“Dennis Poppe Plaza,” named for the NCAA vice president of championships and alliances who retired in January, was dedicated today with the unveiling of an eight-foot brushed aluminum monument outside the southwest entrance to TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.
Attending the dedication were Poppe’s wife, Donna; Jack Diesing, Jr., president of College World Series of Omaha, Inc. (CWS, Inc.); Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert and Roger Dixon, president and CEO of the Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority (MECA). Also present for the unveiling ceremony were four former Omaha mayors whose administrations spanned Poppe’s tenure as lead administrator of the past 26 CWS championships. In attendance were Jim Suttle, Mike Fahey, Hal Daub and P.J. Morgan.
During a brief ceremony, Diesing recognized Poppe’s leadership and friendship as Series administrator from 1987-88 to 2013. “People have compared us to brothers,” Diesing acknowledged. “We have not always agreed, but we have always been mindful of our shared love for the College World Series and its 65-year tradition in the Omaha community.”
A 40-year member of the NCAA staff, Poppe was responsible for issues related to Division I baseball and Division I football championships and the coordination of playing rules with the respective rules committees. He also served as staff liaison with the coaches associations, served on the president’s cabinet, worked with postseason football bowl licensing, and monitored and coordinated legislative issues.
Poppe’s baseball responsibilities included serving as the primary liaison to the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee and serving as the championship manager for the College World Series. In addition, he was the liaison to the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee and the American Baseball Coaches Association.
Since 1974, Poppe administered NCAA football championships and served as the primary liaison with the Division I Football Championship Committee and the NCAA Football Issues Committee. He also served as the liaison with the American Football Coaches Association.
Prior to joining the NCAA, Poppe served as a graduate assistant football coach and assistant director of athletics at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He was a three-year varsity football letter winner and played in the 1968 Gator Bowl and 1970 Orange Bowl. He was named to the 1969 All Big 8 football team as a defensive safety and the all-academic team.
Poppe and his wife Donna are the parents of four children, Jon, Carl, Lisa and Ryan, and reside in Indianapolis, Indiana.
About the NCAA
The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for more than 450,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships in Divisions I, II and III sports. Visit www.ncaa.org and www.ncaa.com for more details about the Association, its goals and members and corporate partnerships that help support programs for student-athletes. The NCAA is proud to have the following elite companies as official Corporate Champions—AT&T, Capital One and Coca-Cola—and the following elite companies as official Corporate Partners—Allstate, Amazon (Kindle), Buffalo Wild Wings, Buick, Burger King, Enterprise, Infiniti, LG, Lowe’s, Nabisco, Northwestern Mutual, Reese’s (Hershey’s), Unilever and UPS.
About CWS, Inc. ®
?College World Series of Omaha, Inc., is the nonprofit local organizing committee for the annual NCAA Division I Men's College World Series. Its mission is enlisting wide-based community support from business, government, civic organizations and individuals to implement, promote, operate and host a successful CWS in Omaha in partnership with the NCAA. The 2014 CWS will begin with Opening Celebration Day, Friday, June 13. Games will begin Saturday, June 14, and continue through Tuesday/Wednesday, June 24/25. For a complete schedule of all games and times, please visit www.NCAA.com/CWS
The Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority (MECA) is a private 501(c)3 non-profit organization that leases and manages public venues in Omaha, Nebraska. After a vote of approval from citizens in May 2000, MECA formed to construct and operate Qwest Center Omaha. Formal operations commenced on August 25, 2000 with the signing of a 99-year Lease and Development Agreement with the City of Omaha. Qwest Center Omaha opened in September 2003 and was renamed CenturyLink Center Omaha in 2011. In January 2009, MECA broke ground for TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, opening the stadium in April 2011.
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