ASHWAUBENON (NBC 26) — Ashwaubenon High School's Goelz Field is now home to the Al Vandenberg Track.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the school's first state-champion track team, the school dedicated the track to former coach Al Vandenberg who lead the team to victory in 1974.
During the ceremony, speeches from former teammates, coaches and community members showcased how big of an impact Vanderberg left on the school and the community.
"I know students will come to the field on day and ask 'Who is Al Vanderberg?' Well, the short answer is the coach of the state championship team. But the true answer is he is a man who has impacted a lot of lives, and changed the direction of some, including mine, and I will forever be thankful for his contributions," said David Turnball, a member of the 1974 state championship team.
Vandenberg started coaching at Ashwaubenon High School in 1967 and made a name for himself as a dedicated and passionate coach. He coached football from 1967 to 1972 and boys track from 1968 to 1994.
He led the track team to numerous victories and championships, with his ability to bring out the best in his athletes, pushing them to reach their full potential and inspiring them to believe in themselves.
“Ashwaubenon High School has enjoyed a legacy of athletic success with 27 state championship titles in a myriad of sports; football, basketball, swimming, hockey, softball and dance, but the first-ever state championship came in track under the leadership of Al Vandenberg,” said current Activities Director/Associate Principal, Nick Senger. “The Ashwaubenon school board does not rename facilities unless there is a compelling and significant rationale. Coach Vandenberg exemplified what being a student-centered coach is all about,” added Senger.
The track dedication took place during the Al Vandenberg Track and Field Invitational.