Southwest plaza of TD Ameritrade Park renamed in honor of Poppe
OMAHA, Neb. -- College World Series of Omaha, Inc., in partnership with the NCAA, MECA and the City of Omaha, is officially renaming the southwest plaza of TD Ameritrade Park Omaha in honor of Dennis Poppe, NCAA vice president of championships and alliances. Poppe is retiring from the NCAA on Jan. 1, 2014. The announcement of the Plaza renaming was made by Jack Diesing, Jr., president of CWS of Omaha, Inc., prior to the first game of the CWS on Saturday.
“You have been a great friend to Omaha and we will never forget that,” Diesing said during his presentation to Poppe. “But to help us remember and to remind future generations of the important role you played in growing this great event, beginning in 2014, the southwest plaza of TD Ameritrade Park Omaha will officially be named the ‘Dennis Poppe Plaza.’”
In addition, Diesing recognized Poppe as only the second non-student-athlete to be presented the “Jack Diesing Senior Most Outstanding Player Award,” which is a miniature replica of The Road to Omaha sculpture.
“Thank you, not only for your leadership, but also for your friendship,” Diesing said. “Over the years, people would compare us to brothers -- not always agreeing -- but always mindful of our shared love for this great event.”
The Dennis Poppe Plaza will be identified by a permanent monument standing more than 8-feet tall with a description of the contributions made by Poppe during his tenure as the lead administrator for the CWS from 1987 to 2013. The official dedication of the Plaza will take place prior to the start of the 2014 NCAA Men’s College World Series.
A 40-year member of the NCAA staff, Poppe currently oversees the Division I Baseball and Division I Football championships, coordination of playing rules with the respective rules committees, serving as staff liaison with the coaches associations, serving on the president’s cabinet, working with postseason football bowl licensing, monitoring and coordinating legislative issues and addressing other issues that might impact the sports of football and baseball.
Poppe has administered NCAA football championships since 1974 and currently serves as the primary liaison with the Division I Football Committee and the NCAA Football Issues Committee. He also serves as the liaison with the American Football Coaches Association.
His baseball responsibilities include serving as the primary liaison to the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee and serving as the tournament director for the Division I Baseball Championship, including the College World Series. In addition, he is the liaison to the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee and the American Baseball Coaches Association.
Prior to joining the NCAA, Poppe served as a graduate assistant football coach and assistant director of athletics at Missouri. He was a three-year varsity football letter winner and played in the 1968 Gator Bowl and 1970 Orange Bowl. He was named to the 1969 All Big 8 football team as a defensive safety and the all-academic team.
Poppe and his wife Donna are the parents of four children, Jon, Carl, Lisa and Ryan, and reside in Indianapolis.