Softball field dedicated to local coach diagnosed with brain can - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Softball field dedicated to local coach diagnosed with brain cancer

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LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- A very special dedication Sunday for a man who spent five decades as a coach, and is now beginning a battle much bigger than any challenge he’s experienced on the field.

Nearly 100 friends, family, and former athletes gathered at A.B. Sawyer Park to honor Dave Rice.

Rice has been a football, baseball, and softball coach for 50 years and was diagnosed with brain cancer in July.

“Would I ever see something like this? All these people around here come back to see someone like me? Just to say hello? I love to say hello,” said Rice, who was clearly surprised at all the attention he was getting from those who have been impacted by him.

Rice coached until July when he was diagnosed. 

Tables were set up on field nine where people could sign a baseball uniform that will eventually be framed.

Lyndon Recreation allowed for the field to be named after Rice following the decades he spent there as coach.

Kentucky State Congressman John Yarmuth spoke at the event, and presented Rice with a flag that was flown over the nation’s capitol.

Former athletes took turns sharing memories of Rice and his passion for America’s pastime. Much of his time as a coach was for softball. 

“Playing for Coach Rice is something I continue to feel the impact from. Coach Rice will forever go down as one of my favorite coaches,” said Catie Barber, who was coached by Rice in 2013.

Jones - Rice Field is also named after Ron Jones, who was a close friend to Rice. The two coached together for nearly 40 years until Jones passed away.

Rice is undergoing treatment for his stage four brain cancer and says he has good days and bad days, but those at Sunday’s dedication say he will be as determined with cancer as he was on the field.

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