How did each MAC football stadium get its name? What are the stories behind the names to college football’s shrines?
How did each MAC football stadium get its name? From benefactors to memorials, each MAC stadium has its own unique flavor and history – except for University of Buffalo Stadium and NIU’s Huskie Stadium.
So what’s in a name?
Their names are as much a part of the sport as the players that wear the school colors or the coaches that prowl the sidelines. They’re integral fragments of your autumn vernacular, yet you often know not who they are. You’ve spent countless hours and memorable moments in their houses, but you’d struggle to identify them in a photo.
They are the names behind the football stadium names. The men, women and corporations, who’ve been honored for their unwavering service, dedication and generosity to institutions of higher learning.
Those surnames on the outside facing of your favorite MAC football stadiums and the face of your Saturday afternoon ticket stubs are real people. Real special—and philanthropic—people in most instances. Their backgrounds and paths to immortality are as diverse as the architecture of the arenas themselves. Their drive for success and love for a school are the ties that bind this unique collection of individuals.
Akron – Summa Field at InfoCision Stadium
Named for … InfoCision Management Corporation and Summa Health System
Who are they? InfoCision, which operates call centers in the region, and Summa Health, a non-profit Ohio hospital, share naming rights for the Zips’ home facility, which opened in 2009. Summa Health purchased 20 years of field rights for $5 million. InfoCision founder Gary Taylor paid $10 million for the same 20-year period for the stadium naming rights.
Ball State – Scheumann Stadium
Named for … John B. and June M. Scheumann.
Who are they? The 2007 renovation of the Cardinals’ home stadium was made possible by a $4 million donation from the Scheumann family. Scheumann played for Ball State from 1967-1971 before kicking off a successful career in private business.
Bowling Green – Doyt Perry Stadium
Named for … Doyt L. Perry
Who was he? No single individual has symbolized Falcon football more than Perry, a former player, head coach and Director of Athletics for the school. Perry is the winningest coach in Bowling Green history and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.
Central Michigan – Kelly/Shorts Stadium
Named for … R. Perry Shorts and Bill Kelly
Who were they? A local banker and 1900 graduate of CMU, Shorts was a generous donor to his alma mater. Kelly coached the Chippewa football team to a 91-58-2 record from 1951-1966.
Eastern Michigan – Rynearson Stadium
Named for … Elton J. Rynearson, Sr.
Who was he? Rynearson coached the Eagles, then known as Michigan State Normal College, to a 114-58-15 record over a 26-year stretch. Over the past century, he’s one of just two EMU coaches to leave his post win a winning record.
Kent State – Dix Stadium
Named for … Robert C. Dix
Who was he? In 1971, Memorial Stadium became Dix Stadium in honor of the former longtime Kent State Board of Trustees member and publisher of the local Record-Courier newspaper.
Miami University – Yager Stadium
Named for … Fred Yager
Who was he? A 1914 graduate of the school, Yager’s generosity made the development of the RedHawks’ new stadium a reality two decades ago.
Ohio – Peden Stadium
Named for … Don C. Peden
Who was he? Originally lured to Athens by the baseball squad, Peden coached the football team from 1924-1946. He led the Bobcats to a 121-46-11 mark and multiple Buckeye Athletic Association championships. After his retirement from coaching, he assumed the duty of athletic director for the university.
Toledo – Glass Bowl
Named for … one of the city of Toledo’s main industries
How did it happen? Formerly known as University Stadium, the 1940s renovations used glass blocks throughout the stadium highlighted by a glass scoreboard. There was a post-season game to follow called the Glass Bowl, and the name of the stadium stuck.
Western Michigan – Waldo Stadium
Named for … Dwight B. Waldo
Who was he? Known as the father of Western Michigan athletics, Waldo was the school’s first president and an ardent advocate of Bronco athletic programs. His purchase of a swampy 14-acre plot of land in 1913 went on to become the home of the university’s football team.