DAHLONEGA -- Paying homage to three of its distinguished alumni, the University of North Georgia will dedicate its new baseball and softball field house on Saturday to brothers George ('53), Larry ('59) and Richard ('56) Coleman for their support of Nighthawks hailing from the diamonds.
The 11 a.m. ceremony precedes a pair of 1 p.m. on-campus doubleheaders as the baseball team hosts Flagler at Bob Stein Stadium while the 10th-ranked softball team entertains Georgia Regents at Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium.
"We are looking forward to honoring three of our most enthusiastic athletics supporters with the dedication of the Coleman Field House," said UNG Athletic Director Lindsay Reeves. "The devotion and generosity of George, Larry and Richard have supported and inspired our athletes for many years, and we are proud to show them our gratitude."
Construction on the Coleman Field House was completed in January of 2014. 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, and also assisted with funding to build the previous field houses. Also contributing to the field house were Paul and Frankie Stringer, Scott and Kathy Head, and Bill and Helen Hardman, among others.
"The Coleman Field House would not be a reality today if it were not for the generous individuals whose philanthropy made it possible," said Dr. Andy Leavitt, vice president for university advancement. "Private funds are increasingly more critical to help educate our students."
Tom Cantrell, head coach of UNG's baseball team, said the new building and clubhouse has 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 conference we're in is highly competitive in that area, he said.
In April 2013, the Coleman brothers attended a ceremony that dedicated a commemorative marker to honor the baseball field that was located near the former dining hall for decades. In a journey come full circle, that area is currently under construction to once again become home to recreational fields for student activities and intramural sports play.
"There was no formal team, no scholarships; just a love of the game," Richard Coleman said during the marker ceremony. "It is an honor and a privilege to dedicate this marker and pay tribute to all the players who found camaraderie and friendship here."