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IRSC Softball Field Re-Named the 'Dale Atkinson Field'

Photo courtesy IRSC
Photo courtesy IRSC
IRSC President Dr. Timothy Moore, (far left) was on hand for the re-naming ceremony. Atkinson (4th from right in the blue pullover) was accompanied by his family and friends.

Fort Pierce - April 15, 2022: In keeping with Indian River State College's tradition of honoring it legendary coaches, the campus softball field has been re-named the 'Dale Atkinson Field'. Dale Atkinson has served as the Head Coach of the IRSC softball program for 24 seasons.

IRSC President Dr. Timothy Moore was on hand for the re-naming ceremony on Friday, April 15. Atkinson was accompanied by his family, friends, and members of the IRSC Athletic Department coaching staff.

“This isn’t about me," said Atkinson. "It is about the hundreds of kids I have been able to coach and hopefully make a positive difference in their lives. There have been a lot of very talented players and coaches that helped make this possible. I’m humbled, and I can’t wait until those players and coaches can be here with me in the fall to celebrate our accomplishments together."

Under Atkinson’s leadership, more than 200 players on the IRSC softball program have been named All-Southern Conference, 82 have been named FCSAA All-State and 27 earned NJCAA All-America distinction. His teams won the FCSAA State Championships in 2002, 2004 and 2005. During his tenure, eighteen Southern Conference Championships have been won and the softball program has a streak of twenty-two consecutive berths in REGION VIII post-season play.

During his tenure, like the students he has mentored, Atkinson put value in education. He earned his AA Degree in Business Administration from Indian River in 2004, his BS in Social Science from Florida Atlantic University in 2005 and his MEd in Coaching and Athletic Administration from Concordia University of Irvine in 2013.

Atkinson achieved his 1000th win as a Head Coach on February 28, 2020, all of the wins were achieved by the Indian River teams he coached. He has been inducted into the Indian River State College Pioneer Sports Hall of Fame (2019), the FCSAA Softball Hall of Fame (2014) and the St. Lucie County Athletic Hall of Fame (2002). He was honored by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) as the Coach of the Year in 2002, and the Southern Region Coaching Staff of the Year in 2006. Additionally, he has been recognized as the NJCAA Region VIII Coach of the Year five times (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006) and named Southern Conference Coach of the Year seventeen times.

The late David “DOC” Anderson, Vice President of Student Affairs, hired Atkinson as a part-time coach on September 18, 1998. In only four seasons, Atkinson led the 2002 team to an NJCAA National Title. On August 15, 2005, he was named a full-time employee of the college, and eventually he was named an Assistant Athletic Director.