Frisco ISD renames Memorial Stadium after retiring Athletic Director David Kuykendall

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Frisco ISD Athletic Director David Kuykendall is congratulated by school trustees Dynette Davis (left) and Gopal Ponangi at a May 12 ceremony at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco. (Erick Pirayesh/Community Impact Newspaper)

Frisco ISD Athletic Director David Kuykendall is congratulated by school trustees Dynette Davis (left) and Gopal Ponangi at a May 12 ceremony at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco. (Erick Pirayesh/Community Impact Newspaper)

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A rendering showing the newly named David Kuykendall Stadium in Frisco was displayed on the video board at the Ford Center at The Star on May 12. (Erick Pirayesh/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The Frisco ISD board of trustees voted unanimously May 12 to rename Memorial Stadium after retiring Athletic Director David Kuykendall, center. (Erick Pirayesh/Community Impact Newspaper)
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David Kuykendall, who was Frisco ISD's first athletic director, speaks at a ceremony May 12. (Erick Pirayesh/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Frisco ISD Athletic Director David Kuykendall (seated) reacts to Memorial Stadium being renamed David Kuykendall Stadium at a ceremony May 12. With him are Superintendent Mike Waldrip (left) and Deputy Superintendent for Business and Operations Todd Fouche. (Erick Pirayesh/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The family of David Kuykendall congratulates him at a May 12 ceremony at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco. (Erick Pirayesh/Community Impact Newspaper)
Frisco ISD Memorial Stadium is now known as David Kuykendall Stadium in honor of the district's longtime athletic director who is retiring after this school year.

The district held a special board meeting at the Ford Center at The Star on May 12 in front of Kuykendall, his family and many of the district’s coaches. Kuykendall was unaware of the surprise announcement and had attended the event believing it was only an annual coaches awards ceremony.

The board of trustees voted unanimously in favor of the name change. An emotional Kuykendall said he was at a loss for words at the rare honor.

“I’ve always just thought of myself as an old football coach and to even be in this position..." he said. "It hasn’t been me but the people that we’ve hired. We’ve been blessed enough that all the right people are in the right places."

Kuykendall has spent 28 years in the Frisco school district and became its first athletic director in 1999 when there was only one high school. The district now boasts 10 high schools with an 11th and 12th set to open in the next two years.


The now-named David Kuykendall Stadium is one of three stadiums used by Frisco ISD, along with the Ford Center at The Star and Toyota Stadium.

The football coach turned athletic director has been a key contributor to much of the district's unprecedented growth.

“I think over the years when you’re successful, then people start moving in here and want to be here,” Kuykendall said. “I think it just continues on. I can’t see [the growth] stopping anytime soon.”

Amidst all the athletic achievements Kuykendall has overseen, he maintains the students are what’s most important to him. “We're not putting pressure on them to win all the time," he said. "To change lives of kids and doing it through sport, how cool is that?”

Grace McDowell, an assistant athletic director for the past seven years, is set to begin her run as the district's athletic director. She said she wants to keep the culture Kuykendall has created.

“My hope is to continue Coach K’s legacy," she said. "It’s just a special place, it’s a family atmosphere, and we want to continue that.”

Erick Pirayesh



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