ETSU names football stadium to honor William B. Greene, Jr.

Published 11:10 pm Thursday, August 24, 2017

Never a stranger of giving back to the region, one local banker’s legacy will be forever linked to East Tennessee State University football.
During a called meeting Thursday, the ETSU Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve the naming of the William B. Greene, Jr. Stadium, the new home of the ETSU Buccaneers football team.
Following the announcement from the Board, a ceremony was held at the stadium to recognize Greene, his wife, Dr. Linda Latimer, and the support provided by Bank of Tennessee.
Greene is the chairman of BancTenn Corp, the parent company of Carter County Bank and Bank of Tennesse. Greene purchased Carter County Bank in 1964 at the age of 26 and followed that up by opening Bank of Tennessee with his father just 10 years later. Since that time, Greene has continued supporting different endeavors across the region. Over the past 40 years, the philanthropist has supported ETSU through various scholarships and bulked up different facilities on campus, including the Warren-Greene Golf Center, which opened in 2004.
“We just want to say thank you to Bill Greene, an individual who has shaped the past, present and future of our institution,” ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland said. “From academic programs to athletic facilities, there’s not a speck of this institution that hasn’t been touched by Bill and the First Bank of Tennessee. (Bill) is a wonderful friend and a great friend of ETSU
“When we stepped forward and formed the original Center of Excellence in Banking, who helped make that possible? Bill Greene,” Noland continued. “When the time came to raise the bar for our golf program, who stepped forward and made that possible? Bill Greene. Today, you see what Mr. Greene has helped us do in terms of establishing a foundation of excellence for the football team.”
Construction on the new stadium began in 2015. Design for the stadium was done by McCarty Holsaple McCarty and was constructed by BurWil Construction Company.. Fans of the ‘Bucs will be able to see the team take the field Sept. 2 for their season opener against Limestone at 7 p.m.
Thursday’s ceremony closed with Dr. Noland presenting Greene and his wife a signed helmet, as the “William B. Greene Jr. Stadium logo glistening from the sun served as the backdrop.
“You know I have such a great football record here,” Greene said jokingly with a smile. “Most of the people in this region don’t realize that I played after dark when no one was here. This is unbelievable. I look up at the stadium and it brings tears to my eyes.”
Supporting different endeavors across Northeast Tennessee comes back to taking ownership in the area, Greene said. The banker added it is important to blend athletics with academics and commended the effort of the staff at the university.
Greene was quick to note the growth of the region, and Noland added the football facility will be a great way to bring people together.
“One of the things about athletics is that it gives people an opportunity to come together and celebrate as a family,” Noland said. “In a couple of days, we’re going to welcome 2,100 freshmen to campus. Those 2,100 freshmen will have the opportunities to build traditions here in this facility and they’ll have the opportunity, 21 years from now, to bring their children back to campus and celebrate those same traditions.
“Football is something that brings people together in South during the fall, just as basketball brings us together in the winter,” he continued. “It’s going to be wonderful to come together as a family and a community this fall in Greene Stadium.”

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