Lady Tigers Field renamed in honor of legendary coach

Lady Tigers Field, between South Sixth Street and South Seventh Street, and West Washington Avenue and West Adams Avenue, will be rechristened Ed Hargrove Field in honor of the winningest softball coach in the state at any high school or collegiate level. Hargrove recorded 1,142 wins in his 30-year career at Cowley (1985-2004).

Cowley College’s naming advisory committee unanimously recommended renaming Lady Tigers Field, where the softball team plays its home games, to Ed Hargrove Field, in honor of former coach Ed Hargrove, during Monday night’s meeting of the Board of Trustees.

Hargrove coached the Lady Tigers for 30 years from 1985 to 2014 when he retired.

“It’s kind of typical cliché talk, but no matter how good a coach you are, you aren’t going to win the majority of your games if you don’t have better players than the other team,” Hargrove told the CourierTraveler in a statement. “I felt like my biggest strengths were evaluating talent and recruiting. I recruited close to 400 players into my Cowley program in 30 years and the 1,142 wins are a credit to those nearly 400 players.”

Hargrove won 18 Jayhawk Conference championships, the most of any Region VI softball coach, won nine Region VI District championships, the most of any Region VI softball coach, made nine National Tournament appearances, the most of any Region VI softball coach, tallied 1,142 wins, the most in the nation by any NJCAA softball coach, recorded the most wins by any Cowley coach in history, all sports, at the time of retirement, tallied the most wins by any softball coach in Region VI history, and earned the most wins by any softball coach in Kansas at any level at the time of his retirement (high school, NAIA, NJCAA, NCAA D-I and NCAA D-II).

Hargrove was selected the Jayhawk Conference Coach of the Year eight times. He coached 42 softball All-Americans and was inducted into the National Junior College Athletic Association Softball Hall of Fame in 2007. He was inducted into the Tiger Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009, and was presented the Outstanding Accomplishment Award in 2008 by the Greater Wichita Sports Commission. Hargrove was also the recipient of the Pride of Kansas award by the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.

“I would like to recognize and thank Dr. Cori Gregg, President Dr. Dennis Rittle, members of the selection committee, the Cowley Board of Trustees, Linda Hargrove, Ali Nittler and dozens of former players and parents for the contributions they made to make this honor possible for me,” Hargrove said.

“You know, I was never winning games for 30 years and thinking about this moment. Just wanted my girls to be successful and appreciate their two years at Cowley. I think it worked and I guess I reap the benefits.”

The naming advisory committee provided this statement on Hargrove.

“His positive and lasting impact on Cowley College and Cowley College softball is evident through his many extraordinary accomplishments and through the many lives he touched during his tenure at the college. While Ed possesses the requisite exemplary character and unqualified reputation that is required for such a naming request, his exceptional contributions to the college are also widely recognized at the state and national level. This outside recognition is a powerful affirmation of Coach Hargrove’s meritorious service, worthy of this honorary naming recognition. It is therefore the recommendation of the naming committee, that the Board of Trustees approve the Ed Hargrove Softball Field.”

 

CourierTraveler sports editor Joey Sprinkle contributed to this report.

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