Feb. 26, 2004
Baltimore, Md. - Loyola College has announced that it will re-name Curley Field to Diane Geppi-Aikens Field, honoring its late women's lacrosse coach. A ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, March 7, preceding the Greyhounds' home-opening game with Princeton University.
"We are delighted by the opportunity to honor the legacy of Coach Diane Geppi-Aikens as we are humbled by the Curley family's magnanimous spirit," says College President Harold Ridley, S.J. "This is a great tribute to a legendary coach and an inspirational human being whose life and work exemplify the Loyola mission and values."
The decision to re-name the facility came at the request of the family of John M. Curley, Jr., for whom the field has been named since 1979. The Dedication Ceremony will be held at 1:45 p.m. on March 7, at the spectator entrance of the athletic field. The Loyola-Princeton women's lacrosse game is slated for a 2 p.m. draw.
"We are honored by the generosity of the Curley Family," says Athletic Director Joe Boylan. "No one better personified the spirit of student-athlete, coach and leader than Diane Geppi-Aikens. She was a true giant in the sport of women's lacrosse, but more importantly, she was someone who make Loyola College a better place."
The field - which has been home to Loyola's nationally ranked men's and women's soccer and lacrosse teams since 1979 - will remain as Diane Geppi-Aikens Field until the College finishes development of a new intercollegiate athletic facility. At that time, the College plans to incorporate Geppi-Aikens' name at the original John M. Curley, Jr., Field site, naming either the quadrangle or part of a new facility at the original site in her honor.
A native of Baltimore, Geppi-Aikens was an All-America lacrosse goalie at Loyola and lettered in both lacrosse and volleyball. Upon graduation in 1984, she served four years as the College's volleyball coach and as assistant lacrosse coach before being named head women's lacrosse coach in1989.
Posting an overall record of 197-71 (735) in 15 seasons, she led the Greyhounds to the NCAA tournament 10 times and was named the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) National Coach of the Year three times, including her final season in 2003.
That same year, the IWLCA renamed its Lifetime Achievement Award in her honor and she received the NCAA Inspiration Award for overcoming life-altering situations and serving as a role model to others. Battling inoperable brain cancer throughout the 2003 season, Geppi-Aikens led her team to a No. 1 ranking and to the NCAA Final Four last spring. She died at her home in Baltimore in June 2003. She was 40 years old.