New Athletic Field Named After Athletic Director

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el-vaquero-staff-writer/" class="creditline">VIOLETA ARRAZOLA
El Vaquero Staff Writer

Imagine having something named after you. Perhaps a school, a building, a store or even a person. All of these would be quite an honor or even a dream come true to any ordinary person.With that said, Jim Sartoris, Director of Athletics at GCC, will live out that dream when the athletic field, which is currently being remodeled on campus, is named after him.

The athletic field, located behind the auditorium, will be named ?Sartoris Field? and will have its grand opening in conjunction with the first home football game on Sept. 3.

?Usually when they start naming things after you, you?re either dead or long gone, so it?s kind of embarrassing and uncomfortable for me since I?m still here [GCC],? said Sartoris in reaction to having the athletic field named after him. ?But it?s truly a tremendous honor. It really is.?

John Cicuto, the current head football coach for GCC, who has known Sartoris since the eighth grade, feels the dedication couldn?t have gone to anyone better. ?It?s so well-deserving for him considering everything he?s done for the school and administration as a coach and teacher,? said Cicuto. ?I?m really excited and thrilled for him.?
Sartoris, who was born in Burbank, has had longtime ties with GCC. He was a student and football player at GCC in 1962 and after attending the University of Washington and majoring in history, returned to GCC in 1967 to be an assistant coach for the football team. He went on to become a full-time teacher in 1969, head coach of the football team in 1972 and Director of Athletics in 1985.

?I always thought I was going to be a high school history teacher,? said Sartoris, who never thought he would return to GCC. Not only did he not know he would be coaching at the same college he attended, it would have never crossed his mind that the athletic field would be dedicated to him. ?It is definitely exciting.?

What?s more exciting to Sartoris is the fact that GCC will now have its own home field that the football, men?s and women?s soccer and track and field teams can play games on. This will be a first. ?This is going to be a historic event because we?ve never played on campus,? said Sartoris. ?We?ve always had to go down to Glendale High School to play our so-called home football games.?

The $3 million renovation of the athletic field includes installation of lights for the field, renovation of the existing bleachers and renovation of the grass field and dirt track with artificial surfaces. The funding comes from a $98 million bond initiative passed by Glendale voters in 2002 to fund construction projects on campus, including the renovation of the athletic field.

What was not included in the $3 million project was a scoreboard for the field, so the Glendale College Foundation started ?a foundation, endowment type thing? said Sartoris, where people could donate money to help buy a scoreboard as well as to help with all the equipment and maintenance needs of the field for years to come.

The foundation couldn?t have got a better start than with the donation of $50,000 by Andy Reid, who is the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. Reid attended GCC in 1976 and 1977 and was coached by Sartoris when he played on the football team.

?It is a dream come true. After 40 years of being here [GCC], we are finally going to have a sport facility that is state-of-the art,? said Sartoris. ?It?s also going to be comparable to the rest of the school because we have a beautiful, modern campus.?

The official ceremony and dedication to Sartoris will be held on Sept. 3 at 6 p.m. followed by a football game at 7 p.m.