The proposal to change the name of Turlock High School’s baseball field in honor Coach Mark de la Motte has been pushed back once again.
A committee consisting of Turlock Unified School District staff, faculty, students, alumni and Turlock community members proposed that the varsity baseball field at THS be named after de la Motte and believed it would have smooth sailing because TUSD has updated the policy regarding the naming of school facilities. The update allows facilities to be named after living individuals rather than just those who have passed.
The request to name the fields after de la Monte was first introduced in 2018, but questions arose about whether it could be done or not based on the TUSD policy at the time.
In 2019, TUSD officially adopted board policy 7310, which states that school facilities may be named after individuals, living or deceased, or entities that have made outstanding contributions to the school community or who have made contributions of statewide, national, or worldwide significance.
The change was supposed to be talked about again during the TUSD board meeting on Tuesday. Previously, a public forum was held on the agenda item and in accordance with Board policy 7310, the board vote on the item must occur at a subsequent meeting.
According to BP 7310, to solicit input from the community regarding the naming of schools, facilities, and grounds, the Advisory Committee must include the following representatives: one district administrative designee, one principal or site administrative designee, two additional staff members from the school site where the name change will take place, and three to five members of the community to include parents and at least one student from the site where the name change will take place.
“Tuesday was a significant part of the process,” Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Barney Gordon stated.
Administration will be bringing the item back to the board for the final vote during the Aug. 16 board meeting.
During de la Motte’s 26-year reign as head baseball coach, the Bulldogs won over 500 games with eight Central California Conference championships and two section title appearances. Additionally, over 100 of his student-athletes continued playing at the college level while dozens of others have played baseball professionally.
All the all the accomplishments on the field are a big deal, but the real difference is made off the field and helping kids and teaching them lessons,” added Turlock High teacher and coach Lance Cornell. “When I think back when I was coaching with them, what sticks out to me the most is how respectful he was to parents, players, opposing coaches, umpires and obviously his own coaches.”
Reporter Christopher Correa contributed to this article.