Construction of Doerr Family Field Expected to Begin by Summer

Construction of Doerr Family Field Expected to Begin by Summer

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — For the past several years, Cal Poly football and soccer student-athletes have been practicing on the upper fields of the Cal Poly Sports Complex, more than a mile across campus from Mott Athletics Center.

By next fall, the student-athletes will be able to walk from their locker rooms to a new state-of-the-art synthetic turf field at the current “I Field” adjacent to the Cal Poly Track.

Construction of Doerr Family Field, named in honor of Richard A. (Dick) and Kathleen (Kit) Doerr, who provided the lead gift for the project, is expected to begin by the summer and be available in the fall of 2017.

“The new practice field will be a state-of-the-art Division I practice facility,” said Mustang head football coach Tim Walsh. “It will impact our student-athletes immediately in many ways.

“Our players currently travel from locker room to practice one mile away. The new facility will be just 150 yards away. The time saved in travel and training room will be over two hours per week when practicing at 6 a.m. That adds up to a more rested football team and more time to ready themselves for their classroom responsibilities immediately following practice,” Walsh added. “It will have a tremendous impact on our recruiting efforts as well.”

“In reviewing the ways to make an immediate impact upon the student-athlete experience, we determined this to be the top priority,” said Cal Poly Director of Athletics Don Oberhelman. “We have other facility projects that we are working toward, but Doerr Family Field is one that we can complete quickly, and it will have such a positive impact upon every Mustang.

“Ashley Offermann and Nick Pettit on our staff have done a remarkable job in helping get this project off the ground,” Oberhelman added.

Total cost of the project is estimated at approximately $4 million and is a joint venture of Associated Students, Inc., and Cal Poly Athletics. A total of 13 donors have contributed $2.1 million for the project with another $750,000 needing to be raised.

The project includes a state-of-the-art 140-yard synthetic turf practice field with Cal Poly branding, allowing room for football sled work, along with goalposts, two filming towers and a scoreboard.

“This facility has been much needed and I cannot thank the Doerr Family enough for making this become a reality,” Walsh said. "Doerr Family Field will have a direct impact on the successes our student-athletes strive for year in and year out. A big thank you to all who have donated to the facility."

Richard A. Doerr is a member of the Cal Poly Foundation Board of Directors. He received a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Cal Poly in 1966, played football for the Mustangs from 1964-66 and maintains a strong interest in the wrestling program.

"I've been working hand and hand with Mr. Oberhelman and Coach Walsh for a few years on a substantial project that would be meaningful to our football program,” said Dick Doerr. "The concept of a state-of-the-art practice facility really resonated with Kit and I because of how it would quickly impact so many student-athletes and improve the football participants’ experience by having their practice facility, locker room, strength and conditioning room and sports medicine office all in the same location.

“Kit and I will be proud to have Doerr Family Field be a place where student-athletes come to improve their athletic acumen, while developing into the best athlete they can be,” Doerr added.

Doerr is the general partner of RAD Capital Management LP, a venture capital and private equity firm. From 1997 until 2000, he was Chief Executive Officer of Serena Software, Inc., an industry-leading supplier of software that automates change to enterprise code and content.

Prior to that, Doerr served as Vice President of Sales, Service and Distribution for Wall Data Incorporated, a software connectivity company. In the early 1990s, he was Vice President of Worldwide Operations for Oracle Corporation.

Steve Jones, lead donor for renovation of the football locker room in 2014 and also a former Mustang football player, also has contributed his services to the Doerr Family Field project.

"I was able to participate with a group of select alumni and supporters of the football program in a feasibility analysis to determine if this project could be successful,” said Jones. “Within one week, the people who had participated had committed over $2 million to the project and it was a 'go' by the university.

“To see from concept to fruition this project be completed in 18 months make me proud to help make a lasting impression at Cal Poly that will elevate our program for our current student-athletes, recruits and our overall community to show the importance of athletics at Cal Poly,” Jones added. "While our ambitions are even bigger and better facilities, this will be a critical step in helping Cal Poly be competitive in the Big Sky Conference."

Jones is a Cal Poly graduate with a bachelor's degree in political science who also obtained his MBA from the University of Redlands. He currently presides over all of the Allied Universal Services companies and their respective divisions as Chief Executive Officer.

Pettit, Deputy Director of Athletics, has been coordinating the project for the Cal Poly Athletics Department.

"Doerr Family Field will be a place of pride for our student-athletes and directly impact their experience on a daily basis,” Pettit said. “This facility is a true difference maker. All of our 550 student-athletes will utilize this new facility during their time at Cal Poly.

"It's been a seamless project working as a joint venture with the Associated Students and Athletics,” Pettit added. "This project demonstrates collaboration at its finest on the part of many. Our campus leadership moved very quickly to see this project to fruition.”

Individuals with a desire to support the project can contact Offermann, Associate Director of Athletics for Development, at aofferma@calpoly.edu or by calling (805) 440-9792.