Bob Cunningham Field: Field Renovation

Old Photos of the Willow Bowl


Wayne State College has been investing in athletic facilities with the help of the Wayne State Foundation for many years.  Recent upgrades such as the baseball and softball complex, Memorial Stadium renovation, football/soccer locker rooms, varsity weight room, Rice Auditorium seating and the Wildcat Sports Medicine Center play an important role in the success of the athletic department.  These investments need to continue to take place because they positively impact the quality of athletics which in turn benefits the college community, campus life and student success.  Wayne State student athletes excel both on and off the field.  In 2011-2012 the all sport average G.P.A. was 3.13.


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Construction crews have been busy putting the final touches on the $1.5 million Athletic Improvement Project.  The new football ProGrass turf was installed along with new fencing and columns bordering the South edge of Bob Cunningham Field.  The soccer stadium expansion is also complete with a wider playing surface, new fencing and spectator bleachers (Click here to see photo).  The final phase of the project is to resurface the Dr. LeRoy Simpson Track which will take place this Fall. 


The Wayne State Foundation has been busy visiting with alumni, friends and businesses to raise funds towards this project.  As you can see from the donation progress chart below, we are getting very close to reaching our $575,000 goal.  Your support is greatly appreciated!

Wayne State College is a proud member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).  Its 13-sport program competes at the Division II level. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field.  The women compete in basketball, cross country, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, softball, volleyball and soccer.  WSC is a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) in all sports. 





Primary Project Objectives

$1.3 Million in facility enhancements

Installation of an artificial turf playing surface on Bob Cunningham Field in Memorial Stadium

New Goal Posts

Aesthetic fencing surrounding Memorial Stadium

Resurfacing of the Memorial Stadium track

Widening of the soccer field to NCAA regulation size


Benefits of Artificial Turf

Need more info?

Kevin Armstrong

Director of Planned Giving Wayne State Foundation

O-(402) 375-7534

C-(402) 369-3430


Phyllis Conner

Vice President for Development,
Executive Director

Wayne State Foundation

O-(402) 375-7543

C-(402) 369-0064


Dan McLaughlin

Head Football Coach

O-(402) 375-7315

C-(402) 369-2130


Mike Powicki

Director of Athletics

O-(402) 375-7520

C-(402) 369-2723


Steering Committee

Ralph Barclay

Leslie Bebee

Brian Bowers

Kirk Gardner

Don Larsen

Randy Pedersen

Cap Peterson

Mike Riedmann

Regg Swanson


The most recognizable benefit of having artificial grass is the playing surface itself.  Consistent field conditions are an important factor in most sports, especially football.  Artificial fields do not deteriorate like natural grass which eliminates the concern of having late season worn out and muddy fields caused by overuse and rain.  Facilities with wear and tear are not an inviting impression for the fans or for a group of visiting football recruits and their parents.



The current natural grass field is only used for home football games by Wayne State and Wayne High School.  Regularly scheduled football practice, marching band practice and intramural sports take place on other fields in order to keep the game field in good condition.   An artificial field could allow this space to be used 24/7/365 by many different organizations on and off campus.  Area high schools could also rent the field during football playoffs which would bring extra exposure to campus. This facility would be available to all 15 WSC sports programs, WSC intramurals, WSC Band, general campus activities and area high school events.



According to the American Journal of Sports Medicine, artificial turf was proven safer than natural grass.  Their three year college football safety study reported 12% fewer concussions, 40% lower ACL trauma, 20% fewer severe injuries and 31% fewer ligament tears.



The quality of athletic and recreation facilities have become an increasingly important factor in a student’s selection of a college.  Opportunities for involvement in sports have increased dramatically in recent years, resulting in higher quality facilities at the middle, high school and college levels.  For instance, in Nebraska, all of the class A high schools, except two, play all of their games on artificial turf.  There are also a number of class B schools upgrading to turf.  Currently, 12 of the 16 NSIC schools have artificial turf.  The Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) is in the same region as Wayne State College and 13 of their 15 schools have field turf.  Student athletes are attracted to colleges with facilities that are competitive within their decision.



Wayne State has done an excellent job maintaining its campus.  Many visitors, students, staff, alumni and friends enjoy the beauty of the trees, landscaping, historic state buildings and facilities.  With Memorial Stadium in the heart of campus, a well designed field turf facility will offer an impressive impact to all visitors to campus.  In the dead of winter visitors will have a bright green field to look at every day (when it is not covered with snow).  Also, additional items such as refurbishing the fence and better branding of the facility will offer additional aesthetic benefits to the stadium and campus.



