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Closing down the Coles Center

Not all of the memorable moments for NYU at Coles Center are more than a decade old. And the Violets have a chance to bid Coles farewell in style this postseason.
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Every purple-and-white banner hanging above the sacred basketball court at the Jerome Coles Center weaves a wonderful story of the storied tradition of New York University athletics.

It seems like it’s been part of the NYU landscape forever. Too many memorable moments to count, lots of intense practices, and time spent relaxing on the main floor lounge that overlooks the court are what have all contributed to making the Coles Center the campus hotspot and one of the more unique venues in the nation.

Opened in 1981, the venerable facility is getting a Miss America-like makeover one final time with signage, bunting and more. And the Coles Center is going out in style by hosting NCAA Tournament games. New York University will welcome Virginia Wesleyan, Amherst and Eastern University to campus when the NCAA Division III women’s tournament commences Friday night.

The Coles Center holds a special place in the hearts of anybody associated with NYU. The facility will be redeveloped, a project expected to take a couple of years to complete. In the meantime, NYU’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will be displaced during that time. A temporary home location hasn’t been formally agreed upon yet.

No matter how nice or modern the new facility will be, it will never replicate the charm of this special building.

“There’s no other place like it in Division III,” NYU head coach Lauren Hall-Gregory said. “It’s an awesome environment to play in. It’s pretty warm in our gym. It’s funny, our opponents think we turn the heat up on purpose, but it’s like that when we practice as well. I wear sleeveless dresses all the time and it’s warm. It’s exciting to honor Coles and NYU in this way by hosting this weekend.”

NYU (21-4 overall) will meet Virginia Wesleyan (19-9) while Eastern (22-5) will clash with Amherst (22-3). The two winners will meet Saturday night for a spot in next weekend’s sectionals. For the Violets, this experience is special.

The Coles Center has hosted the following events: 1997 NCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship; NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships; NCAA Regional Wrestling Championships; NCAA Regional Fencing Championships; NCAA Women’s Volleyball Regional Championships; ECAC Regional Basketball Championships; Metropolitan...

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Columnist

Rob Knox

A former Division III Sports Information Director at Lincoln University, Rob Knox also worked at ESPN, Kutztown and at the Delaware County Daily Times. He was named the CoSIDA Rising Star Award College Division winner and won three writing awards for various game stories including the 2007 D-III sectional triple-OT game between Guilford and Lincoln. In the past, he has also written articles for SLAM magazine and the Philadelphia Inquirer. He is a die-hard Philadelphia sports fan, a graduate of Lincoln and is from Chester, Pa.
Previous columnists:
2010-13: Brian Falzarano
2010: Marcus Fitzsimmons
2008-2010: Evans Clinchy
Before 2008: Mark Simon

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