When the Austin E. Knowlton Outdoor Athletic Complex opens this fall and the first football game is played there in September, the historic changes on the Augustana College campus will be documented from the Dave Wrath Press Box.
College officials announced Wednesday that the new working press box will be named after Wrath, a 1980 Augustana graduate who has served as the school's sports information director since February of 1981.
"This is an honor that deeply touches me,'' said Wrath. "It brings back so many great memories of that narrow press box that was too cold, too hot and too crowded, but we made it our home for the 32 years that I have been fortunate to work as the sports information director at Augustana."
The Dave Wrath Press Box and the entire complex is on target for completion by Aug. 15. The
first football game in the complex is scheduled for Sept. 7, at 6 p.m., when the Vikings take on Mt. St. Joseph.
As an Augustana student-athlete, Wrath helped the Vikings earn a fourth-place national finish at the 1979 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships and the 1980 NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships.
He worked briefly for two newspapers before returning to Rock Island in February 1981. Over the course of more than three decades, Wrath has archived and publicized Augustana's athletic success—including four NCAA Division III national football championship teams, numerous NCAA Division III individual champions and numerous CCIW championship teams and All-American performers. As SID, Wrath has also been responsible for nominating student-athletes for All-America honors.
Wrath has also documented the achievement of many individuals through the years.
"Many alumni of the college have told me how impressive they find Dave's memory when it comes to his recollection of details about their achievements as student athletes at Augustana,'' said Steven Bahls, Augustana president. "This extraordinary recall grows out of his care and concern for these students as individuals. Mix this with Dave's passion for our students' personal development, and you start to see how invaluable Dave Wrath has been at Augustana. We are grateful to have this opportunity to celebrate his incredible contributions and the impact they have had on generations of Augustana students."
Wrath is a longtime member of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), and he has received several awards from CoSIDA, including being named to the CoSIDA Hall of Fame in 2003.
"So many media representatives, fellow sports information directors, and, of course,
a great student work force helped to provide a big-time service atmosphere without the amenities that we will now have,'' said Wrath, looking forward to the new facilities. "I have been truly blessed throughout the time that I have been able to serve Augustana and this is a moment that I will cherish."
When complete, the press box will be set atop the new Lindberg Stadium on the north side of the Knowlton Complex (currently the location of the visitors' stands.) The stadium – new home to the football offices, meeting rooms and locker room – will have a three-story grandstand with 1,800 seats.