Press Release

Proud UU Alumni Lead Campaign to Honor Legendary Coach


Sherry Mercurio
Director of Communications and Public Relations
Web site:

Urbana, OH (June 8, 2018)

An effort is under way at Urbana University to name the interior of the school’s new athletic facility in honor of legendary coach Lester Baum.

A group of spirited Urbana alumni have formed the Lester Baum Task Force to raise the $75,000 needed to construct, equip and name the wrestling room to celebrate the coach who was synonymous with the university and its wrestling program and other athletics from 1968 until his retirement 25 years later.

The recently launched campaign has been well-received by alumni. Several contributions have already been made toward the campaign goal. The new 10,000 square foot athletic facility will house the wrestling room and space for two other new sports – acro-tumbling and men’s volleyball.  It will provide flexible space for games, practice and weight lifting.

Serving as the motivation for this effort, Baum coached the Urbana University wrestling team for 20 years and the cross country team for six seasons. He also served as the intramural director for 21 years and director of athletics for two years. In addition to Urbana University, Baum coached and taught at five other universities in a career that spanned 41 years.

The Lester Baum Task Force is led by Tom Bemmes (Class of 1983), Bob Harrison (Class of 1978), Ben Mitchell (Class of 1979) and Nick Mescher (Class of 1973). Anyone interested in contributing to the naming of the facility in honor of Coach Baum should call 937-772-9246 for more information.

About Urbana University - A Branch Campus of Franklin University

Urbana University, a branch campus of Franklin University, prepares students for successful and professional careers within a caring and supportive environment. Regionally well known for education and teacher preparation programs, Urbana was founded in 1850 and acquired by Franklin in 2014. Urbana’s 128-acre, residential campus nestled in heart of Ohio provides a background for students actively engaged in campus activities through 20 student-led academic, professional, performing arts, social and service organizations. Blue Knights athletics includes 17 NCAA Division II sports and three intercollegiate club sports. Urbana University is a division of Franklin University, which is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

News Type

  • University

Degree Programs

Bachelor Degrees

Master Degrees

Post Baccalaureate Programs


Graduate Certificates

Associate Degrees