Catawba College Sport Management Students Study UNC’s Athletic Facilities Management
April 3, 2018
Catawba College students enrolled in a Management of Sport Facilities class traveled to Chapel Hill for an interactive experience touring athletic facilities at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.
The students began the day meeting with Richie Grimsley, Assistant Athletic Director of Facilities Planning and Management. Grimsley showcased UNC’s Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center, Finley Golf Course, Anderson Softball Stadium, Smith Center, Kenan Stadium, Carolina Basketball Museum, and Loudermilk Student-Athlete Center for Excellence.
In addition to visiting those athletic facilities, the students gained knowledge and visited numerous new athletic facilities that are under construction on the UNC Chapel Hill campus. Those new facilities included the Indoor Football Practice Facility, Soccer/Lacrosse Stadium, Field Hockey Stadium, and Track & Field Complex. The largest and most impressive project under construction is the $67.4 million facility which will eventually replace UNC’s soccer/lacrosse stadium and add an indoor practice football complex.
A few of the highlights included an exclusive behind the scene tour of the Smith Center with Angie Bitting, the Director of the Smith Center, who has more than 35 years’ experience managing the facilities. She allowed the students to investigate the men’s basketball lounge, locker room, and basketball arena; where each student had the opportunity to take pictures at center court with UNC Chapel Hill’s six national championship banners in the background.
Catawba student Larry Curry of Winston-Salem ended the day impressed. "The opportunity to see the culture of excellence at UNC Athletics first hand was incredible,” he said. “Their athletic facilities were top of the line, to say the least."
Another highlight was touring Kenan Stadium and reviewing the various premium seating options at Tar Heels football games, as well as the multi-purpose hospitality spaces. Interconnected to Kenan Stadium is the Loudermilk Center for Excellence, the $7.5 million 150,000 square foot facility provides services for UNC’s 800 student-athletes across 28 sports. The center of Loudermilk is the Pope Student-Athlete Academic Support Center, an impressive 29,000 square foot facility that houses the Carolina Leadership Academy and provides classrooms, tutors, writing labs, and reading rooms.
Catawba College Associate Professor of Sport Management Duane Aagaard added, “Richie and Angie are amazing, and I can’t thank them enough for inspiring our students. Interacting with industry leaders at UNC provided our students with insight into the various careers available in intercollegiate athletic administration and facilities management.”