From the Desk of Scott Carnahan
Director of Athletics, Linfield College
In the year 2000, the Linfield football team finished the regular season with an unbeaten 9-0 record and was hopeful of advancing deep into the NCAA Division III playoffs. But in a cruel twist of fate that was later dubbed the “Miracle in the Mud,” Linfield lost a heartbreaking game in overtime to Central College of Iowa.
After all was said and done, then-head football coach Jay Locey told me that in order to compete successfully at the national level, it was important that Linfield have an artificial playing surface. Locey’s vision was to build his team with speed rather than size, the latter being the prototype of teams from the Midwest region the Wildcats would likely face in the playoffs. To make a long story short, our plan to upgrade the configuration of the running track from yards to meters and install a new artificial turf field took root.
Over the next three years, planning and fundraising made it possible to complete the $1.4 million turf and track project in 2004. Also added that year were stadium lighting, an electronic scoreboard and video screen, and a long overdue replacement of the press box.
Ten years have flown by and the turf is in need of replacement. It is worn to a point where it no longer properly cushions the impact of a student-athlete contacting the surface and thus has become a safety concern. Our warranty on the field is expired. Furthermore, what most people perhaps do not realize is the benefit the field provides to the entire campus for countless other activities. It has become invaluable for more than half of our student population, athletes and non-athletes alike.
Recently, many of you received a letter from us asking you to consider supporting this project right away so that the work may be completed this summer. Asking for contributions for a new surface is a bit of a double-edged sword because we also rely so heavily on your annual contributions to our TopCat Club. The TopCat Club is basically our lifeline for providing for vital needs that fall outside our operational budget, such as non-budgeted travel, meals and equipment for our teams. The TopCat fund, along with supplemental dollars raised by our individual teams and other donations, accounts for about $250,000 each year. Linfield could not begin to offer the level of quality programs to our student-athletes we do without your generous support of this fund.
Like me, I know you have many choices and causes you believe in and are asked to support. I encourage you to consider making a three-year commitment toward the funding of the replacement field while at the same time beginning or maintaining your annual pledge to benefit the TopCat Club. We rely so much on your support and interest in all of our programs.
Thank you for your consideration. The ‘Cats appreciate your support so very much.
Scott Carnahan ‘73
Director of Athletics