Springfield College to Rename Benedum Field Honoring First Football Coach Amos Alonzo StaggOctober 19, 2007
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Oct. 19, 2007 – Springfield College will honor the memory of its first football coach and member of the national college football and national basketball halls of fame, Amos Alonzo Stagg, when it changes the name of its newly refurbished football field from Benedum Field to Stagg Field in ceremonies on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 12:45 p.m.
Springfield College President Richard B. Flynn will preside over the event on the field before a Homecoming Weekend crowd preceding the Springfield v. St. John Fisher football game.
According to Flynn, “Amos Alonzo Stagg exemplified Springfield College ideals. Early in his life, he made a pledge to help the young. He achieved that by dedication of his spirit, mind, and body throughout an active lifetime of more than a century. His inspiration as a coach, his many improvements to the game of football, and his contributions to other sports are his legacy, and a proud part of the Springfield College legacy of educating leaders in service to others.”
A new brick and wrought iron archway emblazoned “Stagg Field” marks the entrance to the field, where the college’s teams in football, field hockey, and men’s and women’s lacrosse play home games. It has a new synthetic FieldTurf ® surface, and is surrounded by new decorative wrought iron fencing, landscaping and walkways. Additionally, there is a new brick ticket office.
Stagg was a head football coach continuously for 57 years, starting at what is now Springfield College in 1890. He gained his greatest fame at the University of Chicago, where he retired at age 70. There, he coached football, baseball, track and field, and basketball. He went on to be head football coach at the College of the Pacific.
At Springfield College, Stagg organized the college’s first football team, and was a player and its coach for two years. Playing center was James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball. Stagg is a member of the Springfield College Athletic Hall of Fame.
Widely known as “the grand old man” of football, Stagg made such innovations as the huddle, man in motion, end around, double reverse, Statue of Liberty play, and numbers on players’ backs. Knute Rockne once said, “All football comes from Stagg.”
Stagg received his undergraduate degree from Yale University, where he was a member of the first football All-America team and captain of the baseball team. He earned his graduate diploma from Springfield College in 1891, and was awarded an honorary degree from the college in 1912.