Last weekend during Homecoming chapel, ACU Sports unveiled plans to dedicate the five-story, 55,000-square-foot press box being built at Wildcat Stadium to Chuck Sitton.
The honor of Sitton comes as a result of a $3 million donation toward the completion of Wildcat Stadium from David and Kathryn Halbert, who are close friends of Sitton.
“We were expecting David to do something to leave his family’s legacy at the stadium,” said Director of Athletics, Lee De Leon. “But if you know anything about David, you know that he loves to honor other people, and so instead of leaving his family’s name on the stadium, he chose to honor his best friend.”
Halbert and Sitton grew up together as kids and played football together for Abilene High in the early 1970s, before both attending ACU and graduating in 1978.
The Sitton name has tremendous significance at ACU, as Ted Sitton, Chuck’s father coached as the offensive coordinator during his son’s time, and was later named the head coach in 1979.
Chuck Sitton played for ACU as a safety, and was an All-American. He was also part of the team in 1977 when ACU won the NAIA National Championship, before he tragically passed away in 1980 in a house fire.
Wally Bullington, the tenth head coach at ACU for nine seasons, coached Sitton and was family friends with the Halbert’s during their time in Abilene.
“Chuck was a great player,” Bullington said. “I think he would have had a good run as a pro safety had he not had the accident that caused his death. He had good speed, was a good leader in the secondary, and played on the national championship ’77 team.”
De Leon also said that while they are unable to say for sure what other names will be honored at the stadium, there is interest in honoring Bullington and his coaching legacy at ACU.
“Most people want to do it for their own name,” said De Leon. “But some people have expressed their desire to honor Wally Bullington, and we are looking for different ways to do that.”
The athletic department has raised almost $39 million for the stadium, but the overall goal to complete the stadium is $50 million.
“I’m very pleased that Chuck’s name will be be honored,” Bullington said. “Naming the press box after him, I think that’s a great thing for David Halbert and his family to do.”
The stadium is scheduled to be finished in 2017, in time for the Wildcat’s Southland Conference opener against Houston Baptist.