• Athletic programs facilities, history, budgets
By Rebecca Bell
Dean of Community Relations & Special Events
Midland College (MC) is proud of all its athletics programs, of which there are six men’s and women’s teams. The men’s teams include basketball, baseball and golf. Women’s teams include basketball, softball and volleyball. Recent press regarding MC’s softball program has prompted college officials to release the following information.
MC softball program began in 1999, and played its first game on February 2 of that year. On August 23, 1999, Tommy Ramos was promoted from his position as the college’s intramurals director to head softball coach and currently still holds that position.
Softball team home games were originally played at the Bill Williams softball complex at Hogan Park. In 2001, the team moved to Ulmer Field operated by the Midland United Girls Softball (MUGS) Association, which is located at 2900 W. Kentucky. In 2009, Midland College purchased a portable building and located it at the MUGS complex so that the team could have its own locker room facilities. The portable building with locker room facilities was then moved to the MC main campus in January 2011, and on February 16, 2011, the softball team played its first game on the new field located on the Midland College main campus next to the Leona G. and John E. Fox Science Building. The field is near the residence halls, where all team members live during the school year. In 2014, MC renovated the main campus softball field in order to add a press box and public restrooms. Total cost of the softball field, locker room facilities and renovations was $1,108,352 provided through the college’s annual operating budget.
In addition, the Midland College Foundation awarded the softball program two separate institutional grants –one in October 2014 for $20,000 to purchase a radar gun, helmet/bat rack for both dugouts and softball field flag poles and another one in October 2016 for $39,545 to purchase and install two double stall batting cages and cement border for practice/warmup use.
The softball field is the only MC sports area used solely by one Midland College sports team for practice and home games. All other college sports facilities are used by high school teams, tournaments, MC classes and community events. Personnel employed in the college’s Physical Plant department maintain the softball field, which includes mowing three times a week during season play and once a week during the off-season, replacing sprinkler heads and performing other necessary maintenance functions.
The MC baseball team played its first home game in fall 2000 at Christensen Stadium located on Lamesa Road. The stadium was previously used by Double-A affiliate teams--the Midland Cubs and Midland Angels. Midland College leases the Christensen facility from the City of Midland for $1 per year. MC has upgraded the facility to include major plumbing repairs, press box roof repairs and other necessary leasehold capital improvements at a cost of $632,967.
Midland Christian School baseball team plays all home games at Christensen Stadium, and the school provided new turf for the infield. Midland High School and Lee High School also use the field for tournaments. Recently, the MC baseball team began sharing Christensen facilities with the college’s Transportation Training instructional program. Truck driving classrooms and offices are located on the south side of the complex, and the parking lot is used for truck parking and for hands-on truck maneuver instruction.
Unlike the softball field, which is maintained by the MC Physical Plant department, the baseball field is maintained by the college baseball coaching staff. Head coach and assistant coaches mow, replace sprinkler heads and perform all other routine maintenance functions for the actual playing field. Midland College physical plant personnel maintain the grounds outside of the field.
The MC volleyball team and men’s and women’s basketball teams use the gyms at the main campus Physical Education Building for off-season practices and use Chap Center for practices during the playing season. All home games for these sports are played at Chap Center. In addition to volleyball and basketball team use, the Physical Education Building gyms are used for instructional purposes by the MC Kinesiology and Continuing Education departments. Chap Center is used for Midland High School and Lee High School home basketball games, area sports tournaments, numerous community cultural events, college lectures, MISD and MC employee convocations and various college and high school commencement ceremonies.
The MC golf team uses the golf courses at Hogan Park, Ranchland Hills, Green Tree Country Club and occasionally Midland Country Club for its activities.
The annual operating budgets, excluding salaries and benefits, for all Midland College women’s athletic programs in 2016 was $928,094 and $844,946 for men’s programs. In 2017, the annual budget for women’s programs is $972,389 and $897,777 for men’s. The softball program comprises approximately 19 percent of the total athletic operating budget, and the baseball program comprises another 19 percent. This includes equipment and facility maintenance, medical expenses, uniforms, recruitment, advertising, all travel expenses and scholarships.
During the 2016-17 school year, full and partial scholarships total 49 for female athletes and 48 for male athletes. Twenty-three women athletes received softball scholarships, of which eighteen were full scholarships for tuition and room and board. Twenty-four baseball players received scholarships; however, only six of those were full scholarships.
MC athletic team travel is provided in Midland College vehicles with college personnel driving. Teams use charter bus transportation for long-distance travel to out-of-state tournaments, usually during playoff and/or national championship games. Normally, the MC coaching staff handle payment for meals, lodging and other travel-related expenses so that players do not incur any out-of-pocket expenses while traveling for college/team-related events.
During the past 20 years all MC athletic teams have placed in regional, state and national championship games and tournaments. The college looks forward to additional winning seasons in 2017-2018.