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Eagles Athletics Initiative take CUI Sports into the Future

March 07, 2022 - 4 minute read


CUI Spring 2022 Athletics Header

Eagles athletics has come a long way in recent years. The comprehensive Forward in Faith campaign provided us with new field lights, facilities and a completely renovated baseball field—but the biggest improvements are ahead as the Eagle Athletics Initiative (EAI) catapults CUI sports into a new sphere of excellence.

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Eagles Atheltics Complex

“The Eagle Athletics Initiative is a huge project for athletics, like nothing we’ve done before,” says Crystal Rosenthal ’02, MCAA ’08, athletics director and longtime CUI softball coach.

Changes have begun with a major upgrade to the softball field. New netting, new seating and new dugouts will greatly improve the fan experience and sight lines. An upgrade of aesthetic elements—such as new screens and padding behind home plate—will bring the field and surrounding areas up to the level of the recently-renovated baseball field complex. The softball field already has industry-leading lights which allow for night games.

We felt it was time to provide student-athletes with facilities that match their level of commitment

But the greatest impact of the EAI will be a pair of buildings connected by a sky bridge, collectively called the Eagle Athletics Complex. Among other things, this complex will transform the weakest spot in Eagles athletics at present: the weight room. The current weight room is a small outdoor space surrounded by a chain link fence.

“It’s non-ideal,” says Rosenthal. “It’s hard to keep the equipment nice. To try to get a lift in for a team in our current facilities is almost impossible.”

The lack of a suitable weight room has been a recruiting issue, especially with athletes coming from high schools like Crean and Orange Lutheran with strong athletics programs.

“We felt it was time to provide student-athletes with facilities that match their level of commitment,” says Eron Jacobson ’94, Executive Director of Development.

The soon-to-be-built 6,000-sq. ft. strength and conditioning center will be the largest in the Eagles’ league and will match the size of CSU Fullerton’s.

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Softball Stadium

“This is the jewel of the project,” says Rosenthal. “It will allow teams to train at the same time, and athletes will be better-trained in terms of strength and conditioning.”

The Eagle Athletics Complex also will provide something Eagles teams have never enjoyed before: their own team rooms. Up to now, teams that compete outdoors have used whatever space was available—a converted dorm room, a mobile trailer parked behind the track, and other nooks and crannies on campus. The complex will also have coaches’ offices, hydro-rooms and media rooms for teams to watch film of games.

On the roofs of both buildings will be viewing decks, to greatly improve the spectator experience. Field-side seating will expand to accommodate 300 fans.

“It’s going to have a major impact on how fans are able to view and participate in games,” says Jacobson. “It will enhance people’s experience across the board.”

Rosenthal calls the complex “a beautiful piece of architecture which will elevate us to one of the premier NCAA DII facilities in the country.” 

This is an opportunity to give our student-athletes something they deserve and which alumni will be very proud of

Lastly, the Eagle Athletics Initiative will provide for major improvements such as air conditioning and new lighting in the CU Arena

“This is an opportunity to give our student-athletes something they deserve and which alumni will be very proud of,” says Rosenthal. “It’s what we’ve all wanted, this unifying place, and an opportunity for Concordia athletics to grow into the next 50 years.”

Concordia’s goal over the next three years is to collectively raise $10 million in order to transform the face of athletics here at CUI. By the grace of God and through the generosity of an anonymous donor, we are already sixty percent of the way towards reaching that goal! 


Hear more from Athletic Director Crystal Rosenthal, student athletes, and President Michael Thomas, and learn more about opportunities to support the Eagle Athletics Initiative at cui.edu/EAI, or contact Eron Jacboson at [email protected] or (949) 214-3177.

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