West Liberty University this weekend dedicated a new field and athletic complex, which will serve the school's track, soccer, and cross-country squads.
The West Family Athletic Complex was named in honor of Gary E. and Flip West, the largest donors in university history, who made a $1,000,000 contribution to help fund the new facility, according to university president Stephen Greiner.
“We are grateful to our friends and major donors Gary and Flip West, who together with donors David and Ann Coffaro, made this dream a reality," Greiner said during the opening ceremony.
"Our students benefit tremendously through their generosity, and we look forward to many, many athletic competitions and practices here in this outstanding facility. It is a perfect addition to the Hilltop.”
The dedication also honored former track and cross-country coach Tim Weaver, whose name the new field honors, thanks to David K. and Ann Coffaro, who made a major contribution to Weaver’s memory.
The fully-lighted artificial turf soccer field—surrounded by a full eight-lane, all-weather track built to NCAA specification—stands out among venues in the northern panhandle of West Virginia, where West Liberty is located.
With the addition of the track and complex, school officials say track teams will now able to practice and host meets on campus.
Its men’s and women’s soccer teams have already taken advantage of their new flexibility, scheduling multi-night matches, greatly reducing missed class times for the student-athletes.
Established in 1837, West Liberty University is West Virginia's oldest public institution of higher education. It offers more than 70 undergraduate majors and a number of graduate programs, including a master's degree in education and an online MBA.
WLU's athletic teams, known as the Hilltoppers, are charter members of the NCAA Division II Mountain East Conference with nearly 400 student-athletes participating in 18 intercollegiate sports, including football, basketball, wrestling, track, tennis, baseball.