|Crawford selected to head Ice Arena|
|Written by By KEVIN GORDON Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor|
|Thursday, 27 August 2009 11:05|
Jeff Crawford has been a part of the BGSU Ice Arena for the last 40 years.
Today, the Bowling Green resident was named the arena's director.
Crawford replaces Buddy Powers, who resigned to become an assistant hockey coach at defending NCAA champion Boston University, his alma mater. Powers was the head coach of the Falcon hockey team from 1994-2002.
"I love BGSU. I love the community. I love the arena," Crawford said. "I grew up in the building."
Crawford, 47, started playing in the BG youth hockey program when he was 7. He's since served as a coach and board member in the program, and was a member of the BG High School hockey team which won the 1980 state title.
He also has served as an off-ice official at Falcon games and worked at the arena for four years while earning a bachelor's degree from BGSU. His three sons played youth hockey here.
The university recently committed $4 million to the renovation of the arena.
Construction of the arena started in the spring of 1965 and the building was dedicated on Feb. 25, 1967. Some of the equipment in the building is the original equipment.
"With the commitment the university has made to improving the arena, this is an exciting time and a great opportunity," Crawford said. "The arena still has a lot of potential and I'm looking forward to helping it (the arena) grow."
Crawford formerly worked as a manager at Fifth Third Bank. Prior to Fifth Third, he worked in the insurance industry and was a vice-president at Mid Am Bank.
"Jeff has an intimate understanding of the groups that use the ice arena and he has spent countless hours there as a hockey player, coach, and official," BGSU vice-president for student affairs Ed Whipple said in a statement.
The office of student affairs oversees the operation of the arena, not the athletics department.
"Combine that with his business acumen and he is a great fit for BGSU and the arena," Whipple said. "I can't think of anyone in the community more committed to seeing this facility succeed."
The university originally scrapped a $4 million renovation of the arena earlier this year because of the overall state of its budget and the rising cost of borrowing money.
The project was going to be used to replace all of the equipment used in making the ice. The project also was going to seal the building and repair the arena's gutters, downspouts and roof to stop the arena's numerous leaks. Also scheduled to be worked on were the air handling system and the lighting.
But the renovation project is back on with the recent addition $1.5 million in money from the state of Ohio and $2.5 million from the university.
Crawford said those same areas remain the priority for the renovation, although no date has been announced for when the work would begin.
He's also hoping to turn the curling sheet of ice into a multi-purpose facility, that allow it to be used for youth hockey. The curling sheet also could be used for public skating when the main sheet is being used.
"Everyone wants to use the ice when it's convenient for them, whether it's right after school or right after dinner, and not everyone can use it at the same time," he said.
Although the university has committed $4 million to the renovation of the arena, the fate of the Falcon hockey program still hasn't been decided.
The arena renovation and recent comments by school president Dr. Carol Cartwright that she believes the needed money can be raised to save the program are signs it will be saved.
However, the program currently has been guaranteed to exist only through the 2009-10 season.
The program could be cut to help the university and the athletics department deal with large deficits.
The school is awaiting the results of a study from a national firm that will, in part, determine how much money could be generated by a fund-raising campaign for the arena renovations and the hockey program.
University spokesman Dave Kielmeyer said the report from the firm is still expected by the end of the month.
The university then will study the report and announce its decision on the future of the arena and the hockey program.,
In the spring, the university also formed separate committees to the student the future of the ice arena and the athletics department. The final reports from those committees haven't been made public yet, either.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 27 August 2009 11:05|
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