CANTON - Dedications of renovated athletics facilities at St. Lawrence University will be held during Family Weekend, on Friday and Saturday, October 1 and 2.
North Country Field, the artificial-turf field used primarily for field hockey and lacrosse, will be dedicated on Friday, October 1, following the St. Lawrence versus Hamilton field hockey game. Also, two long-time University coaches, Dotty Hall and Don Leet, will be honored with the naming of the stadium as Hall-Leet Stadium.
On Saturday, October 2, the upgraded and modernized Stratford Football Locker Room will be dedicated, memorializing the late Ted "Bear" Stratford '57, who successfully coached the football team to 64 victories over 10 years in the 1960s and 1970s.
All of the construction for the projects was financed through gifts and grants.
In addition to replacement of the turf on North Country Field, that project includes a new stadium entrance, a pair of stone-and-brick gates, and a fencing system.
Hall, professor emerita of sport and leisure studies, began her coaching and teaching career at St. Lawrence in 1966, serving continuously until her retirement in 2000. She was chair of the women's athletic department from 1968 until the women's and men's programs merged in 1974, serving from then until she announced her retirement as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) women's senior administrator. She coached field hockey, women's tennis and women's lacrosse, and is a member of the St. Lawrence Athletic Hall of Fame. Hall is the author of the 2007 book Women's Sports at St. Lawrence University: From Beginnings to Title IX.
Leet's coaching career spanned nearly 30 years, with 251 career victories in lacrosse and participation in eight NCAA tournaments. He was the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Man of the Year for 1997 and the 1979 NCAA Coach of the Year. Leet was only the third Division III coach in history to be the head coach of the North-South Game. A member of the St. Lawrence Athletic Hall of Fame, he produced 35 All-Americans in lacrosse and coached three as defensive line coach in football.
Athletic Director Margie Strait said, "We are grateful for the support from alumni, parents and friends that made the upgrades to our facilities possible. Our student athletes and our coaches will benefit, and the improvements will assist in our recruiting, as well
" The new football locker room features renovated facilities; new lockers for each player; distinct simultaneous meeting spaces for both offensive and defensive units; better air handling and circulation; and more overall space.
Stratford earned his bachelor's degree from St. Lawrence in 1957 and a master's degree from the University in 1964. He played football at St. Lawrence and returned to his alma mater as head wrestling coach in 1967, becoming head football coach in 1969. He established the St. Lawrence record for football coaching victories during a 10-season career, compiling a 64-25 career record; his 1976 team won the first NCAA playoff game in St. Lawrence football history. As wrestling coach, he took the 1970 and 1971 teams to ICAC championships and a 16-3 record in dual meets. After retiring from coaching, he was a middle-school science teacher and coach in Saranac Lake, N.Y., until his death in December 2006. Stratford also is a member of the Athletic Hall of Fame.