National Football League Hall of Famer and Eisenhower High School, Class of 1977 stand-out graduate, Ronnie Lott, could not be happier that his Alma Mater will be honoring him with a stadium in his name. On May 10, 2018, at 12:30 p.m., a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the state-of-the-arts Ronnie Lott Stadium, located at 1321 N. Lilac Avenue in Rialto, will be held, with Lott and his wife, Karen, confirming attendance.
“I am looking forward to it for my alma mater,” stated Lott. “Some of my best moments happened with my teammates. Now I get to go down memory lane, and also greet some of the students and staff.”
Lott, who also attended Bemis Elementary School and Frisbie Middle School, with his siblings, excelled not only in high school sports, but academics, as well, under the likes of former Football Coach, Bill Christopher, and former history teacher, Charles Grande. Many from the Class of 1977 will be in attendance to support their classmate.
The 6 feet, 203 pound pro-baller graduated from University of Southern California, as the captain of the football team, and entered the NFL as a defensive back, making an immediate impression, and was named the starting left cornerback from his first day in training camp.
In his first NFL season, Lott helped the 49ers to win a Super Bowl championship. His versatile and defensive back talents earned him ten Pro Bowl invitations at three different positions – cornerback, free safety, and strong safety. During his career he played for the 49ers (1981-1990), Los Angeles Raiders (1991-1992), and the New York Jets (1993-1994) Lott was hailed by the harshest critics as “the greatest complete player.” Lott coined the iconic phrase, “If you can believe it, the mind can achieve it.”
In his career Lott accumulated four Super Bowl championships, ten Pro-Bowl appearances, and an NFL Hall of Fame induction. USC, the City of Rialto and RUSD have also honored the 58-year-old legend.
“I’m excited to bring Mr. Lott back to Ike, and this time, for the ribbon-cutting. This is a wonderful stadium where many of our students will make their own dreams come true,” said Eisenhower High School, Principal Scott Sparks, who will host the event for students at the stadium and then a small reception for the Class of ‘77 and dignitaries.
The Lott Stadium namesake was approved by the RUSD Board of Education after a $98 million school bond passed in 2010. The bond, called Measure “Y” was authorized to acquire, construct, and improve classrooms and support facilities and increase student access to modern technology. Measure “Y” needed 55 percent to pass, and passed by 69.52 percent, due to the hard work and efforts of the education community who volunteered to help affected RUSD schools.
The construction phase of the $7.3 million dollar stadium began 16 months ago. The stadium has a capacity of 5,000 seats (4,000 home and 1,000 visitors), ticket sales area, concessions, restrooms for both home and visitors, synthetic turf and field for year-round use, discuss and shotput fields, energy efficient LED stadium lightings, state-of-the-art sound system and wireless scoreboard.
“The Rialto Unified School District Board of Education, past and present, the education community and taxpayers of Rialto decided a long time ago to invest in students by passing this bond and supporting Rialto schools so that this day could be possible. I join ‘Team Eisenhower’ in welcoming back our hometown hero, #42, Mr. Lott, and his family. It’s a historical time for the stakeholders of this community,” stated RUSD Superintendent Dr. Cuauhtémoc Avila.