June 27, 2005
2005 was a pretty good year for the University of Iowa women’s field hockey team. The Hawkeyes were 8-1 at home, won a share of the Big Ten Conference’s regular season title, advanced to the NCAA Tournament, and won enough post-season honors to fill two trophy cases.
However, 2006 could be an even bigger year for 2005 Big Ten Coach of the Year Tracey Greisbaum and her squad. Why? If all goes well and according to plan, they’ll open the 2006 season hosting the Big Ten-ACC Challenge in Iowa City on a brand new Grant Field.
“Our new facilities will be state-of-the-art for our conference. We’re really excited to have this kind of support. It will enable us to attract the highest caliber student-athletes and to enable those that choose the University of Iowa to perform at a high level.”
UI Field Hockey Coach Tracey Griesbaum
The new Grant Field is one of the pieces of the UI’s multi-million dollar West Campus Project. Iowa’s nationally ranked field hockey program’s new varsity field will be located between the UI’s varsity soccer field and a new soccer practice field immediately south of the West Campus Tennis and Recreation Facility, a structure that will house locker rooms for the UI’s field hockey, soccer, and men’s and women’s tennis programs.
“Our new facilities will be state-of-the-art for our conference. We’re really excited to have this kind of support. It will enable us to attract the highest caliber student-athletes and to enable those that choose the University of Iowa to perform at a high level,” said Tracey Griesbaum, who is preparing for her sixth season as head coach of the Hawkeyes.
Griesbaum believes that the new surface for Grant Field has the ability to help out her Big Ten champions. It promises to be softer and more forgiving than the artificial surface that is in place inside the current Grant Field.
“We’re looking forward to the new turf surface. It will be much better on our bodies and it will produce a better brand of field hockey,” she said.
Griesbaum said the new Grant Field will be used exclusively for field hockey — a bonus that isn’t unique to the University of Iowa, but is different than many of the facilities across the Big Ten.
Griesbaum is also excited to have her team’s facilities in one location. Currently, the Hawkeyes’ locker room is located in award-winning Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“It will be very convenient and more productive for our student-athletes to have all of our facilities located close to one another. It will also be nice to have lights on the field, a locker room, and our own little area so that we can walk right out onto the field. The proximity is crucial,” Griesbaum said.
The new facilities are also expected to help the recruiting efforts of the field hockey staff. “We are trying to recruit high-level student-athletes. This level of commitment….a new facility that is state-of-the-art and one of the very best in the country will be very attractive to 16 and 17 year olds who come for visits,” said Griesbaum, who was able to sign an extraordinary recruiting class for 2005.
Griesbaum said that the new Grant Field will help the Hawkeyes compete successfully both at the conference and national level.
“Our aim is to be Big Ten champions every year and to advance as far as we can in the NCAA Tournament. This caliber of facilities will give us the pride, excitement, and support that we need to do this,” she said, adding that facilities alone don’t win championships.
“The student-athletes have to be committed and work hard. Excellent facilities are only a piece of the equation.” The UI’s “West Campus Project” includes the construction of an indoor and outdoor tennis and fitness facility, the new Grant Field, and the soccer practice facility. It is located 500 yards northwest of the Roy G. Karro Building / UI Athletics Hall of Fame which is immediately west of award-winning Finkbine Golf Course at the corner of Melrose Avenue and Mormon Trek Boulevard.
Click HERE for more information about the West Campus Project including the new facilities being constructed for use by Iowa’s varsity field hockey program.