Abilene Christian University dedicated the new Elmer Gray Stadium in April 2015, and since then the stadium has hosted numerous collegiate events, its first-ever meet being the largest triangular meet at ACU in more than half a century.
Abilene Christian University dedicated the new Elmer Gray Stadium in April 2015, and since then the stadium has hosted three collegiate events, its first-ever meet being the largest triangular meet at ACU in more than half a century.
With the crack of a starter pistol, a ceremonial first lap at Abilene Christian University’s new Elmer Gray Stadium was covered April 10, 2015, by some of those who made the old stadium of that name legendary in the annals of track and field.
Olympic relay gold medalist Earl Young (’62) took the baton and broke the tape about noon that Friday, officially opening the new stadium, which along with serving ACU’s legendary track and field program, is the first permanent home for the much newer – though still quite successful – women’s soccer team.
These two programs share the stadium, beneficiaries of the generosity of donors who understand that world-class programs – and world-class student-athletes – require world-class facilities to sustain them.
The new Elmer Gray Stadium running surface is a world-class, full-pour polyurethane product built by Beynon, a Maryland-based company that installed identical tracks at Big Ten Conference universities Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa; and Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest and North Carolina State of the Atlantic Coast Conference, among others. Beynon tracks can be found throughout the Big 12, Big 10, Pac 12, Southeastern and Atlantic Coast conferences.
The original stadium, built in 1954, was named for ACU’s first participant in the U.S. Olympic trials; Elmer Gray (’32) and his family provided the funds for the stadium to be renovated with the university’s first all-weather track, and it was named for him in 1969. Crews demolished the facility to make way for Wildcat Stadium, the new on-campus football facility that is also part of the Vision in Action initiative.
Funds for the new Elmer Gray Stadium were provided by April (Bullock ’89) and Mark Anthony (’86), whose $30 million gift in 2014 helped launch the Vision in Action initiative and stands as the largest in ACU history.