The Vikings are Feeling the Impact of the Crowdfunds for LU Athletics (Spring 2018)
Men’s and Women’s Basketball – With the money raised from the 2018 Crowdfund for LU Athletics, the men’s and women’s basketball programs were able to purchase a new “The Gun” Shooting Machine. The machine was purchased during the summer, and our players are excited to get lots of shots up during their preseason workouts when they arrive back on campus in the fall. This purchase will provide an awesome opportunity for our players to not only train in a much more efficient manner, but through this upgrade, they will also be able to take advantage of specific workouts, which will be tailored to their shooting needs and will provide immediate feedback during an actual workout. Head Women’s Basketball Coach Riley Woldt and Head Men’s Basketball Coach Zach Filzen
Men’s Ice Hockey – The new skate sharpener ensures our players’ skates are ready to go for practices and games and. The upgrade to top-rated skate sharpening equipment breeds the confidence in our players that they will be able to compete at peak performance levels each and every single time they touch the ice. Head Men’s Ice Hockey Coach Mike Szkodzinski
Men’s and Women’s Tennis, Softball, and Baseball – While we have not utilized the funds yet, our student-athletes are so grateful that their cost of going on our respective trips in March 2019 has been significantly defrayed, and they are excited that our trips will be enhanced by the generous donations of our alumni, parents, friends, and LU family. Head Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach Steve Francour and Head Softball Coach Kim Tatro
Women’s Volleyball – We travel to Boston/Springfield, Mass., from August 29 to September 3. The funds raised from the 2018 Crowdfund for LU Athletics will help our student-athletes enjoy a competitive, educational and fun trip with significantly less personal expenses involved. We will be posting pictures of our journey on our social media accounts. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving – We will use the funds raised from the crowdfund to help our student-athletes purchase championship suits. This is really going to impact our team members’ experience by allowing them to get top of the line suits to use at the Midwest Conference Championships meet! We are so grateful. Head Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Coach Drew Fleek
Men’s Soccer – The team is benefitting not only from a new camera but from the VidSwap program, as well. A new HD camera and tripod will give us a more consistent, stable view of the game. Over the years the film room has always been a place we need to improve. It is a part of the program where we can take control of building the "total player." Program upgrades like these film tools combined with the desire of our athletes to get better is the recipe for building a quality men’s soccer program. We cannot and will not shy away from hard work! We cannot wait to get started. Head Men’s Soccer Coach Will Greer
Women’s Soccer – With the need for a new live film kit and tripod put on hold at the beginning of my time on staff, the women’s soccer team will be purchasing 25 new Nike soccer balls, which will make a dramatic difference on our ability to train effectively. For the first time in our program’s history, we will be practicing on a daily basis with the same ball model that we use in competition, which should have a direct impact on the development of our technique and feel on the pitch. Head Women’s Soccer Coach Joe Sagar
Football – The generous gifts made to LU Football during the Crowdfund for LU Athletics has allowed us to improve our technology in both the areas of video analysis and in recruiting. The upgrades made with our tablets and Hudl video features will allow our coaches and players to better prepare for each game with more quality practice reps. The upgrade to our recruiting software will allow our coaches and prospective student-athletes to communicate more effectively and efficiently throughout the recruiting process. Thank you so much to those who gave!
Men’s and Women’s Fencing – Vikings Fencing thanks all of our generous alumni who made contributions to the programs during the Crowdfund for LU Athletics. We will definitely make good use of our four brand new scoring boxes! Head Men’s and Women’s Fencing Coach Mike Hall
Men’s and Women’s Cross Country and Track & Field – Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we were able to raise enough money to get both the new set of steeplechase barriers and a new state-of-the-art discus and hammer throwing cage. These are truly program-changing enhancements. I can't thank our supporters enough! Head Men’s and Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field Coach Jason Fast
Baseball & Softball Windscreens (2017)
With the investments of Vikings parents, we were able to provide a much-needed facelift to the Whiting Field baseball and softball diamonds. The brand new windscreens, which adorn our baseball and softball outfield fences, represent the first of its kind for baseball and a refresh for softball, and the improvements dramatically increase the aesthetics of both home venues.
