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Colorado State University announced today that the name "Sonny Lubick Field" will continue at the university's new on-campus stadium when it opens for the 2017 season, thanks to the university's second $20 million gift announced this month.
"We are thrilled to continue to honor the legacy of one of the true greats in Colorado State history," said Colorado State President and CSU System Chancellor Tony Frank. "Coach Sonny Lubick showed CSU how to win and be competitive at the highest levels - and in doing so, he helped set a trajectory that continues to this day. Sonny means so much to our community; it's wonderful to honor him in this way."
A donor wishing to remain anonymous has committed $20 million over the next 30 years to transfer the name "Sonny Lubick Field" from Hughes Stadium to CSU's new multi-purpose on-campus stadium. The announcement was made March 25 at a special community celebration for the kickoff of spring football at CSU.
The Lubick Legacy
Colorado State Athletics Director Joe Parker lauded the naming of the field. "This generous gift is a testament to Sonny's deep roots in Fort Collins. He brought humanity, heart and excellence to Rams Athletics and has continued to serve our university and community as an educator, ambassador and tireless champion. We are thrilled to recognize that legacy at the new stadium."
Lubick, who led the Rams to six conference titles and nine bowl games and is one of the winningest coaches in school history, said, "Carol Jo and I are humbled by this honor. CSU has been a special place for us for more than 30 years. I want to thank President Frank, Joe Parker and the entire Colorado State and Fort Collins communities for what is a very special legacy for our family. To me, this isn't just a tribute to one person, but to the entire football program - the players, coaches, staff and fans who help make CSU great. We're thrilled that our connection to the university and the program will continue in this way."
Strong support for stadium
The $20 million donation to the stadium will bolster the ongoing fundraising efforts tied to the on-campus stadium project, said Vice President for University Advancement Brett Anderson. "This gift agreement exceeds the amount we originally anticipated for both the stadium and field naming rights. The generous and selfless decision to make a gift and honor Coach Lubick provides a huge assist to our funding model. We still have the ability to seek a stadium naming rights partner which will further strengthen the project."
Parker also announced that construction of the $220 million stadium is on time and on budget, emphasizing that the price for construction is guaranteed. He also said sales of premium seats at the stadium have reached 96 percent of the goal to meet the stadium finance plan, with 69.7 percent of all premium seats sold more than 18 months prior to the stadium's inaugural game against Abilene Christian.
Growing momentum for campaign
This announcement marks the second $20 million gift announced in March, both among the largest gifts in university history, and both from anonymous donors. On March 2, the university announced a $20 million gift to help establish the Institute for Biologic Translational Therapies in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science. Colorado State announced the start of the $1 billion "State Your Purpose: The Campaign for Colorado State University" in February.
Comments from Lubick
(on Coach Bobo)
"CSU's in such good hands. I've followed the program ever since I left here, and I know we've got ourselves something special in Coach Bobo. You can talk to into him for 10 minutes and know that he's genuine. This guy is something special and he's going to make us good."
(on CSU's legendary win at Arizona in 1994)
"It was 20-plus years ago, when we took a band of football players to Arizona. I see a lot of people nodding their heads. We're down there and I'm thinking what the hell did we get ourselves into? But I could see the guys still believe. We were playing the Desert Swarm - those guys were going to kill us. But somehow, with great coaches and players, they found a way to win that game. It set the city on fire."
(on his time coaching at CSU)
"The recognition goes to the hard work and dedication of our players. I see some of our coaches that have gone on to coach at other places. I see former players have long careers in the NFL and even win Super Bowls. They move on with their careers, but they all say the best time they had was here at CSU. Somebody told me a long time ago that good players make good coaches, and I believe that is true. I am so pleased that I could have been a part of that, and I'm so glad I could be their coach. I still think about that all the time."
"It's been a special place for us. It's always meant so much to me personally, but also to our family. Everything has just been so great. To be here today, and the appreciation of the fans and the community, I know how old I'm getting. I always meet someone that I know is over 60, and they thank me for what I did for the university. But it's the young people that are going to make this place even better."
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