When the Colorado State football team makes its home in the new on-campus stadium in 2017 and beyond, it will still be playing on Sonny Lubick Field.
CSU athletic director Joe Parker announced Friday to a group of Rams Club members that a $20 million donation, which remains anonymous, ensured that the name of the field will remain the same to honor the legendary former football coach.
“Sonny really helped redefine what we expect from Rams athletics,” CSU president Dr. Tony Frank said. “Whenever you’re moving to a new facility, there’s always a challenge of keeping those connections to your heritage, to your roots and to the past. Being able to move the name over, especially his name, is a wonderful way to maintain those connections and get the stadium off to a great start.”
The recent $20 million donation is the largest to date made toward the $220 million project. Prior to the donation, the University had raised $27.5 million toward the project. The name of the new stadium has not yet been decided upon.
The on-campus stadium will replace Hughes Stadium. The Bohemian Foundation paid for renovations of the field at Hughes in 2003 with the stipulation that the field be named after Sonny Lubick.
Lubick led the program for 15 seasons (1993-2006), and also spent three seasons as CSU’s offensive coordinator earlier in his career. He finished with a record of 108-74 as head coach, and led the Rams to six conference titles and nine bowl games, after appearing in just two bowl games prior to Lubick’s tenure. With Lubick in charge, CSU also cracked the Associated Press poll for the first time.
“I certainly didn’t expect this,” Lubick said. “When you have a new stadium everything changes and donors are going to do what they want to do. This is something that’s very, very gratifying.”
Lubick was complimentary of his former coaching staffs and players, as well as Frank and Parker. He also gave a vote of confidence to current head coach Mike Bobo.
The groundbreaking for the stadium took place Sept. 12, 2015. Parker said Friday that the ongoing construction is on time and on budget for use in 2017, which was projected as the first season it will be called home for the Rams.
“I’ve seen some photos but I haven’t driven by and seen it physically yet,” Lubick joked. “I like to get surprised.”
Collegian Sports Editor Emmett McCarthy can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @emccarthy22.