for FieldTurf at David Person Field at the Shangraw Athletic Complex.