MEMPHIS – As part of its Homecoming weekend festivities, CBU held the field dedication ceremony for Joe Nadicksbernd Field on Saturday morning, February 15 at the field. The school also formally retired the late Nadicksbernd’s number 45 jersey.
Pictured above: Carol Nadickbernd is joined by the Nadicksbernd family and Dr. John Smarrelli Jr. to cut the ribbon on the newly christened Joe Nadicksbernd Field at CBU, named in honor and memory of CBU’s beloved athletic director. The dedication was held as part of Homecoming Week on February 15. A video of the full dedication ceremony is available at this link>>>
Joe Nadicksbernd, simply put, was an icon at CBU. For more than four decades, he served the school as an athlete, as a coach, as a teacher and as an administrator. The Dayton, Ky., native came to CBU in 1967 to play baseball and basketball, and he was a star in both. In baseball, he hit .329 with 17 homers and 104 RBI as catcher, leading CBU to four straight winning records, including a program-best 38-12 mark as a junior. In basketball, he scored 1,246 points with 963 rebounds. When he graduated, he was fourth in school history in scoring and second in rebounding, and he remains fourth in rebounding today.
After wrapping up his playing career, he became “Coach Nate,” as so many fondly knew him. After two years as an assistant, he became CBU’s head baseball coach in 1975. Over the next 25 years, a lot changed at CBU. The school changed names, from Christian Brothers College to Christian Brothers University, changed conferences twice, and changed affiliations, from the NAIA to NCAA Division II. The one constant was “Coach Nate,” as he won 586 games in that span. He also served eight years as a basketball coach, four as assistant and later four as head coach, leading CBU to the VSAC Finals in 1980.
After 25 years as head coach, he moved into administration, first as Assistant Athletic Director, then as Associate Athletic Director and finally, from 2003 until his death in September, as Athletic Director. During his time as athletic director, CBU won six GSC championships and sent seven teams to NCAA Tournaments, including the men’s basketball south regional championship and Elite Eight in 2008 and the men’s basketball Sweet Sixteen in 2012. His passion extended off the field as well. He stressed the overall success of the student-athlete, taking particular pride in the department as a whole carrying a 3.0 GPA numerous times.
Despite his accomplishments over 46 years all across campus, no place at CBU is more symbolic of his service than the field that now bears his name. He helped build it the summer after his freshman year. He hit its first home run. And for 30 years, whether he was player or coach, he maintained it.