September 15, 2010

Pair of Events Help Inaugurate Red Turf

Son of Arthur C. Woodward will be on hand for Sept. 16 dedication as stadium becomes Roos Field after 78 years as Woodward Field

Click here for more information on the Red Turf Project at EWU

A pair of events leading into the Eastern Washington University football game against Montana in Cheney, Wash., have been planned to help inaugurate Eastern's new red Sprinturf playing surface.

Dave Woodward, son of the late Arthur C. Woodward, will be on hand for a special dedication and open house that will take place on Thursday, Sept. 16 at 3 p.m. At the dedication, the field officially becomes Roos Field after being named Woodward Field for 78 years.

Also, the official Red Turf Tailgate Party presented by the Eagle Athletic Association will take place on Friday, Sept. 17 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Pend Oreille Pavilion at Northern Quest Resort and Casino. Cost is $20 per person and includes a tailgate food buffet, door prizes and more. Tickets are available through TicketsWest (ticketswest.com and 800-325-SEAT), and the first 300 fans attending will receive a chunk of EWU's red turf. A special presentation will take place as Sterling Savings Bank awards the Presidents' Cup Award that EWU won in the 2009-10 school year.

Eastern will play Montana at 4:05 p.m. in the Big Sky Conference showdown on Saturday, Sept. 18 in what will be a sold-out stadium (capacity of just under 11,000). Eastern is currently ranked 17th in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision while Montana is currently No. 1.

The Red Turf Project at EWU included a $500,000 contribution made by Michael and Katherine Roos, which continued the family's philanthropic efforts on behalf of Eastern and the community through the Michael Roos Foundation.  A former Eagle student-athlete, Roos is a starting left offensive tackle for the Tennessee Titans in the National Football League, and has started every Titans game in his five-year career. Coupled with 35-straight starts to end his Eastern career, Roos has started 143-straight games entering the 2010 regular season.  Roos excelled in the classroom as well, graduating with a double major in finance and economics.

 

More on the Roos Field Dedication . . .

The event will begin at 3 p.m. when the "Patchin, Osso and the Wingman" radio show on 700 ESPN "The Ticket" begins its broadcast live from the field.

At 3:15 p.m., the re-dedication ceremony takes place at the lower entrance to the field as the name of the stadium officially becomes Roos Field. Dave Woodward and his wife, Grace, will attend and participate as a plaque is unveiled commemorating the 78 years the field was named after his father, Arthur C. "Woody" Woodward. Michael and Katherine Roos won't be able to attend because the Titans play at home that week.

Eastern assistant coach Aaron Best, who was offensive line coach when Michael Roos was an Eagle, will represent the Roos family. Other Eastern administrators and dignitaries will also be involved with the ceremony.

Finally, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m., fans will be invited to the field to get a close-up view of the turf. At 4:20 p.m., Eastern's football team will practice and fans are encouraged to watch.

Arthur C. Woodward was Eastern's head football coach in 1927 and 1928. More importantly, Woodward was head of Eastern's department of physical education and health for 23 years from 1927 to 1950. He was insistent that every interested student should have the opportunity to engage in competitive sports through intramural activities. He endeared himself to students, and, as a result, Woodward Field was named in his honor in 1932.

His son, Cheney native Dave Woodward, is 85 and now living in Pueblo, Colo. Dave went on to become a pioneer in scuba diving and in April 2009, was given the International Legends of Diving Award in Freeport, Grand Bahamas for his 54-year diving career. His start in that endeavor began after his father gave him a pair of new swim fins that were provided by the Voit Rubber Company, and he tried them out in the pool located in the basement of Eastern's Showalter Hall.

 "While the idea (of changing the stadium's name) does bring a bit of sadness, I do understand," said Dave Woodward in an e-mail to Eastern athletic director Bill Chaves last spring. "My father was a great person and a great asset to the University.  The fact that stadium carried his name for so long emphasizes that."

 

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