Providence College Athletic Facility Upgrades Come Full Circle

Oct. 13, 2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Providence College’s campus landscape changed significantly with the construction of the Friar Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex in 2005. It was one of the first major athletic facility projects to be completed under the direction of Bob Driscoll, who joined the campus community as Athletics Director in 2001. At the time, the complex served as the home venue for the field hockey and men’s lacrosse programs, in addition to various intramural sports activities.

Fast forward to 2017 and the landscape continues to change as the athletic facilities on campus are among the best in the country. Since 2010, the College has invested over $65-million in athletic-facility improvements and renovations.

The list of construction projects and athletic-facility renovations is long and well-documented, including the Canavan Sports Medicine Center, the Jimmy Walker Strength & Conditioning Center, a complete renovation of Schneider Arena, Alumni Hall and Taylor Natatorium, installation of the Ray Treacy Track & Field Complex and most recently the construction of Chapey Field at Anderson Stadium, Glay Field (softball stadium) and the Providence College Tennis Courts. Construction of the Ruane Friar Development Center is currently in progress.

The facility upgrades have impacted hundreds of student-athletes at Providence College as the department strives to be one of the most respected in the nation, while maintaining a high graduation rate and programs that compete for championships at the conference and national level.

The renovations and construction projects have come full circle as the Friar Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex, now known as Lennon Family Field, is currently undergoing renovations.

This summer, the field’s Astroturf surface was replaced, in addition to having the padding on the surrounding walls redone and re-branded.

Additional upgrades to the field that are upcoming include a new scoreboard and LED videoboard display.



The renovations are coming at the perfect time, as the College is slated to host the 2017 BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship on Nov. 3-5. It will mark the third time that the College has been selected to host the event, having previously served as host in 2009 and 2014.

“There are many great things that Providence College has to offer, but none greater than the people who make it the truly special place it is,” Head Coach Diane Madl said.  “Through the leadership of Father Shanley, Bob Driscoll, Jill LaPoint, Steve Napolillo, John Sweeney and Mark Rapoza, Lennon Family Field is truly a home that all Friars (past, present and future) can be proud of.  On behalf of our entire program, I can’t thank them enough for their support and commitment to our program.”

The field hockey program inevitably will reap the benefits of these upgrades, in addition to recently accepting the largest gift in program history from William Rockwell “Rocky” Wirtz, who is principal owner and chairman of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks and president of the Blackhawks’ parent company, Wirtz Corporation. Wirtz’s gift will be geared toward player development.

Wirtz’s daughter, Hillary, is a 2001 graduate of Providence College and competed as a member of the field hockey program from 1997-00.

“We cannot be more grateful to Rocky for the tremendous gift to Providence College Field Hockey,” Madl said.  “The impact this gift will have on our student-athletes is immeasurable as it will surely have a ripple effect for years to come.  This gift is critical in providing us the tools to help develop all aspects of our student-athletes’ growth.”

The 2017 field hockey team is off to an 8-5 start this season, including a 3-1 mark in BIG EAST Conference play, which is tied for second place. The Friars are looking to finish among the top-four in the final regular-season standings in order to qualify for the BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship field. Providence returns to action tonight [Oct. 13] against conference foe Georgetown. The match is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. at Lennon Family Field.


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