The air around the newly installed turf was charged with excitement on Aug. 2, in anticipation of the dedication of the completed indoor practice field at the new Cole Field House. Proud partners and alumni discussed the first phase in construction while observing the redesigned and barely recognizable building that has long been a foundation of the campus of the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP). At the same event, officials participated in the groundbreaking of a second phase that makes the site a part of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB).
A result of the University of Maryland Strategic Partnership, MPowering the State, the new Cole Field House is truly multifaceted. It will be the home of the Center for Sports Medicine, Health and Human Performance, a project that showcases the collaboration between UMB and UMCP. It combines UMB’s success in the field of medical research with UMCP’s strengths in science and engineering in addition to the revered Terrapins athletic program. The center will make possible research to transform the science of sport while providing a superior facility for athletes who will pass through Cole Field House every day.
The history of this iconic building was brought alive during the event not only through alumni in attendance but in remarks by UMCP President Wallace D. Loh, PhD, JD, who paid tribute to the building’s memorable past.
UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, said the collaboration strives “to answer the most important questions of human performance and to solve our most urgent challenges of injury prevention and recovery.” The goal is to transform sports medicine and pursue research that will create “hope [for] millions of Americans suffering from debilitating injury [and] a home for everyone who is serious about cutting-edge leadership in the science of sports,” he said.
State Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller, JD, LLB, elaborated upon the concept of one building serving multiple purposes, stating that the reimagined Cole Field House is “more than just a football field.” Terps football coach D.J. Durkin called the project a literal “game-changer.” The center has the opportunity to lift athletes’ performance and change lives. To those who may suffer from sports-related injuries and debilitations, including conditions such as traumatic brain injury and damage requiring orthopaedic care, the building is a symbol of optimism. Researchers will be able to work together in ways once considered unimaginable in a groundbreaking setting in pursuit of groundbreaking treatment.
For athletes, it is a sign of the security afforded to them by the knowledge that students, staff members, clinicians, and researchers are working together to innovate sports medicine. Furthermore the second phase of Cole Field House will include a space for the University of Maryland Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Joining Perman, Loh, Miller, and Durkin at the ceremony were UMCP Athletic Director Kevin Anderson, former basketball coach Gary Williams, Terrapin Club President Mike Freeman, UMB Chief Academic and Research Officer and Senior Vice President Bruce Jarrell, MD, FACS, University System of Maryland Chancellor Robert L. Caret, PhD, and Chancellor Emeritus William “Brit” Kirwan, PhD. Kirwan moderated a scientific panel that included the center’s clinical director, Andrew N. Pollak, MD, the James Lawrence Kernan Professor and Chair, Department of Orthopaedics, at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM); as well as the center’s scientific co-directors, Elizabeth Quinlan, PhD, professor, Department of Biology, UMCP, and Alan I. Faden, MD, professor, Department of Anesthesiology, and associate dean, Trans-Campus Research Advancement, UMSOM.
Officials cut a real streamer during the ribbon-cutting for the indoor field. They wielded mallets to virtually demolish a wall during the groundbreaking for the center, opening the way for unprecedented collaboration by the two universities.
— Kayla Kozak