Eastern Michigan University announced Thursday that the team plans to install new gray field turf at Rynearson Stadium for the start of the 2014 season.
EMU athletic director Heather Lyke and new head football coach Chris Creighton made the announcement at the Convocation Center Thursday afternoon detailing their plans centered around “building the football program from the ground up”.
“We are building our football program from the ground up; literally, only a handful of universities have different color turfs, and we will be the first with gray,” Lyke said at the press conference. “It builds an identity that matches the toughness of this team.”
Creighton also unveiled at new nickname for Rynearson entitled The Factory highlighting the blue-collar nature of Ypsilanti.
“Why not make it like a parking lot? We said we would play on one, that’s who we are,” Creighton said. “We want to reinforce that identity, and that work ethic. Lets make it like a factory like the blue collar area Ypsilanti is.”
Eastern Michigan becomes the second Division 1 football team behind Boise State to install non-traditional field turf. Boise State of course has the now famous (or infamous depending on how you look at it) blue field turf which was originally installed back in 1986. Eastern Washington, Central Arkansas, New Haven and Lindenwood-Belleville are other college football programs that also utilize non-traditional field turf.
— EMU Football (@EMUFB) June 19, 2014
— Adam Kuffner (@AKuffnerEMU) June 19, 2014
Now I understand Eastern’s strategy here of trying to be unique, especially considering the Michigan shadow they stand in and the state of the program as far back as I can remember.
But gray? Is there a more boring intermediate color that wasn’t available?