Homecoming was a sign of progressive change at Louisiana Tech as the Jim Mize Track and Field Complex, the tennis courts, bowling alley and Argent Pavilion were dedicated Nov. 1.
The track and field complex is named after Coach Jim Mize, who coached football alongside Joe Aillet and Maxie Lambright for 24 years and built a consistent track program through 1977. His teams won conference championships in 1961, 1973 and 1974.
‘This is a wonderful occasion,’ Mize said. ‘There has certainly been advancement of all the sports facilities. I feel humbled for them naming the track in my honor.’
Vice President for Student Affairs Jim King said the new track is just one of the many improvements he foresees for the university.
‘The best is yet to come,’ King said, ‘and we are still moving forward. This is a milestone for the university.’
Bruce Van De Velde, chief operating officer and deputy athletics director, emphasized Tech’s dedication for improving athletics.
‘I’m so excited about the future and the future of our up-and-coming athletes,’ Van De Velde said. ‘This track will be a crown jewel for athletics, and in 2010, we will host the (Western Athletic Conference) championships on this beautiful new facility.’
Van De Velde added that the new track would benefit more than Tech students.
‘So much activity is here,’ he said. ‘I see student athletes using the facility, but students and the public also come here, too. This will really impact the community. It is an appropriate day to take a victory lap.’
WAC Commissioner Karl Benson was also at the dedication and commented on Tech’s commitment to intercollegiate athletics and students in general.
‘When teams join the WAC, they get better, and I think Tech has demonstrated that,’ Benson said. ‘Louisiana Tech is a flagship for our