London family campaigning for name change to Paul Tyson Field

Local
January 01 2022 12:00 am

WACO, Texas: The football stadium and track adjacent to Waco High School dons the name of one of Texas High School football’s greatest ever coaches, Paul Tyson. The family of Wil London, Waco’s first ever Olympian, wants that to change.

London’s father, Will London Jr., has called Waco ISD board members to discuss a possible name change.

“I think by having his name there and people knowing who he is, especially this younger generation, they can easily look up on their phone who Wil London is,” London Jr. said. “I think it would mean a lot not only to Wil, but I think to the community as well, and to Waco High.”

Re-naming the stadium or the track surrounding it would not align with Waco ISD’s current facility naming policy. In a statement given to FOX 44, the district said:

“Waco ISD is incredibly proud that Wil London is representing not only his alma mater, Waco High School, but the entire Waco community when he competes in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This is a tremendous accomplishment, and we look forward to celebrating Wil and his achievements later this year. 

According to school board policy, to name a campus or facility after a person, that individual must have been deceased for at least ten years or have been employed by the district for at least 30 years and retired. The only exception to this policy would be if a donor makes a significant contribution toward the construction or purchase of a campus or major facility.”

London Jr. understands the policy, but believes putting his son’s name on the track he trained on his whole life, will be more relevant to the Waco community than Tyson.

“I really would hope that they would consider,” London Jr. said. “It really could help us right now.”

Tyson, on the other hand, led Waco High to Texas’ first ever three-peat of state championships, winning four total and the 1927 high school national championship in his 29 years in the district before his abrupt firing in 1942.

London still makes his home in Waco.

“He’s still in Waco, he’s still walking around, he’s still the example,” London Jr. said. “His home is walking distance from the track.”

Waco ISD has not specified how they plan to celebrate London’s Olympic qualification.

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