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Parkland College Athletics to Introduce the Reed-Richardson Room
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Parkland College Athletics to Introduce the Reed-Richardson Room

Two Cobras Coaching Pioneers to be Honored September 29

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Parkland College Athletics announces the grand opening of its newly renovated Reed-Richardson Room on Friday, September 29, at 3 p.m. in the the lower level of the college's Donald C. Dodds Jr. Athletic Complex. The former multipurpose media room has been dedicated in honor of two former Parkland College Athletics employees, Jim Reed and Connie Richardson. The two were instrumental in building Parkland College Athletics during the move to the current campus in 1974, establishing new programs and a winning culture at Parkland College, and overseeing the construction of the college's first athletic facilities.  

The Reed-Richardson Room renovation and dedication have been made possible thanks to a generous donation from Parkland Athletics Hall of Fame Member Tim Wulf.  "Jim and Connie are Parkland pioneers," Wulf explained. "They had a vision for the college. They took on this challenge and believed in this campus and this future. They grew with Parkland College, and Parkland College grew because of them."

"The Parkland College Foundation is so very grateful to Tim Wulf for this generous gift in honoring Jim Reed and Connie Richardson’s dedication and commitment to Parkland College," Parkland College Foundation Executive Director Tracy Wahlfeldt said. "This gift will continue to develop and strengthen Parkland College Athletics." 

Jim Reed, from Catlin, Illinois, came to Parkland College in 1969 after graduating from the University of Illinois with a master’s degree. He played baseball at the University of Illinois from 1964 to 1967 and served as a graduate assistant at Illinois from 1968 to 1970. Originally a physical education teacher at Parkland College, Reed started the Cobras Baseball program in 1970, playing its first season of competition in the spring of 1971. He served as the head baseball coach from 1971 to 1982 and as director of the area learning center from 1982 to 1988. He then served as Parkland College's athletic director from 1988 until his retirement in 2000. Reed and his wife, Martia, have two children, Angela and Brian, and five grandchildren. 

"I am so thankful for the generous gift from Tim Wulf," Reed said. "There are a lot of good people at Parkland, and I am honored and thankful. Connie and I came to Parkland College around the same time and left around the same time. She is about as good as it gets as a teacher and a colleague."  Connie Richardson, from New York City, came to Parkland College in 1969 after graduating from Tuskegee University. She earned her master’s degree from the University of Illinois in 1971 while teaching physical education at Parkland and serving on several committees. While at Parkland, Richardson developed foundational curriculum and taught a wide range of courses, including health, first aid, dance, and aerobatics classes. She also served as an assistant coach for Cobras Women’s Basketball and track and field. A mentor to many in the Parkland Athletic Department, Richardson retired in 2004 and now spends time traveling and staying in shape.  "It is a tremendous honor," Richardson said of the multipurpose room dedication. "It shows the appreciation people have and that people remember the things you did and appreciate them." Current Parkland College Athletic Director Brendan McHale recalled working with Reed and Richardson as "an absolute pleasure."  "They were consummate professionals who treated people with respect, and it was impressive to see how both Jim and Connie interacted with students, staff, and our community," he said. "We are proud to dedicate this room to the legacy of both Jim and Connie, and we are equally proud and grateful to Tim Wulf for his idea and generosity."

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