Milestone Celebration Spotlights New Softball And Track Stadiums

E.B. Cushing Stadium lead donor Tim Leach (center) talks with track and field athletes alongside head coach Pat Henry (right) during the Davis Diamond And E.B. Cushing Stadium dedication.

By Keith Randall, Texas A&M Marketing and Communications

Texas A&M University is building new track and softball stadiums that should add even more prizes and medals to trophy cases that are already stocked to capacity.

The Davis Diamond, a $28.5 million facility, will house the softball team and the E.B. Cushing Stadium, a $39.8 million palace, will be the new track and field home of the Aggies and both facilities will be among the best in the country, according to school officials. A “milestone celebration” for the new stadiums was held Oct. 6 to recognize donors and give an update on the construction, with both facilities scheduled to open in time for the 2018 season.

“We are very proud of our athletes at Texas A&M.  They know that to play for Texas A&M is the experience of a lifetime,” said Charles Schwartz, chair of the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents.

Texas A&M University System Board of Regents Chair Charles Schwartz addresses donors, university administrators, coaches and athletes at the dedication.

“Once completed, these facilities will be among the best in the country, and they will benefit our athletes for years to come.”

The Davis Diamond, located at the corner of Tom Chandler Road and Penberthy Road, will resemble Blue Bell Park home of the Texas A&M baseball team, and will seat 2,000 fans and will include club level and luxury suites and a new press box and TV booth.

“I am most impressed with our young ladies who play softball and who represented Texas A&M in the Women’s World Series last season,” said lead donor Monty Davis.

“We know this new stadium will enable coach (Jo) Evans to win more championships year after year.”

Evans, introduced by Athletic Director Scott Woodward “as the winningest coach at Texas A&M with more than 800 wins to her credit,” said the new Davis Diamond “will be the very best softball facility in the Southeastern Conference. We can’t thank Becky and Monty Davis enough for their generous support they have given us. The Davis Diamond – that has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?”

Evans came to Texas A&M after seven seasons at the University of Utah, where she was also a star player.  In her 22 years at Texas A&M, Evans has won 836 games, including 21 straight 30-win seasons.  Her teams have advanced to post season play 18 times in that span, including 3 trips to the Women’s College World Series.

Head softball coach Jo Evans was introduced by Athletic Director Scott Woodward during the dedication “as the winningest coach at Texas A&M with more than 800 wins to her credit.”

Texas A&M President Michael K. Young noted that the Aggies “were the only Division 1 school this past year in which all of our sports program advanced to post-season play.  With these new facilities, I am sure more titles and wins are sure to come.  I think we needed to build a new stadium for Pat Henry just to house all of the trophies he has won.”

The new track stadium will seat 3,000 and will have a 9-lane track, new press box, meeting, training and locker rooms, and offices.  It will replace the Frank G.  Anderson Complex that was built in 1985.

Henry, now in his 14th season as head coach of the Texas A&M track and field program and the most successful coach in any sport in the school’s history, became the first coach to lead a school to three consecutive men’s and women’s NCAA Outdoor Championships when the Aggies accomplished the feat during the 2009-2010-2011 seasons.

Overall, Henry has led the Texas A&M program to 9 national championships and 18 conference titles, with the Aggie men winning a second SEC Outdoor title in 2017. With 9 NCAA Championships during his time in Aggieland, Henry’s total number of national titles has reached 36 on the Division I level. In addition, Henry also claimed a pair of national titles on the NJCAA level while coaching at Blinn College in Brenham.

Henry was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in February.

Texas A&M University and system administrators join coaches and donors for a ribbon cutting.

Texas A&M University and system administrators join coaches and donors for a ribbon cutting.

“We’ve won a lot of national championships in track here but people have never been able to see us compete because we did not have the facilities for fans to attend,” Henry said.

“I have learned this – facilities don’t win championships. Individuals with great character win them, and we have athletes who want to come Texas A&M for all it represents. I want to thank Tim Leach (the lead donor) who made all of this possible.  After 14 years, this is a dream come true for me.”

John Sharp, Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System, said that “we have two of the best coaches in the country in Pat Henry and Jo Evans.  Now we will have what we think are the best softball and track stadiums in the country.”

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Contact: Keith Randall at (979) 845-4644 or keith-randall@tamu.edu


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