An effort is under way at Urbana University to name the interior of the school’s new athletic facility in honor of legendary Coach Lester Baum.
A group of spirited Urbana alumni has formed the Lester Baum Task Force to raise the $75,000 needed to construct, equip and name the wrestling room to celebrate the coach who was synonymous with the university and its wrestling program and other athletics from 1968 until his retirement 25 years later.
The recently-launched campaign has been well received by alumni. Several contributions have already been made toward the campaign goal. The new 10,000-square-foot athletic facility will house the wrestling room and space for two other new sports – acro-tumbling and men’s volleyball. It will provide flexible space for games, practice and weight lifting.
Serving as the motivation for this effort, Baum coached the Urbana University wrestling team for 20 years and the cross country team for six seasons. He was intramural director for 21 years and director of athletics for two years. In addition to Urbana University, Baum coached and taught at five other universities in a career that spanned 41 years.
The Lester Baum Task Force is led by Tom Bemmes (Class of 1983), Bob Harrison (Class of 1978), Ben Mitchell (Class of 1979) and Nick Mescher (Class of 1973). Anyone interested in contributing to the naming of the facility in honor of Coach Baum should call 937-772-9246 for more information.
Submitted by Urbana University.