CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A former coach at Charlottesville High School was honored on Thursday night for his legacy within the community.

A dedication ceremony for CHS's new track and field facility was held in honor of Curtis Elder, who coached at the school for more nearly 50 years. Elder took the helm of the track and field program at CHS in 1978. He led the boys and girl track teams to multiple state championships during his tenure.

"He was a very rambunctious character," said Athletic Director Rodney Redd. "He commanded a lot of attention and respect and he actually had a charm about him."

The original track complex was first named after Elder in 2013 before his passing in 2014. The new red clay track now has eight lanes, a more modern shape, and a full regulation football field in the middle, but still carries Elder's legacy.

"It almost defies words...it's just so amazing...I just can feel his presence here," said Elder's wife, Sylvia.

Work on the new track finished up earlier this summer and marked the first significant work done to the facility in 30 years. Now, the track is open to all members of the public during non-school hours.

"That's probably the most special thing to see community members down here walking and know that our athletes now have a top notch facility to train in and compete on as well," Redd said.

Redd says he is going to nominate Elder for induction into the Virginia High School League Hall of Fame.