The new track and field stadium will keep the name of one of the most decorated athletes that has ever come through ACU’s athletics program. Athletic Director Lee De León announced in his monthly newsletter, the De León Point, that the stadium will be named in honor of Elmer Gray.
“As the construction crew puts the facility’s final pieces in place, we have been working on our own finishing touch: what to call it,” De León said. “In my three months as athletics director, I have loved learning about ACU’s tremendous track and field legacy and the student-athletes who helped create that history. The more I’ve studied, the more I’ve become convinced the name should stay the same.”
Gray, class of 1932, represented the United States in the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, California. He was a true trailblazer and a foundation block in establishing what would be ACU’s dominance in track and field for years to come.
“One of those great ACU athletes is Elmer Gray, an NCAA champion and ACU’s first competitor at the U.S. Olympic trials,” De León said. “After several meetings with the Gray family, Dr. Phil Schubert and I are excited to announce the new track and field/soccer facility will be called the Elmer Gray Stadium.”
The opening ceremony for the new facility is scheduled for April 10. The next day, April 11, ACU is set to host several schools in the Elmer Gray Stadium’s inaugural event, the Wes Kittley Invitational. The Wildcats will welcome schools such as Texas Christian University, Texas Tech and others.
“This is a huge moment for ACU athletics and it would be great to get the entire Wildcat community behind us,” De León said.
In his time at ACU, Gray paved the way for several historic athletes to come through the Wildcats’ track and field program. Bobby Morrow, class of 1958, went on to represent the United States in the 1956 Olympic games in Melbourne, Australia. He won three gold medals and was later named the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year.
Other great athletes would continue to come after Gray. Hall of Famers Billy Olson, Michael Johnson, Wilma Rudolph others left their mark on a program that has been dominate over the decades.
ACU track and field has produced 20 world records, 35 Olympians and four Olympic gold medals. In 1999, Texas Monthly called the program “The Texas Sports Dynasty of the Century.”