FLORENCE – Francis Marion University officials formally dedicated Griffin Athletic Complex on Monday.
John Sparrow, benefactor; Gerald R. Griffin, retired FMU athletic director; William W. Coleman Jr., member of the FMU Board of Trustees; Murray G. Hartzler, FMU director of athletics; Michael G. Hawkins, associate athletic director; and “Spyder” Webb, athletic trainer; were honored at the Griffin Athletic Complex Dedication Ceremony.
Honorees were as follows:
John Sparrow, philanthropist (Sparrow Stadium): Partner, Sparrow & Kennedy Tractor Company. Through the years, the Sparrow family has supported FMU through scholarships and endowed faculty chairs. Their gift to honor Henry Booker Sparrow and Nellie Cooke Sparrow is a further example of their dedication to FMU and will provide a state-of-the-art facility for student athletes and the community for generations to come.
Gerald R. Griffin, retired FMU athletic director (Griffin Athletic Complex): FMU Baseball Coach, 1972-2000. FMU Athletic Director, 1973-2000. 730 career victories, 22 seasons with 20-plus wins. Led FMU Athletics through transition from NAIA to NCAA and program grew from 7 to 14 teams.
W. Coleman, FMU Trustee, Class of 1971 (Lake Coleman): Partner in Coleman & Wise Commercial Realty, founding CEO of Florence County National Bank. 1971 FMU graduate, B.S. Education. Member of the FMU Board of Trustee, 1988-present, two terms as chair. Member of FMU Foundation Board, 1988-present. FMU Distinguished Alumnus, 1991-92. Serves on numerous community boards and committees.)
Murray Hartzler, FMU Athletic Director (Hartzler Soccer Field): FMU Soccer Coach, 1994-2006. FMU Athletic Director, 2000-present. Served 23 seasons as head coach at collegiate level. Under his leadership, FMU Student Athletes consistently excel academically and athletically, with high grade point averages and post-season competitions. During his tenure as athletic director, the men’s golf and women’s soccer programs moved to NCAA Division I status.
Michael G. Hawkins, associate athletic director (Hawkins Press Box): FMU Sports Information Director, 1985-present. Associate Athletic Director, 2006-present. 1985 FMU graduate with B.S. in mathematics. Has earned the respect of colleagues, peers and media throughout the state and conference. A long-time Patriot, Michael’s father was a founding member of the FMU faculty.
Marion “Spyder” Webb, athletic trainer (Webb Plaza): FMU Head Athletic Trainer, 1976-present. Florence native, graduated from FMU in 1978 with a B.S. in political science. Has mentored thousands of athletes through the decades and works with the Seattle Mariners during the summer.