Trinity student grabs a frisbee
Under Jim Potter, entire campus learned to play hard
Friday, March 8, 2019

In the late 1960s and ’70s, intramural sports became an integral part of student social life at Trinity.

Although an intramural program had existed for a number of years, it had inadequate facilities, part-time leadership, and a miniscule budget. After the completion of the Sams Center, Trinity graduate Jim Potter ’63, ’67 was hired in 1967 to become the University's first full-time intramural director. An outstanding athlete during his undergraduate years, Potter brought energy, enthusiasm, and imagination to his new assignment.

At this point, the University’s IM program was a small, budding organization, boasting several sports leagues but in dire need of volunteer officials, coaches, and other organizers. During this crucial period of growth, Potter served as the program’s “greatest asset,” says John Neyland ’78, a former intramural basketball fanatic during his Trinity days.

“Trinity’s IM program grew into what it is today because of Jim Potter" - John Neyland ’78

Aided by an ability to establish rapport with diverse groups of Trinity students, Potter quickly expanded the existing program to include a variety of new sports and competitive events. By the end of the decade, 70 percent of the student body was participating in one or more intramural activities.

Potter attends Trinity's annual Turkey Trot 5k.

And by his retirement in 2000, Potter had helped transform Trinity’s IM program into a nationally-praised organization with a comprehensive set of indoor and outdoor activities and a focused, enthusiastic group of student players and volunteer officials. Coed sports such as flag football, basketball, tennis, and softball became the most popular offerings, with contests even drawing large crowds, especially at championship games or during traditional rivalries. The annual homecoming Triniteers-Bengal Lancers flag football game, for example, often drew a larger following than most intercollegiate athletic contests.

The campus has carried on Potter’s enthusiasm into the present day, as intramurals remain wildly popular. But Trinity still credits Potter, who was honored in a ceremony on campus that dedicated the Trinity IM field his name.

“I can’t think of anyone more worthy to have a field named after them,’ Neyland says. “This namesake should—rightly—live on forever.”

Trinity’s IM scoreboard now bears Potter’s name.

LeeRoy Tiger is Trinity's lovable mascot, spreading #TigerPride wherever he goes.

You might be interested in