How Did Cameron Get an Indoor Stadium? The Names Behind 12 College Arenas

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Now that college basketball season is in full swing, hoops fans are hearing a lot about teams' home arenas during broadcasts. While it's easy to figure out the origins of many of these namesake arenas—basketball fans surely know where Rupp Arena and the Dean Smith Center got their names—some aren't as clear. Who was Cameron, and how did he get an indoor stadium? Let's take a look at the names behind college hoops' best-known venues.

1. Cameron Indoor Stadium

The Duke Blue Devils' major home-court advantage gets its name from Eddie Cameron, who was a monumental figure in Duke athletics. Not only did Cameron coach the school's basketball team from 1929 to 1949, he also coached the football team from 1942 to 1945, when he won the Sugar Bowl. In 1972, the university renamed Duke Indoor Stadium after Cameron.

2. Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum

l-joelDuke's cross-state rival Wake Forest plays in an arena named after a Medal-of-Honor-winning Army medic. In late 1965, Joel was on a patrol in Vietnam when his battalion fell victim to a Viet Cong ambush. The attack killed or wounded nearly every soldier in Joel's vicinity, and despite orders to stay on the ground, he began attending to the wounded. Even when Joel was shot twice, he kept treating other injured soldiers after bandaging his wounds and making himself a makeshift crutch. He died in 1984, and Winston-Salem's Board of Aldermen named the city's new arena after Joel in 1986.

3. Allen Fieldhouse

The Kansas Jayhawks' digs take their name from one of the school's most legendary coaches. Dr. Forrest C. "Phog" Allen led the team for 39 years, where he picked up three national titles while coaching future greats like Adolph Rupp and Dean Smith. Allen also helped turn basketball into an Olympic sport and coached the American team to gold in the 1952 Games.

4. The Carrier Dome

carrier-dome

Syracuse's giant football and basketball stadium gets its name from heating and cooling leader the Carrier Corporation, which plunked down a $2.75 million naming gift to help with construction during the late 1970s.

5. Gampel Pavilion

The Connecticut Huskies' formidable men's and women's squads play in an arena named after Harry A. Gampel, a 1943 UConn grad, steel magnate, land developer, and philanthropist. He donated $1 million to help finance the arena.

6. The Stephen C. O'Connell Center

The Florida Gators' home takes its name from the former Florida Supreme Court justice who became the university's sixth president in 1967, a position he held until 1973.

7. The Frank Erwin Center

The University of Texas Longhorns' drum-shaped home used to be called the Special Events Center, but in 1980 the school changed the arena's name to honor Frank Erwin, a former university regent who helped build new facilities on campus.

8. Pauley Pavilion

UCLA

The UCLA Bruins' home is named after Edwin W. Pauley, a 20th-century oil baron and University of California Regent. In addition to his oil businesses, Pauley dabbled in politics. President Truman made him the American representative to the Allied Reparations Committee after World War II and unsuccessfully nominated Pauley for the post of Undersecretary of the Navy.

9. Crisler Arena

The home of the Michigan Wolverines takes its name from Fritz Crisler, who coached the Wolverines' football team from 1938 to 1947. His coaching career culminated with an undefeated 1947 season in which Michigan thrashed USC 49-0 in the Rose Bowl, and Crisler then became the school's athletic director.

Crisler's given name wasn't Fritz; he was born Herbert Orin Crisler. Fritz was a nickname given to him by legendary football coach Amos Alonzo Stagg when Crisler was a player at the University of Chicago. The joke was that Crisler's last name sounded like that of Austrian violin virtuoso Fritz Kreisler. Football may have been just a tad more intellectual in those days.

10. Williams Arena

The University of Minnesota's hoops home is also named after a football coach. Henry L. Williams got his coaching start at Army in 1891, but he became famous for his 1900-1921 stint at Minnesota. He has a number of football innovations to his credit, including being possibly the first coach to advocate the legalization of the forward pass and innovating the four-man defensive backfield.

11. Jon M. Huntsman Arena

When you're both the 47th-richest man alive and extremely generous, you're going to get quite a few buildings named after you. Huntsman, the billionaire philanthropist founder of Huntsman Chemical, has his name on the University of Utah's 15,000-seat home arena, but it doesn't stop there. The main building of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and the business school at Utah State University are both named after Huntsman as well. He might have his name on the law library at Brigham Young and the library at Southern Utah University, too, but Huntsman requested those buildings be named after other people.

12. John Paul Jones Arena

The University of Virginia's home arena isn't named after the American naval hero of the same name, and it's not named after Led Zeppelin's bassist, either. Instead, the arena takes its name from the father of billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones II. The Virginia grad donated $35 million to finance the arena's construction and named it after his father.

January 28, 2010 - 5:10am
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