Gene Epley would be very impressed.
He also would've been honored to attend the Don Drumm Stadium dedication at Marietta College's 2011 season-opening football game against Thiel (Pa.) College at 7 p.m. Saturday.
But of course that's not possible on a physical level as Epley passed away after a courageous bout with cancer late last November.
Spiritually, though....well, I know Shelly - Epley's lovely wife - and I will be thinking of the late Pioneer football coach when the stadium dedication occurs during halftime on Saturday night.
Before he died, Epley of course knew the renovation of "new" Don Drumm Stadium at Fifth and Greene Streets was under way. And, in the former Pioneer boss's mind, it was probably a long time coming.
Epley coached the Pioneers from 1991 to 2002. During that time, for whatever reasons - money and otherwise - not a whole lot, if anything, was done to upgrade and modernize the football facility.
OK, in 1993, an eight-lane, all-weather track named the Bob Annasenz Track was installed by Marietta High, but how was that going to help Epley and his staff recruit college football players?
Still, Epley was able to field some pretty competitive football teams, especially in 1995 and 1996 when MC was a combined 15-4-1 on the gridiron.
After Epley stepped down from the Pioneer football helm, the ball really started to get rolling at Don Drumm Stadium with first the completion of the synthetic football playing surface and all-weather track in 2004. That was a $1 million investment.
Then fast-forward to the present. Thanks mainly to the Joe Chlapaty family (a $2.6 million gift) of Dublin, Ohio, and other donors, the second phase of the $3.6 million Don Drumm restoration project became a reality.
Folks, it's now a brand new place, and like Marietta College Athletics Director Larry Hiser said in a release, "It's one of the finest football facilities in the Midwest."
And, that includes of course its state-of-the-art press box. No more bumping your head and doing the cha-cha in the aisles.
A-men to that.
During the 2000 and 2001 seasons, this sports scribe had the opportunity and pleasure of covering the Epley-led Marietta College football team on the road at all of the Ohio Athletic Conference schools, except Baldwin-Wallace. I never did get to visit George Finnie Stadium in Berea.
Back then, probably the most modern of the press boxes, which was under construction at the time, was Bernlohr Stadium, the home of the Capital University Crusaders in Columbus. The others were very similar to "old" Don Drumm Stadium - some better and some not so good.
Surprisingly, Mount Union Stadium, Ohio's oldest football venue (1913) in Alliance, was functional but.... Its press box back at the turn of the century was shaped like a mobile home - long, skinny and not a whole lot of room to maneuver. It wasn't the worst place to cover a game but it wasn't the best, either.
Mind you, for many years, Larry Kehres-coached Mount Union has featured one of the best football teams in NCAA Division III.
It's my understanding that in 2002, a new Purple Raiders press box, among other things, was added in a remodel project. And, this year, a FieldTurf synthetic playing surface was installed at Mount Union Stadium.
Still, today, Mount Union Stadium definitely takes second place to Don Drumm Stadium as far as college football venues go.
And, Gene Epley, with his keen sense of humor, would've certainly gotten a big laugh out of that.
Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor and can be reached at 376-5441 or at email@example.com