In a dedication ceremony during Homecoming and Family Weekend, the Colleges unveiled David J Urick Stadium, named in honor of the legendary lacrosse coach who led the Hobart Statesmen to 10 straight NCAA Division III Championships during the 1980s.
Former players, colleagues, friends and family gathered on Saturday, Sept. 29, to honor Urick, who was in attendance with his wife, children and grandchildren.
Following the Colleges’ video tribute to the renowned coach, the evening’s keynote speaker, current Gettysburg College men’s lacrosse head coach Hank Janczyk ’76, recalled Urick as “a voice of reason, a peacemaker, someone with humility and great character, someone who thought more about his wonderful wife Linda and three awesome kids, Holly, Scott and Mindy, than he did anything else.”
A Hobart Hall of Famer and former Hobart Lacrosse Assistant Coach under Urick, Janczyk reflected on his former mentor, who earned a reputation as someone “who thought more about his fellow coaches and assistant coaches and players than he did himself, who had an innate ability to bring people together for a common goal, who was at his best in a crisis, who had an uncanny sense of humor and knew just when and how to use it, who made us all feel better about ourselves; somebody who we all wanted to take pages out of his book.”
Interim President Patrick A. McGuire L.H.D. ’12, who played friendly games of squash with Urick in the 1980s, recalled Urick’s influence on the lives of students. McGuire noted that he “accepted who you were, pushed you and encouraged you exactly when you needed it. His heart remains at HWS, as does the hearts and minds of his players.”
On behalf of his siblings and parents, Urick’s son Scott expressed his gratitude for the HWS community, in particular the group of Urick’s former players, and the “impact on our entire family,” as well as his father’s pride “that all of you answered his epic challenge to play and act like a champion.”
“We speak about tradition often here,” said current Hobart Lacrosse Head Coach Greg Raymond. Indicating the stadium’s new sign and turning to Urick, he continued: “Now, to see your name every day reminds us of the greatness that came before us, and it inspires us to chase down some greatness of our own.”
A 1970 graduate of Cortland State where he starred in football and lacrosse, Urick joined the Hobart staff as an assistant football and lacrosse coach in 1971. He became head football coach in 1976 and became co-head coach of the lacrosse team in 1979. He took the reins solo in 1980, and in that role over the next 10 seasons posted an unprecedented record of 129-33, including a 90-3 record against Division III teams.
As Hobart head coach, Urick won the Francis “Babe” Kraus Award as Division III Coach of the Year in 1980 and 1981. In 1987, he won his eighth-straight Division III title, surpassing UCLA’s John Wooden for most consecutive championships in a team sport. He coached 40 All-American players during his tenure at Hobart, before leaving Geneva in 1989 for the head coach position at Georgetown University, where he brought the Hoyas’ program to national prominence.
An active member of the NCAA Lacrosse Committee, Urick also served as head coach of the champion United States team in the 1986 World Games. A member of the Hobart College Athletic Hall of Fame, Urick has been inducted to the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Potomac Chapter of the U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2005.
Proceeds from the campaign that funded the stadium will also support a new $3.5 million indoor turf field facility, built on the south side of Robert A. Bristol Field House, that will be dedicated in February. The fundraising campaign was initiated with a $1 million lead gift from Trustee Thomas B. Poole ’61, L.H.D.’06 and his wife MaryJane Poole P’91. The facility will offer practice and game space away from the elements for the Colleges’ field hockey, football, lacrosse and soccer teams, while also freeing up the main floor of Bristol Field House for recreation, intramurals and club sports.