SUNY Cortland is currently working on improving two on-campus athletic facilities – Dragon Field, the home of the Red Dragons’ softball team, and T. Fred “Prof” Holloway Field, a long-time soccer complex.
“We are very excited about these two projects,” said Cortland Director of Athletics Mike Urtz ’94. “They will provide great upgrades to both facilities, which will benefit our current and future student-athletes, and at the same time help us honor some of the legendary people who have made Cortland Athletics special.”
The softball field capital improvements are beginning this summer with the construction of new home and away dugouts, including connected bullpens. Renovation of the backstop is planned for the summer of 2019, which is also when the College will be celebrating its 50th anniversary of varsity intercollegiate softball. A formal entryway will be constructed, likely in 2020, to tie in with the Holloway Field project.
The Cortland Athletics Department is planning to permanently honor two Red Dragon softball coaching legends – Sally Yeager Wallace ’53 M ’63 and current head coach Julie Lenhart – with its fundraising campaign. More than $50,000 has been raised thus far toward the project goal of $325,000.
Wallace organized the women’s intercollegiate softball program in the late 1960s and fashioned a combined 106-33 record. Her 1977 team won the New York State Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (NYSAIAW) tournament. She also coached basketball for five seasons and women’s golf for three years. She was inducted into the Cortland C-Club Hall of Fame in 1979. Wallace passed away in August 2008 at age 76.
Lenhart completed her 24th year as Cortland’s softball head coach in 2018. Her Red Dragon teams have posted a 795-313-2 record. She also registered 120 wins in five seasons at Wisconsin-Platteville from 1990-94, and this past spring became only the sixth coach in Division III history to reach the career 900-win plateau. Lenhart has led Cortland to 16 NCAA tournaments, including seven World Series, and 11 SUNYAC titles. Her 2013 squad was national runner-up and her 2011 team placed fourth nationally.
Cortland alumni, fans and friends are encouraged to support the projects. A total of 30 hooks in the new home dugout can be named for $1,000 apiece and will feature personalized nameplates. For more information, visit RedDragonNetwork.org/givetosoftball, or contact Michele Artus, Leadership Gift Officer, at [email protected] or 607-753-4998.
The start of the Holloway Field project is scheduled for either later this summer or this fall with the installation of a new grass field and new goals. A new scoreboard and new team sideline shelters are expected in 2019, and a new fence will be erected in 2020 in conjunction with the entry walkway project at Dragon Field. Holloway Field and the softball complex are located next to each other.
Presently more than $57,000 has been pledged toward the Holloway Field renovation toward a project goal of $500,000. The official announcement of the project will take place in the fall, at which time an official avenue to donate to the campaign will be provided. Those interested in donating prior to that can contact Rich Coyne ’07, Senior Gift Officer, at [email protected] or 607-753-5516. There will be multiple giving levels for naming opportunities available, however limited in quantity.
Successful Baseball Project
The Dragon Field and Holloway Field Renovation Campaigns are coming off the heels of a highly successful fundraising campaign for improvements to Robert H. Wallace ’53 Field, Cortland’s home baseball facility.
From 2015-present, a total of $139,617 has been raised to assist with renovating the home and away dugouts and constructing an Alumni Plaza at Wallace Field. The final phase is to create a hitting facility, which is currently being planned. Baseball alumni and other supporters of the program created a legacy for themselves by naming a locker in the baseball locker room.