The man who’s name is displayed on the scoreboard at the only high school football stadium in Fort Collins is a former CSU football player and a legendary coach.
J. Ray French won five state championships and 13 conference titles as a football coach at Fort Collins High School. His overall record was 157-36-13.
French Field at Rocky Mountain High School was dedicated in his honor in 1974.
French graduated from Colorado State University in 1929. While at CSU, French lettered in football in 1926-27 and was a conference wrestling champion from 1927-29.
He returned to Fort Collins in 1940 as athletic director and football and basketball coach at Fort Collins High School. He also spent time as principal at Fort Collins and assistant superintendent of Poudre R-1 schools.
French died in 1990 at the age of 85.
After having a natural grass field since its opening, French Field installed synthetic turf for $544,000 in 2002. The synthetic turf lasted a decade and was replaced for $423,000 at the same time as Poudre School District resurfaced the track surrounding the field for $99,000.
French Field is the main athletic complex for Fort Collins’ four main high schools. All high school football games are played there and it hosts all track meets. A majority of soccer games are also played at French Field. Seating capacity is 6,000.
Check Sunday’s Coloradoan for a look at the current scheduling issues facing French Field.
Follow sports reporter Kevin Lytle at twitter.com/Kevin_Lytle and at facebook.com/KevinSLytle.