2011 Sprankle-Sprandel Stadium Improvements Bring New Look
Sprankle-Sprandel Stadium was transformed during summer 2011 with the installation of artificial turf on the football field and a new running surface on Isaac Track as well as improved facilities for spring field events. The work on the stadium represents Phase I of a long-term project, including upgrades for many of Albion's indoor and outdoor varsity facilities as well as recreation and wellness spaces.
Honoring Coach Pete Schmidt
To honor the legacy of Pete Schmidt, the football coach who led the Britons to nine league titles and the 1994 NCAA Division III football national championship, a fundraising drive was initiated to rename Albion's football field. The field, which currently bears the name of another legendary Briton football coach, Morley Fraser, will become Schmidt-Fraser Field at a dedication ceremony on Sept. 24 prior to Albion's Homecoming game. The project is the central component of Phase I of the athletics facilities upgrades now under way.
A group of alumni, led by Kyle Klein, '97, Paul Elder, '87, Scott Merchant, '93, Hank Wineman, '92, and former football coach Dave Egnatuk, '71, has spearheaded the $500,000 effort, with support from athletic director Matt Arend and Scott Draper, director of development for athletics.
"The drive is an ongoing fundraising process until we reach our goal," Draper said. "We are actively working to reach our goal before Homecoming. There will be a strong push in the next few weeks to make that happen and receive our commitments so we can celebrate on Sept. 24 the renaming of Schmidt-Fraser Field."
Offering first-rate facilities helps attract top-quality students who are looking for an excellent educational experience as well as an opportunity to compete at a very high level athletically. "Athletics reaches across the campus," Draper continues. "Half of the incoming class for 2011 are student-athletes. That's a lot of students who have made the decision to come to Albion College not only because of our academic reputation but because they want to be part of our athletic program. That commitment should be acknowledged through our support for athletics."
Successful athletic programs build a sense of community and a positive atmosphere on campus, Draper adds, and he encourages Briton alumni to return to campus and support our athletes in competition. "It's an opportunity for alumni to come back and enjoy a baseball game, a basketball game, a soccer match, whatever it might be, and reconnect with old friends. It brings everyone together--alumni and current students. It all builds good feelings toward the College which in turn will yield great results for the future."