The Banta Bowl Renovation (2015)
If it takes a village to raise a child, then it really does take a community of alumni, parents, friends, and local organizations to come together and invest in an award-winning stadium renovation. We are deeply grateful for the support and investment of so many members of the Lawrence family that brought the beautiful Banta Bowl renovation to life in 2015.
The 3,634-seat Banta Bowl, tucked into a natural ravine just south of the Fox River, underwent a major renovation during the spring and summer of 2015. The stadium, home to Lawrence Football since 1965, now also houses the Lawrence Men’s and Women’s Soccer teams. The overall renovation received an award from the American Sports Builders Association (ASBA) in 2016 with honors coming in the Distinguished Field Facilities category.
Renovations began with raising and widening the playing field to accommodate a soccer pitch. The natural grass surface was replaced with FieldTurf to allow for more and varied use of the stadium. The fan experience was greatly improved with aluminum grandstand seating and an LED scoreboard that houses a new sound system.
Fans enter the Banta Bowl through an inviting plaza at the north end of the stadium. The new Gilboy Athletic Center houses Lawrence’s football locker room, an athletic training room, an officials’ room, concessions, ticketing and restrooms. The building was named for Steve ’62 and Joan Gilboy, who provided a leadership gift for the stadium renovation.
The naming of Ron Roberts Field at the Banta Bowl honors Lawrence’s legendary football coach and long-time director of athletics, Ron Roberts, at the behest of Tom Rogers ’65, who gave the lead gift for the renovation.
The final piece of the renovation is set to be completed in 2018. The original press box will be replaced with a brand new facility for game control personnel, the media, and coaching staff. It is expected to be ready for games in the fall of 2018.
“This was an incredibly collaborative endeavor that bore a result of which all involved can be very proud. Thanks to the leadership of Lawrence for this project from the Board of Trustees, President Mark Burstein and Vice President for Alumni and Development Cal Husmann,” Director of Athletics Christyn Abaray stated. “In addition, thank you to Mike Szkodzinski, director of athletics/head hockey coach at the time of planning and construction, and Rettler Corporation for their significant contribution to the renovation. Finally, thank you to Lynn Hagee ‘58, instrumental in the aesthetic appeal of the Banta Bowl, for her assistance.”
Lawrence Hockey European Tour (2014)
The Vikings Hockey team traveled to Germany, Austria, and Italy for nine days to compete against three professional European teams and experience an educational, team-building trip, thanks to the investments and support of alumni, parents and friends.
Renovated Lawrence Outdoor Tennis Courts (2014)
The Lawrence Courts, located at the bottom of Drew St. hill, underwent a makeover during the summer of 2014 thanks to the generous investment of an anonymous donor. “The new tennis facility allows Lawrence to provide its men’s and women’s tennis teams with a first-class facility to compete and train,” Lawrence coach Steve Francour said. “Potential student-athletes will also see that they can reach their full potential at Lawrence with an outstanding facility. I would like to thank the donor and Lawrence for making this facility one of the best in the Midwest Conference.”
Lawrence Volleyball Sport Court (2012)
An alumni couple — Nancy Fay ’78 and Kendrith Rowland Jr. ’76— and parents of Lawrence volleyball alumna Kathleen Van Zeeland ’14 approached Head Volleyball Coach Matt Schoultz after their daughter’s freshman year with an offer to donate funds to provide a new sport court for his team. “For Nancy and me, providing a dedicated volleyball surface at Alexander Gym was a great opportunity and an easy decision,” said Ken. “Our time at Lawrence was a magical one, which we more fully appreciate as we age. Giving back is a great feeling.”