A $1 million challenge from individual members of the Heidelberg University Board of Trustees laid the groundwork for some former football players to raise funds for the new athletic stadium and alumni center.
The players, called The Foxmen, were led by The Huddle co-chairs Jim Getz and Bill Goodwin. The group met the challenge and matched the $1 million for the naming rights.
The stadium, to be called Hoernemann Stadium, is to be named after long-time successful football coach Paul "The Fox" Hoernemann.
In his 14 years as coach, Hoernemann, a 1938 Heidelberg alum, had a record of 102 wins and 18 losses with four ties.
"The name (Hoernemann) really resonates with people," said Jim Minehart, executive director of development and planned giving. "(Fundraising) was done as a focused approach. The biggest motivator I saw were the coaches. They are responsible for most of the funds generated."
Heidelberg has raised $4.3 million of its goal of $4.5 million. That amount includes the trustees' challenge to The Foxmen, The Foxmen's match, an anonymous $1.5 million cash gift pledge, five additional major gifts and other gifts in support of the overall project.
In total, 179 donors have made gifts to the project.
"This is a great tribute to coach Hoernemann," Getz said. "He did a tremendous job on and off the field at Heidelberg and throughout the Tiffin community. He had a great influence on a number of people, not only as a coach but also as part of the development office."
The stadium is to be a tri-level facility built into the hillside on Greenfield Street. The stadium, which is to host football and other sports, is to include an upper-level press box, plaza-level ticket windows, concessions and restrooms, track-level locker rooms and an indoor sports room for wrestling and baseball. An elevator and handicapped seating and parking areas also are to be included.
The stands are to hold roughly 1,500, including standing-room. The stadium is to offer the capability to add additional seating in the future.
The alumni center, called Fox Den, is to feature a reception area, an exhibit gallery and a private viewing deck with access to reserved seating on the 50-yard line.
Exterior features are to include covered plaza areas, ground and upper-level walking areas, sidewalks and paths.
Building of the stadium is part of the university's strategic action play, the first project of Phase Three.
Groundbreaking is to take place this fall and the stadium is expected to be finished in the spring. Bids for construction are still being processed.