Bud Walton Arena is located on Leroy Pond Drive in Fayetteville / Photo: ArkansasRazorbacks.com
The University of Arkansas Black Alumni Society has proposed a street name change to recognize the historical contributions made by former Arkansas men’s basketball coach Nolan Richardson.
The group has introduced a city resolution to rename Leroy Pond Drive to “Nolan Richardson Drive.” The street is located directly in front of Bud Walton Arena.
As part of the proposal, Leroy Pond Drive will move
just north of the arena to a portion of Meadow Street between Stadium Drive and Graham Avenue to Government Avenue, which runs from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to the Fayetteville National Cemetery.
Leroy Pond was a local hero in World War II who was born in Fayetteville and graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1938, according to the university. He was first remembered and recognized with the school’s creation of Camp Leroy Pond, a housing area south of where the arena stands today that was used for male students who were returning home after the war.
Synetra Hughes, president elect of the Black Alumni Society, said the renaming of the street is more than a simple acknowledgement of Richardson’s contributions to the university, and is a testament to his legacy as a pioneering sports figure and a celebrated leader in the Black community in Fayetteville, the region and across the state.
“Coach Nolan Richardson is truly valued in the Fayetteville community,” said Hughes. “As head coach of a national champion basketball program, coach Richardson was a source of leadership for the black community in Arkansas. After his departure from the university, he chose to remain in Fayetteville and has showed many African American students that this was a place they could call home. Coach Nolan Richardson embodied and empowered the growing diversity of the University of Arkansas.”
A draft of the resolution indicates that the proposal could be formally considered at the March 16 Fayetteville City Council meeting.
A RESOLUTION TO CHANGE THE NAME OF LEROY POND DRIVE TO NOLAN RICHARDSON DRIVE AND TO CHANGE THE NAME OF MEADOW STREET BETWEEN STADIUM DRIVE AND GRAHAM AVENUE TO LEROY POND DRIVE
WHEREAS, Noland Richardson, Jr. was the Razorback Head Basketball Coach for seventeen years (1985-2002); and
WHEREAS, Nolan Richardson was the first and currently is the only Razorback Head Basketball Coach to lead the Razorbacks to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship when the Razorbacks defeated the Duke University Blue Devils in 1994; and
WHEREAS, Coach Nolan Richardson has accomplished the rare triple crown of college basketball by winning the Division I National Championship, the National Invitational Tournament Championship, and the National Junior College Championship; and
WHEREAS, Coach Richardson’s Razorbacks made it to the Final Four three times, won five Southwest or Southeastern Conference Championships and four Southwest or Southeastern Conference Tournament Championships; and
WHEREAS, Nolan Richardson has been named Naismith College Coach of the Year in 1994 and Southwest or Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year four times; and
WHEREAS, Coach Richardson has been inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 1998, the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008, and the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014; and
WHEREAS, Noland Richardson has continued to this day to be a valued community leader, advisor to our youth, and benefactor to charities; and Nolan Richardson helped to establish and continues to support the Yvonne Richardson Community Center and was recognized by Sacred Heart as Person of the Year for 2017;
WHEREAS, the University of Arkansas Black Alumni Society has requested that the Fayetteville City Council rename Leroy Pond Drive that passes in front of Bud Walton Arena for Coach Noland Richardson and rename a section of Meadow Street for Leroy Pond.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS:
Section 1: That the City Council of the City of Fayetteville, Arkansas hereby acknowledges and thanks Coach Nolan Richardson for his outstanding accomplishments as the Razorback Head Basketball Coach as well as his community services and leadership and hereby renames Leroy Pond Drive to “Nolan Richardson Drive” and renames the portion of Meadow Street between Stadium Drive to Graham Avenue to “Leroy Pond Drive.”