Coastal Carolina University is naming its baseball playing field in honor of the contributions of former baseball coach John Vrooman and his parents, Irv and Bernice Vrooman, of Conway.
Vrooman Field will be dedicated at Charles L. Watson Stadium in a pre-game ceremony on Saturday, March 13, prior to Coastal hosting George Mason University. The ceremony to honor the former coach and his parents Irv and Bernice Vrooman will be held on the field prior to the 2 p.m. start of a two-game weekend series with the Patriots.
Vrooman joined the Coastal faculty in 1968 as an adjunct faculty member. In 1971, he became a fulltime faculty member in the department of history. During his 36 years of service, he served in several capacities including academic dean, head baseball coach and interim athletic director.
He was Coastal's head baseball coach for 13 seasons, including from 1974-1977 and from 1987-1995. He had a record of 345-256 (.574) during his tenure, including leading Coastal to six consecutive Big South Conference regular season championships from 1988-1993, a pair of conference tournament titles in 1991 and 1992 and the program's first-ever appearance in a NCAA Regional in 1991 at Florida State. In concert with his retirement, Coastal's Board of Trustees named him professor emeritus in January 1998.
Prior to joining the Coastal faculty, Vrooman was chief of military personnel and later director of personnel of the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base. He earned a bachelor's degree in history from Wesleyan University in 1965 and a master's degree in history from Rutgers University in 1966.
Spurred by the contribution of Vrooman, the baseball field has undergone several improvements in the recent off season in time for the start of the 2004 campaign. Among those are the new outfield wall, a completely renovated infield, along with new fencing and dugout extensions. Also, a new sound system has been installed.
Among the dignitaries at the event will be Vrooman's family, including wife Deborah, who is associate dean of the College of Natural and Applied Sciences, and daughter Ava Ann. The University will be represented by President Ronald R. Ingle, former chancellor Edward M. Singleton, Coastal Director of Athletics Warren "Moose" Koegel and head baseball coach Gary Gilmore, along with the Chanticleer baseball team.