Last month I wrote this column from the ACC Meetings and told you that I would summarize those meetings in my next correspondence with you. That summary about the future athletic schedules is contained in this month’s Gold Rush.
One of the earmarks of an excellent athletic program is quality facilities. It is important for us to maintain our current facilities so those venues continue to be an asset to our various sports. We plan to do that with future renovations and upgrades to many of our competitive and practice facilities.
It is also important for us to consider building new facilities or buying existing facilities that would enhance our program. We purchased Ernie Shore Field, now Wake Forest Baseball Park, from the City four years ago. Through renovation to that park, it is now an excellent facility that is one of the best in the ACC. The baseball park move from campus to the current location allowed us to construct our on-campus golf practice facility — the Arnold Palmer Golf Complex — which is regarded one of the best in the country.
Today we are considering our management relationship for the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. As has been well-publicized, we have been in discussions with the City of Winston-Salem for a number of years about how to assure the future of the Joel so that it remains an asset for our basketball programs. Although no decisions have been made, those negotiations continue and we hope to have some resolution within the next few months. It is important that the Joel remain an asset for our programs through future renovations and upgrades.
There are many other projects that we are considering. All of them will enhance our coaches’ ability to recruit the very best athletes to Wake Forest, and compete for ACC and National Championships. Since recruits are making their college commitments earlier in their high school career than ever before, they tend to make those decisions largely upon what they see on campus in terms of the quality of facilities. If we are to field championship-caliber teams, we must provide the facilities that will attract the very best athletes to Wake Forest, as well as give our fans the amenities they desire when attending our contests.
I look forward to keeping you abreast of all of our facility developments in the coming months.