Track & Field Alums Give Back

May 13, 2011

Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — When the University of Iowa hosts the Big Ten Track Outdoor Championships on May 13, 14 and 15, Cretzmeyer Track will boast a new state-of-the-art mobile scoreboard, thanks to gifts from former UI track and field student-athletes.

Tim Dwight of San Diego, Calif., contributed $50,000 toward the scoreboard purchase; James Young of Lee’s Summit, Mo., gave $75,000; and Rodney Scott of Raleigh, N.C., contributed $100,000 to the effort. In addition, other former student-athletes and friends of the UI track and field and cross country programs made gifts to support the new scoreboard. In recognition of Scott’s generosity, the scoreboard will be called the Scott Family Video Board.

The Scott Family Video Board, which cost about $410,000 and was purchased exclusively with contributions to the University of Iowa Foundation from private donors, will be used at indoor and outdoor track and field events and at cross country competitions.

Layne Anderson, head coach of the women’s teams, and Larry Wieczorek, the men’s head coach, are grateful for the support.

“Track and field is often described as a three-ring circus with a lot of events going on at the same time,” Wieczorek said. “This new scoreboard will not only keep fans informed on event results, times and distances, but also will greatly add to fan enjoyment of the meet.

“With the video board, fans will be able to see ‘up close and personal’ student-athletes and events that may be at the other end of the track complex. We are very thankful for the support of our alumni and friends.”

Scott earned two degrees in mechanical engineering from the UI, a bachelor’s degree in 1997 and a master’s degree in 1999. A member of the UI track and cross country teams as a student, he is a research analyst with New York City-based Peconic Partners.

“The athletic scholarship and education I received at Iowa were a springboard for my life,” Scott said. “I wanted to give back to something at Iowa that directly benefited track and field.”

Young competed in discus and shot put for the Hawkeyes from 1956 through 1958. He earned two degrees in political science from what is now known as the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a bachelor’s degree (1958) and a Ph.D. (1964), as well as a law degree in 1960. Retired after a decades-long career as a political science professor at University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Mo., he stays active in track as a competitor and supporter.

“This new scoreboard will be a tremendous recruiting incentive for student-athletes to come to Iowa,” said Young. “I’m pleased to help Coach Anderson’s and Coach Wieczorek’s teams compete.”

Dwight earned a bachelor’s degree in sports, health, leisure and physical education from the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 1999. A standout student-athlete on the UI football and track teams, he went on to a career in the National Football League from 1998 through 2007, and is now in business development with Integrated Power Corporation of Novato, Calif.

“This was an opportunity to give back to the place where I built success and character,” Dwight said. “The Hawkeye track program is on the move, and I’m happy to support them.”

In addition to the leadership gifts made by former Iowa track and field student-athletes, Featherlite Trailers of Cresco, Iowa, made a gift-in-kind donation worth $60,000 toward the purchase of the trailer the company built to house and transport the Scott Family Video Board. Featherlite Trailers, headed by Vice President and General Manager Eric Clement, designs and manufactures event and marketing trailers of all kinds.