SRU enters video scoreboard arena; Alumnus gift makes purchase possible
July 14, 2015
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Sporting events at Milhalik-Thompson Stadium will have an added element of excitement this year. Plans for a new state-of-the-art video scoreboard and sound system were unveiled today by Paul Lueken, Slippery Rock University director of athletics
"The new scoreboard will be a great enhancement to the fan experience and a great recruiting tool for all of our teams that play at Mihalik-Thompson Stadium," Lueken said. "Going forward we will be able to display live action, replays and graphics just to name a few features that will energize the stadium and give it a big league feel."
Barring any unforeseen setbacks, installation of the scoreboard, which is being produced by the Electro-Mech Scoreboard Company, will begin the week of August 17 and be finished in time for the start of the fall season. Slippery Rock field hockey, football, women's lacrosse, men's soccer, women's soccer, men's track & field and women's track & field all compete at Mihalik-Thompson Stadium throughout the year.
The 20 feet by 37 feet hunter green LED scoreboard is nine feet taller and four feet wider than the current scoreboard. Its biggest feature is an 11 feet, seven inch by 19 feet, 11 inch video board. Upon installation, Slippery Rock will become one of only four schools in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference with a scoreboard that is equipped to display video at an outdoor stadium.
The $200,000 scoreboard is being mostly funded through a generous donation by Slippery Rock alumnus Chuck Sanders, who was an All-American running back on the football team from 1982-85. Slippery Rock Head Football Coach George Mihalik said it was no surprise that Sanders stepped up to help SRU athletics.
"Chuck Sanders is a man who never forgot where he came from," Mihalik said. "I personally appreciate all his support for Rock football. This stadium scoreboard will not only benefit Rock football, but the entire Slippery Rock University athletic department and community. The addition of this state-of-the-art scoreboard will enhance our facility and help to make it one of the best stadiums in Division II."
Sanders, a 1997 inductee into the SRU Athletic Hall of Fame, was the first Pennsylvania Conference player invited to play in a major post-season all-star game. He helped the East beat the West 18-7 in the 1986 East-West Shrine game. He was the leading rusher in NCAA Division II as a junior and a candidate for the Heisman Trophy. After graduating from SRU with a bachelor of science in business management degree in 1986, he played for the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 1986-87 seasons. Today Sanders is CEO of Urban Lending Solutions and the owner of Savoy, an upscale restaurant in Pittsburgh.
The new scoreboard replaces the current board, which has been in use since 2003. The leap in technology has many Slippery Rock head coaches excited for the future.
"We're looking forward to the addition of the new scoreboard as it will continue to enhance our facility and will give our spectators a better viewing experience," said SRU Field Hockey Coach Julie Swiney. "We already have one of the best facilities in the conference and this addition will make it even stronger."
An upgraded sound system that includes eight new speakers from Community Professional Loudspeakers Inc. will be installed and integrated with the scoreboard to produce crystal clear sound throughout Mihalik-Thompson Stadium. Lueken said that discussions about a new scoreboard and sound system have been going on for the last two years.
"As a department we knew we needed to upgrade our current scoreboard to one with more modern capabilities in the very near future," Lueken said. "After identifying the type of new technology we wanted to install, coach Mihalik and I went to work on identifying a donor and found Chuck who wanted to be a part of the process. We greatly appreciate his generosity."
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