Top Stories of 2012: No. 7 A new conference and new digs
January 2, 2013 | 2 Comments
After a 17-year hiatus, Campbell University’s return to the Big South Conference was a successful one in 2012.
Seven teams posted winning records in conference play, and the women’s golf team captured the school’s first Big South title since the return of the league in the spring. Campbell finished fourth in the conference’s annual Sasser Cup standings, which ranks the conference’s athletic programs based on an average points system.
During the 2011-12 campaign, Campbell had an average finish of fourth in all its Big South sports. The baseball team finished as the regular season conference runner-up with a 15-9 mark in league play, while the men’s basketball, men’s soccer and women’s soccer teams each placed third in their respective standings.
Campbell finished behind Liberty, Coastal Carolina and High Point in the Sasser Cup. Campbell also placed fourth in both the men’s and women’s all-sports standings.
It proved to be a record season for the baseball squad, led by coach Greg Goff. The Camels broke 10 single-season team records, including a program-best 41 overall wins. The banner season included wins over Duke and nationally ranked N.C. State.
The year also meant major renovations and additions for Campbell’s athletic facilities.
Barker-Lane Stadium kicked off the 2012 football season with new lights. The Fighting Camels football team played four night games, its first home night games since returning to football in 2008, including its season opener on a Thursday, which drew the third-largest crowd in the stadium’s history. In December, the temporary press box that’s stood for five years was demolished to make room for permanent stands. Construction plans for that phase of the stadium’s renovations have not been publicly announced.
In November, Campbell announced plans for major renovations and a new name for its baseball stadium. The facility, formerly known as Taylor Field, was unveiled as Jim Perry Stadium on Nov. 12, named for the former Cy Young Award winner, longtime Major League Baseball pitcher and Campbell alumnus. Perry Stadium will feature total seating for 630, including 310 chair-backed seats, plus bleacher-backs and disability access. The new grandstand will span from dugout to dugout. Construction began in December, and by year’s end, the installation of the bleacher backs and individual seats was nearly complete.
In April, Campbell dedicated its newly renovated softball stadium in the memory of former softball standout Amanda Littlejohn.Littlejohn had been battling various forms of cancers while a player and passed away on Sept. 1, 2011. She was the starting catcher for the Camels during the 2007 and 2008 season, fighting the disease as she played. Stadium upgrades included permanent grandstand seating on the newly built concrete pad behind the backstop between the dugouts, a fully functioning enclosed press box in the center section on top of the grandstand and a bricked exterior façade of the structure. The second phase of the projects calls for a new nine-inning wireless running LED scoreboard in right field.
In August, a floor resurfacing project began at the Gilbert Craig Gore Arena in the John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center. The wood floors were stripped of its varnish and paint, sanded and painted with a new color scheme. The project was complete in time for the beginning of the fall semester.