Mike Goodwin, who played under Tharp in 1985 and ’86, told Pantagraph columnist and former sports editor Randy Kindred that the former coach said he would try to attend the field dedication that will likely occur at the first home game this fall, on Sept. 3 when the Ironmen face Peoria Manual on their home field, which did not previously have a name.
"NCHS has one of the most successful programs in state history and much of it's due to him," Goodwin said Wednesday. "His influence was second to none."
Ken Frost, Tharp's grandson, thanked the board for considering this name recognition.
"His teachings and philosophies really trickled down into so many of the young men that he coached, and those philosophies really carried on in these men for the rest of their lives and had a positive impact on not only them, but their families, and people who interacted with them, jobs that they were in, and the community as a whole, no matter where they went," he said.
No district funds will be used for this change, and any costs will be covered by private donations, district spokeswoman Dayna Brown said.
Students in McLean County Unit 5 will have the option to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing when school starts next month, which could reduce the number of students required to quarantine, Superintendent Kristen Weikle said Wednesday.
Normal Community High School football coach Dick Tharp, left, talks with three Intercity players prior to the first Illinois Coaches Shrine All-Star Football Game at Hancock Stadium in 1975. Joining Tharp from left were NCHS lineman Mike Priebe, NCHS defensive back/quarterback Kurt Swearingen and Central Catholic end Loren Underhill.