Fast Break - August 2007

Turning into a rec; AB Wins Gold

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August 2007
Fast News
AB Wins GoldEditor Andrew Cohen and Art Director Katy Williams of Athletic Business magazine took home a Gold Award, presented by the American Society of Business Publication Editors at a ceremony held at New York City's Roosevelt Hotel. Read press release.

Wreck into RecThe federal government's plan to shut down more than 30 military bases as part of a massive facilities realignment has signaled economic disaster to some small communities. But it needn't be all doom and gloom - just look at Bristol, R.I. According to Providence Journal reports, officials in the deep-water seaport town have devised a plan to transform the Quinta-Gamelin Army Reserve Center - slated to close in five years - into a public recreation facility.

Early plans for the 15,000-square-foot building show an estimated $250,000 worth of renovations that include a gymnasium, an indoor swimming pool and multiple recreation rooms, the Journal reported. If the federal government accepts the town's proposal (the federal government deeded the property to the town after no other federal agencies opted to take over the building), it would also foot the bill, in accordance with the base realignment plan.

The town's governing board chose to move forward with the town-run recreation center plan after reviewing proposals from higher education and for-profit institutions for use of the building. Bristol has been short on recreational facilities for its 23,000 residents since 1991, when its YMCA closed after more than 90 years in operation.

"We have a long history of needing to expand our programs," the town's rec department manager, Walter Burke, told the council in July, according to Journal reports. "This is just a fantastic opportunity to bring back to Bristol something that has been sorely missed for so long."

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In the Field
Company News
  • Following the sudden death of its longtime CEO John Gilman, sports surfacing company FieldTurf Tarkett announced the interim appointment of former senior vice-president David Moskowski to CEO.
  • Advantage Fitness Products (Oak Ridge, N.C.) will supply and provide ongoing service for all exercise equipment and accessories for the University of Nevada Las Vegas' new student recreation and wellness center, which is scheduled to open in September.
  • The International Association of Assembly Managers approved a joint agreement with Venue Management Association (Asia & Pacific) Ltd. to support international growth and membership benefits for the two public assembly facility management associations.
  • illbruck acoustic, provider of acoustical and noise control solutions, has changed its name to pinta acoustic. The company's products, management, vision and direction remain unchanged.

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Looking Back
From the AB Article Archive: "Loss Column"On July 23, longtime University of Iowa women's track coach Jim Grant died at age 60 after a two-year battle with cancer. He had witnessed seven athletes qualify for the 2007 NCAA championships, but was unable to watch them compete in June's season-ending event due to his ongoing treatments. Women's cross country coach Layne Anderson, who assisted Grant during the track season, told The Daily Iowan that the off-season would be tough to handle for student-athletes but that the late coach would have said, "You're not running for me, you're running for your future."

When Wake Forest men's basketball coach Skip Prosser died unexpectedly three days later at age 56, the victim of an apparent heart attack, reaction was immediate. That night, hundreds of fans honored the late coach by partaking in a tradition that Prosser himself often joined after major on-court victories - they trimmed the trees lining the lawn at Wait Chapel with toilet paper. "This is support for us," Wake alum Frank Johnson told Sports Illustrated's Seth Davis. "I had to get through this with somebody."

Each campus community has its own way of dealing with the death of a head coach. In September 2006, Paul Steinbach explored the process through the eyes of three college athletic directors who had experienced a recent loss. The following is an excerpt from "Loss Column":

During the day following the NCAA women's basketball tournament title game, Maggie Dixon met with Army athletic director Kevin Anderson to discuss her future. "She had several offers on the table from people trying to hire her away from us," Anderson says. "The last thing she shared with me was that she wasn't going to leave me."

Within hours, Dixon was dead - the victim of an enlarged, arrhythmic heart.

Anderson struggled to make sense of it. "I was mad for awhile," he says. "But then I figured if I was going to lose a good coach to anybody, who better than God?"

Find this article and more at's Article Archive. Search more than 900 columns and features from the magazine by keyword, category or date.
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It's Show Time
See the Newest Innovations at ABC's Trade ShowFind everything you need for your facilities and programs at the Athletic Business Conference & Expo, Nov. 29-Dec. 1 in Orlando. From cardio, strength and functional fitness equipment to lockers, software, flooring, goals, aquatic components, architectural services and a whole lot more, you'll find everything you need to build and operate your facilities and programs. Plus, visit pavilions by ABC partners the International Council on Active Aging, the Medical Fitness Association and the National Alliance for Youth Sports.

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  • $395 for the first person
  • $340 per person for the second and third person from the same organization
  • $160 per person for each additional person (4th and beyond) from the same organization
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Fast Job
The Recreation Center of Highland Park (Ill.) is seeking a fitness coordinator to be responsible for the overall supervision and management of the 5,000-square-foot-plus facility.
Don't Miss This
In our next issue: Sustainable design has entered the mainstream of recreation facility architecture.

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Did You Miss This?
In our current issue: The August issue explores how sports, recreation and fitness professionals are reaping the rewards of continuing-education programs.

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And the Survey Said
In response to last month's Quick Question, most respondents agree that comfort and cost are the two most important factors to consider when purchasing new stadium seats.

Complete Results:What is most important when deciding on seats for your stadium or arena?

  • Aesthetics: 5%
  • Comfort: 49%
  • Cost: 37%
  • Ease of storage/portability: 9%
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