The State of Alex: An interview with Director of Athletics and Head Hockey Coach Michael Szkodzinski

Beth Larsen


1)What progress has been made over the past few years to better the athletic facilities?

Thanks to the support of President Beck and our administration, we have constructed permanent fences and warning tracks to our baseball and softball fields, replaced an old scoreboard with two new scoreboards in our gym, completely renovated our track, and put up championship banners through the gym to celebrate the success of our past and present student-athletes. These improvements don’t even include the fact that we have completely updated the coaches offices, team room, added indoor batting cages to our gym and Wellness Center and purchased new weight room equipment. We have been fortunate to have the ability to add so many things in such a short period of time.


2)What are the current strengths of our facilities?

The architecture of our building is like none other in our conference. It has an old-school feel but still allows for our student-athletes to train and compete. Prospects and their families comment consistently on how beautiful the building is constructed.


3)As the Director of Athletics, what changes would you still like to make? 

There is always room for improvement. We certainly like the idea of potentially renovating the Banta Bowl. Adding an artificial surface would allow for all of our student-athletes to train more regularly because of the surface and the fact that we have lights in the bowl. It would be great to see a soccer game following an afternoon football game in the future. There are other ideas such as an ice rink, a new fitness center, or an auxiliary gym that seem to make sense and could benefit all of Lawrence, not just the athletes. We are always thinking about future plans.


4)Can Lawrentians look forward to future progress?

Our student-athletes have done a great job representing us in many areas. That will continue and we will work hard to give them the tools that they need to succeed.

5)Is there anything else you would like to add that has not been covered?

It is important to remember that progress in athletics is progress for the university as a whole — not just progress for the student-athletes and coaches. Student-athletes make up nearly 25 percent of our campus. They have an opportunity to be influential and need to continue to take that opportunity seriously. We strive for excellence in everything we do at LU — and athletics is no different. As our athletic program grow to new heights, our university will as well.