Four prominent spaces in the new football facility were announced August 10 during the dedication of the Bob Caton Fieldhouse at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
Bob Caton Fieldhouse dedication – From left: Chancellor Meadors, Head Football Coach Pete Shinnick, Bob Caton, Jesse Oxendine, Fred Locklear, Fay Caton with grandchildren, Emily and Camille.
The Metcon Construction Lobby, the Jesse E. Oxendine Offensive Coordinator’s Office, the Fred and Kate Locklear Defensive Coordinator’s Office and the UNCP Faculty/Staff Head Coach’s Office were named for donors to the First and Ten Campaign for Football and Athletic Excellence.
Two years ago, Athletic Director Dan Kenney said he stood in a muddy field where the Fieldhouse and stadium now stand ready for the return of football to UNCP.
“We didn’t have any players or a coach yet, and none of this was here,” Kenney said. “Thank you for making this dream a reality.”
Chancellor Allen C. Meadors started the countdown to football.
“In 22 days, we’ll play football here for the first time in 56 years,” Chancellor Meadors said. “There are many people to thank for this. I hope to see you at the game.”
Jesse Oxendine, former football player
UNCP’s first game is Saturday, September 1 at Davidson College and the first home game is September 8 against Greensboro College. Several of the players who played in the first generation of UNCP football from 1947-51 were on hand Friday including Jesse Oxendine.
“I am utterly amazed at what we have here at the University,” Oxendine said. “We’re very fortunate to have a Fieldhouse and facilities like this.”
Oxendine, who quarterbacked the early teams, was joined by former player Fred Locklear, who with wife, Kate, a retired UNCP employee, attended the ceremony.
“I would like to thank Chancellor Meadors for making this day possible,” Locklear said. “He said football is the most expensive sport, but we can afford it.”
Fieldhouse general contractor Metcon Construction was represented by its President Aaron Thomas ‘00, a UNCP graduate. Metcon is headquartered in Pembroke.
Fred Locklear, former football player
“If I could sum up in one word what this university means to me, my family and this community, it would be opportunity,” Thomas said. “Education has given our people an opportunity to succeed. The University has given my company an opportunity to grow.”
The faculty and staff contributed more than $60,000 to the Campaign for Football. Chancellor Meadors, who was one of those contributors, said that gift indicated the “character and dedication” of UNCP employees.
The event culminated in a ceremonial ribbon cutting with the donors and Fieldhouse patrons, Bob and Faye Caton, flanked by their grandchildren, Emily and Camile and Head Football Coach Pete Shinnick.
Shinnick, whose name also appears on the head coach’s office as a contributor, summed up his feelings on the eve of football’s return to UNCP.
“Every day I come to work here, I’m humbled,” Shinnick said. “As a first year program, we’re very fortunate to have facilities of this caliber.”
To learn more about the First and Ten Campaign for Football and Athletic Excellence at UNCP, please call the Office for Advancement at 910.521.6252 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.