By Yera Nanan |Staff Writer|
Whether it’s the Coussoulis Arena or Coyote Premier Field, every Coyote sports facility has a history.
The Coussoulis Arena, home to Coyote basketball and volleyball, was named after the parents of Nicholas Coussoulis, a generous benefactor when it first opened back in ’95.
Being a firm believer in education and helping athletes achieve their dreams were beliefs he carried on throughout his time here and after graduation.
Coussoulis graduated in 1975, receiving a bachelor’s degree in geography. He then went on to run a successful real estate company that’s responsible for many projects in So-Cal.
He has given money to the athletics program to help under-represented students and student-athletes receive scholarships.
He played a big part in the construction of the arena with a large contribution to the $24 million facility.
Thanks to his giving heart, we have one of the finest NCAA Division II arenas in the United States.
Coussoulis was one of the first people inducted into the Coyote Hall of Fame in 2009.
This university continues to reap the benefits from his time and donations.
“What came to be as the Coussoulis Arena really put us on the map in terms of college athletics,” said Mark Reinhiller, the associate athletic director for media relations.
This multi-use facility can hold up to 5,000 and is used for different events such as sports camps, concerts and graduations during the spring and winter quarters.
The volleyball team became the first to play in the arena dating back to September 22, 1995, against Chico State.
Before the construction of the arena, games were played in what is now known as the Coyote Den.
At this time, the school was a part of the NCAA Division III program.
There have been a number of conference titles and three regional titles each coming from both the men’s basketball and women’s volleyball teams.
All of the titles won by these teams came after the building of the arena and a move up to the Division II program in ’91.
“Our run of success started in 2000 and that was when we had already started playing in the arena”, said Reinhiller.
In addition to the arena, there is Coyote Premier Field, home of the men’s and women’s soccer teams.
Soccer games used to be played on the grass in the middle of the track but in 2004 the first season for both men and women was played on the Premier Field.
The field has available seating for more than 1,000 fans, including two sets of bleachers and spacious grass areas for fans to sit in chairs or on picnic blankets.
There has also been an American flag donated by the Local 891 of the Professional Firefighters union.
A dedication ceremony was conducted on September 2, 2009, that featured the fire department honor guard and Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps color guard.
The newest addition to the field includes air conditioned portable locker rooms for the men’s and women’s teams.