Who is the man behind the namesake of one of New Orleans’ most well-known stadiums?
NEW ORLEANS — We all know of Tad Gormley Stadium in City Park, but who is Tad Gormley?
“I’m born and raised in New Orleans, and I’ve been working in City Park for ten years, and I didn’t know that much about him.”
Casie Duplechain is the Chief Development Officer for City Park, and she did some research for us to help tell Tad Gormley’s story.
“Tad Gormley- his name was Frances Frank Thomas Tad Gormley. He was man of many names,” says Duplechain.
Gormley was born in Massachusetts in 1884 and came to New Orleans in 1907.
“So he came to New Orleans to coach the Young Men’s Gymnastic Club, which is now the New Orleans Athletic Club,” says Duplechain.
In 1914, he became the track coach at Tulane University, he ended up coaching at LSU and Loyola as well.
Track was his passion but he also coached basketball, wrestling and boxing. He also trained several athletes who won the Olympics.
“He was actually the assistant coach for the 1932 track Olympic team,” says Duplechain.
In 1938, Gormley moved into the role that would seal his legacy.
He became the athletic director here at what was originally known as City Park Stadium.
It opened in 1937 under the Works Progress Administration.
He would host informal open, weekly track meets.
“Being able to teach and educate youth on being healthy and well and active was really important to him as well,” says Duplechain.
After 30 years, training and supporting athletes, Gormley passed away in 1965.
He was so beloved that the stadium was renamed in his honor just 14 days after his death.
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