Project Kick-off

September 12, 2012

Project Review Meeting

October 3, 2012

Complete Program Statement

October 15, 2012

Begin Fundraising

November 1, 2012

BOT Program Statement Approval

November 8-9, 2012

Begin design

November 26, 2012

BOT Design Approval

January 15, 2013

Complete Fundraising

April 30, 2013

Start Construction

May 2013



Donate Today Online


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DONATION PROGRESS  |  Goal of $575,000





List of Donors

Kathy Jackson

Jim and Lanita Recob
Paul and Michelle Combs Innovative Protectives Inc - Pat and Liz Garvin
Dennis Driscoll '10 Gary and Cathy Bemiss
Cap '72 and Nana Peterson - Northeast Nebraska Insurance Darold '46 and Maxine '45 Bobier
Robert '75 and Rebecca '73 Ridenour Roland Lentz '56
Ron and Pat '67 Carnes Dan Snodgrass '85
Joyce '97 and Brad Hoskins Timothy '79 and Judy Ellis
Elkhorn Valley Bank Adam '09 and Ashley Hoffman
Matt Schaub Dale '80 and Laura '82 Hochstein
Diana '09 and and Rick Davis Traci '01 and Matt Krusemark
Christa '04 and Justin '03 Dutcher Kayleen Loveless '12
Brian and Amy Bowers Bank First
Mike '78 and Kim Dunklau

Nucor Steel

Dr. Kenneth and Caroline McDonald Eng Foundation Maurie and Gwen Mintken
Dennis '62 and Deanna '62 Smith David '03 and Kristeen Shabram
Michael '76 and Coleen '76 Riedmann Dennis and Tami '87 Timmermann
James Fletcher '70

George '56 and Susan '55 Menking

Curt and Dianne Frye Paul '76 and Brenda Stuart
Midwest Bank Dr. Bill '72, Deb '78, B.J. '11 and Nick Lambrecht
Donald '70 and Lynette Birney Kevan Weldon '99
Ray '79 and Cindy Wagner

State National Bank & Trust Co

Nick Danze '76

Marion and Patricia Arneson

Dennis Johnson '63 Bill Demke '62
Denny and Jean '63 Lutt Paul Zelinsky '84
Stephen '82 and Cynthia '82 Zelinsky Jim Parr '67
J.C. and Eileen Brummond Kathy '92 and James Detlefsen
Gardner Foundation The Max - Ken Jorgensen
Vic '71 and Jan '69 Kensler Greg and Theresa McDermott
Rowan '83 and Twila '67 Wiltse F&M Bank- Wayne
Merlin '64 and Ellen Olson Bob '80 and Tracy Keating
Joel Ott '91 Jason Barelman and Mark Moser
Susan and William Jammer First Nebraska Bank of Wayne
Robert '96 and Kelli '96 Lowe Kevin '99 and Heidi '95 Armstrong
Fred '59 and Lynn Kjer Carl '65 and Janet Owczarzak
Amy '92 and Galen Samuelson Cinthia '79 and Scott '79 Swigart
Ron Holt '89 Robert Campbell ' 08
Henry Rehberg '93 Trevis '89 and Laura '90 Beck
Phillip and Jean '64 Griess Dan and Nadine McLaughlin
Sue '65 and Don Larsen Drew Molacek '11
Larry '56 and Eileen Johnson

Gene '70 and Linda Liebig

Kory '82 and Marjean Smith Randall '70 and Paulette '71 Cordes
Galen '75 and Kathy Wiser Charles '61 and Sharon Sass
Marian Simpson The Sunderland Foundation
Richard '76 and Gail Benedetto Don Mash
Genie '66 and Dick '67 Mintken Deborah and Bruce Lundahl
Michael '77 and Sherry Green Anthony Kochenash and Marie Mohr '63
Reggie '71 and Marilyn '72 Yates Pat '72 and Carol Ivers
Phyllis and Jack Conner

The Diamond Center

Randall '71 and Rozan Pedersen

Jacob '11 and Megan Runyon Clayton Andrews
Jack '71 and Janet '71 Ferrin Don '70and Claudia '70 Koeber
Steve '77 and Trudy Muir Randy '78 and Lorane Slaybaugh
David '64and Karol '63 Theophilus Timothy '86 and Denise '86 Buenz
In Menory of Coach Michael "Ole" Olson  
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