NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Homer Bryce Stadium will have a new look for the start of the 2013 season with the addition of a new playing surface Stephen F. Austin Director of Athletics Robert Hill Announced Monday morning. The department has chosen Hellas' Matrix Turf to replace the current surface, which has been used for the past nine seasons.
"We are very excited about the addition of a new surface," said Hill. "The normal life expectancy of an artificial surface is approximately eight to10 years, and we've had the current surface for nine seasons. I believe fans will like the new look to the stadium. The added color to the field will only enhance our recruiting effort.
"Player safety is very important to everyone in athletics. We always want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to protect our athletes. The current surface had been in place for nine seasons, and with that comes obvious wear and tear. With new advances in technology this new surface is safer," added Hill.
SFA officials selected Matrix Turf from Texas-based Hellas Sports Construction. Hellas has installed more than 80 fields in the state including the Dallas Cowboys, Baylor, UTEP, Texas Tech, Lamar as well as having the surface in the Alamo Dome.
Construction is set to begin on June 1, and is scheduled to be completed prior to the beginning of fall camp. The new surface will include more color than the current turf. The field will consists of purple end zones with white lettering. The north end zone will have "Stephen F. Austin" and the south "Lumberjacks" with the new SFA logo at the 50-yard line. The re-surfacing will also extend beyond the south end zone giving the football team more practice area. In addition to the new surface, Hellas will also be installing new goalposts.
"When I made the announcement to the team about the new turf it got a standing ovation," said Lumberjack head football coach J.C. Harper. "This is the same surface that the Cowboys are using, and everything they do is first class. This is a first-class surface and who doesn't want to be apart of something that is first class. I would personally like to thank Robert Hill, Dr. Baker Pattillo and the Board (of Regents). They do everything within their power to allow our teams to be as successful as they can be. None of this would be possible without their leadership."
SFA switched from a natural to an artificial surface in 1990. Matrix Turf will be the fourth artificial surface in Homer Bryce Stadium history.
During the installation of the surface, the track and field will be closed to the public. The stadium's concourse level will remain open as long as no issues exist with individuals going to the field level during installation.
[View original posting on the SFA Lumberjack Athletics website]