Donors, dignitaries, alumni, students and special guests will gather at noon for a
formal ceremony Saturday’s 1 p.m. Home Football Opener Against Shenandoah University.
Ferrum, Va. (Sept. 13, 2013) – Ferrum College officials and guests will dedicate the new Norton-Tolley Press Box
at W.B. Adams Stadium on Sat., Sept. 14, at 12 noon, prior to the 1 p.m. football
home-opener against Shenandoah University. The facility is named in honor of Hank
Norton, Ferrum head football coach, educator and athletic director from 1960-93, and
in memory of Rick Tolley, former Ferrum assistant coach who later became head football
coach at Marshall University in West Virginia.
Norton led Ferrum to four National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) football
titles in the mid-1960s and 70s and his 1966 team was NJCAA national runner-up. In
the early 1970s Norton helped in the transition from a junior college athletic program
to the NCAA Division III ranks when Ferrum became a four-year college. He guided
the Ferrum College Panther’s football team to several NCAA playoff berths and to national
semifinal appearances in 1988 and 1989. Norton closed his 34 seasons at Ferrum with
a 244-76-1 (.735) career coaching mark.
Tolley, Norton's first full-time assistant football coach, was in his inaugural season
at the helm of the Marshall Thundering Herd program when an airplane carrying most
of the football team and coaches, including Tolley, crashed on Nov. 14, 1970, near
Huntington, W.Va., killing all 75 passengers. The incident is one of the worst sports-related
tragedies in U.S. history and was memorialized in the 2006 movie “We Are Marshall”
starring Matthew McConaughey.
Ferrum College president Jennifer Braaten expressed gratitude to generous benefactors
whose designated contributions to the current Centennial Campaign made the new press
box possible, and to College staff who worked tirelessly to finish the project in
time for the opener. “This represents the ‘capstone’ of our Hank Norton Center that
was completed last year,” said Braaten. “The entire Norton complex is now one of
the top student athletic facilities in the state and one of which our Ferrum College
family can be proud.”
The Norton-Tolley Press Box, fronted by 60 reserved club seats, encompasses 1,650
square feet of space on two levels, including a President’s suite and a concession
stand on the first level. The second level, featuring staff work space and enclosed
media booths, is flanked by outdoor decks overlooking Adams Field for coaches and
Saturday’s game has also been designated as First Responders Appreciation Day. Police, firefighters, rescue squad personnel, public safety officers, military
personnel and emergency volunteers will receive free admission to the game in recognition
of their heroic work.
See more photographs of the new Norton-Tolley Press Box here.
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