It Takes a Team: Adams Field Named in Honor of Former Penn Lacrosse Coach
June 29, 2009
Back in the 70s, Penn Lacrosse was put on the national map by a legendary coach: James "Ace" Adams.
Between 1970-77, he reinvigorated men's lacrosse, bringing the team to a number four national ranking and 17 of its men to All-American honors. Now, some 30 years later, Penn Lacrosse is putting Coach Adams “on the map.”
Thanks to the generosity of a team of donors — former Penn Lacrosse players and longtime lacrosse supporters — Adams Field was dedicated in James Adams’ honor at a ceremonial groundbreaking in March. Located on the easternmost portion of Penn Park — the 24-acre parcel of land that the University added to its eastern edge in 2007 — the field is the first at Penn to be named after a coach.
“Coach Adams represents what a collegiate coach is all about,” said Athletic Overseer Charles “Chuck” Leitner, C’81, who is leading the fundraising effort. “He set a first-class standard.... Penn was fortunate to have Coach leading its men’s lacrosse program in the 70s, and those who were lucky enough to spend time with him in those years are better for it.”
Certainly, Penn and Philadelphia will be better for Adams Field. As one of the University’s largest fields, Adams Field will give Penn’s intercollegiate teams as well as student, faculty, and staff recreational users the high-quality athletic space they need. It will also play a key role in Penn Connects, the University’s development plan that re-imagines the relationship between the campus and the city. Located on the edge of campus closest to Center City, Adams Field will bond Penn with the Schuylkill River and its park system, becoming a green gateway from downtown Philadelphia.
“Coach Adams taught his student-athletes not only to excel on the field and in the classroom,” said Athletic Director Steven Bilsky, “but also to have a positive impact on the world at large.” Lessons — as Adams Field and its loyal team of donors demonstrate — that continue to inspire.
photo: Senior Associate Director of Athletics Alanna Shanahan, C’96 GED’99; James H. Greene, W’72; Mark B. Werner, C’80; Coach James “Ace” Adams; Charles B. Leitner III, C’81; Director of Athletics Steven Bilsky, W’71, at Franklin Field for the ceremonial groundbreaking for Adams Field.
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