Oklahoma Baptist University dedicated the Harry E. Coates, Sr. Baseball and Softball Facility Thursday, April 29.
Located along University Street, south of the third-base side of Bison Field, the 70-foot long complex includes four offices for baseball and softball coaches, a common reception area, separate locker rooms and showers for the Bison and Lady Bison and a pair of batting cages.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony included remarks from OBU President Mark Brister, Sen. Harry Coates, Jr., and OBU coaches Bobby Cox and Pam Fink.
"In my career here I've seen things at other schools that I've wanted us to have at OBU," said Cox, OBU's baseball coach. "Now I've got coaches who come in here and want the plans for this facility. It's great to be the one who has what everyone else wants."
Senator Coates, addressing a gathering of almost 100, recounted the values of his father and his love for athletics, especially baseball.
At their Dec. 2, 2002, meeting, the OBU board of trustees voted to name the building after the late Harry E. Coates, a long-time Seminole businessman who died in 1997.
Major donors to the project included Brian and Rhonda Coates, Bruce and Tandi Coates, Jennifer Coates Thomas and Senator and Mrs. Harry E. Coates, Jr.
"This is a facility we can be proud of," said Lady Bison softball coach Pam Fink. "This is such a big step up for us. When I got here as coach (10 years ago) we were sharing a locker room with women's basketball."
President Brister thanked the family and friends of the building's namesake and said that the new facility would stand as a long-lasting marker of the generosity of the Coates family.