Renovated Facility, Renovated Name
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For Our Community
Sep. 27, 2011
Renovated Facility, Renovated Name
Trinity University Soccer Field Renamed for Dedicated Coach, Player
SAN ANTONIO - The Trinity University community observed a special moment in late September with the dedication of the Paul McGinlay Soccer Field, and the Timothy "Tito" Isom Memorial, before an enthusiastic crowd of alumni, students, soccer aficionados, fans, and supporters.
The competition field, which now seats 1,500 spectators, was named after Trinity men's soccer coach Paul McGinlay, in his 21st season at the Tigers helm. The Isom Memorial, named after the late Tiger soccer standout, is a 14-foot red-brick administrative structure, which also houses the team benches.
"I have been granted the privilege of living my life here at Trinity with players who have created countless moments of exhilaration, on and off the field," McGinlay said. "To glance over my shoulder, and see my name alongside Timothy Isom, is the greatest honor I could ever imagine. Soccer has been allowed to flourish at Trinity, and is a vital part of the fabric of this great university."
Trinity's Director of Athletics Bob King introduced the No. 1 fan of Tiger athletics, University President Dennis Ahlburg.
"In his short time on campus," King said of Ahlburg, "he has already accomplished much. Dr. Ahlburg has been hugely supportive of our athletic program, but it is no secret he is a huge soccer (or as he calls it, 'football') fan."
Ahlburg spoke of Trinity's expanded soccer facilities, and the impact they will have on the program.
"Trinity University can boast one of the top soccer facilities in the NCAA Division III, and maybe all of the NCAA," Ahlburg said. "With our talented teams, it is only fitting that we have top facilities for them to practice and play."
Ahlburg paid tribute to the man who the field was named after. Among active coaches in the NCAA Division III, McGinlay holds the distinction of having the most team wins on his record. McGinlay guided the Tigers to the 2003 NCAA Championship, and has led Trinity to the NCAA Tournament for nine straight years.
The Tigers, who have also been national runners-up, have made the NCAA Final Four three times and the quarterfinals on seven occasions. McGinlay's teams have emerged as the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference champion 14 times. He has been elected SCAC Coach of the Year 12 times and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Regional Coach of the Year seven times. Twenty-three of McGinlay's players have earned All-America honors.
Ahlburg also spoke highly of Isom, who played for the Tigers from 1994-1998. A member of the Chi Delta Tau fraternity, Isom died unexpectedly in 2000 at the age of 24. Previously, the soccer team started the Tito Award, honoring players who excel on and off the field.
An emotional moment took place when Isom's father, Harold Isom, spoke on behalf of his family.
"This tribute to our son, and our brother, means everything in the world to us," Isom said. "His spirit is here with us tonight. He was, and is, a member of the Trinity University family."
King also introduced a teammate and fraternity brother of Tito Isom, Scott Mury, a 2000 graduate who twice earned All-America honors.
"Tim's passion for this game, his family, and life in general, have become the embodiment of this program" Mury said. "Paul and Tito were alike in many ways, and their passion rubbed off on me."
The Rev. Raymond Judd, Chaplain Emeritus of Trinity (1967-1999), then blessed the facility. Judd, a 1956 graduate and the 1999 recipient of Trinity's Distinguished Alumnus Award, is a member of the Chi Delta Tau Alumni Association Foundation.