Olympus High School leaders are renaming the school’s football stadium after former principal Mark Manning who passed away last year at age 57 from brain cancer.
Manning was beloved by the Olympus community in Holladay and will be remembered for, among other things, overseeing the construction and move into the school’s new campus in 2013.
As an Olympus graduate himself, Mark Manning took great pride in the shaping the new look of the school.
“He was the heart the absolute heart of the construction," says Julie Sandoval, Manning's former secretary at Olympus. "And making sure that that feeling that was in the old building came into the new.”
Sandoval says that since Manning's death last year the community has wanted to find a way to properly honor his legacy at the school.
“There were many many people in the community that came to us here at the school and said something has to have his name on it," she says.
Now, something will. The former "Titan Stadium" will now be known as the "Mark H. Manning Stadium."
A fitting memorial, says James Felt, who first met Manning back in the '70's when he was a student in his social studies class.
Felt still teaches at Olympus and serves as announcer for every football game. He has fond memories of seeing Manning cheer on his team.
"He’d always stand in the same part of the football stadium, watching the games," says Felt. "And sometimes I almost expect to see him there.”
There’s another reason why this memorial feels important to Felt.
“The one remnant of the original Olympus are the east-side football stands. So it’s the only thing left from the original building," Felt says. "So that makes it symbolically significant and appropriate that that’s the part of the building that we’re naming.”
Manning was also responsible for rebranding the school with what is known as the “Hook O” logo, a symbol that hearkens back to his time as a student.
The logo can be seen at the center of the field. The field that now carries his name.