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Grace breaks ground on revamped softball stadium

Rendering of Coach Phil Dick Field

Grace College celebrated a groundbreaking ceremony for a new softball stadium on Friday afternoon.

The softball complex will receive a facelift this summer. The renovated softball stadium at Miller Athletic Complex will be named Coach Phil Dick Field.

Coach Dick is the all-time winningest coach in program history, leading the Lady Lancers’ softball team to 252 victories from 1981-94 and the team’s only NAIA tournament appearance in 1994. During his time at Grace, he also served as Athletic Director and had a lasting impact on many lives.

“We are thrilled to have the chance to enhance our athletic department with this new softball stadium,” said Grace President Dr. Bill Katip. “Coach Dick was an important figure in our history, and we are excited to continue his legacy for future generations of Lady Lancers.”

The project includes grandstand seating behind home plate, new press box, upgraded fencing, protective netting and a four-foot padded wall to border the complex’s backstop.

Pictured are Phil Dick’s family along with Grace A.D. Chad Briscoe, Grace President Dr. Bill Katip and Grace board member Janine Zeltwanger.

Additionally, the project will have new graphic banners and a sidewalk into the complex to create a dynamic, visual walkway to the field. Signage to honor the late Coach Dick, his family and donors will also be installed at the stadium.

“We are blessed with the opportunity to upgrade our softball facility. The new stadium to honor Coach Phil Dick will enhance the student-athlete experience and will give our athletes a great platform to live and share their faith,” said Grace Director of Athletics Chad Briscoe. “We look forward to honoring the Dick family and appreciate all the donors who have made this project possible.”

Construction on the softball stadium will begin by June 1 with the project slated to be ready for next softball season. Coach Phil Dick Field will have a dedication ceremony on Oct. 6 to coincide with Grace’s Homecoming. All softball alumni and fans are encouraged to make plans to attend the dedication ceremony.

An interesting and unplanned facet to Friday’s groundbreaking ceremony centered around Grace’s opponent on Friday, Mt. Vernon Nazarene University. MVNU’s head coach Jeana Howald mentioned before the ceremony that Coach Dick was a primary mentor to her as she began her coaching career at MVNU 29 years ago.
Tagged With: 2018 Archives, Athletics, Campus Life, Events