Marietta College adding new, unique synthetic fields for football, soccer and lacrosse

Rendering of new football field

Marietta College’s Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees unanimously approved the installation of new synthetic surfaces at both Don Drumm Stadium and Marietta Field.

“We are excited to have this opportunity to improve our facilities and provide a playing experience unlike any other in the Ohio Athletic Conference,” said Marietta College President William N. Ruud. “I am also thankful for the support we received from our board, and for all of the hard work that has been done by our coaches and other administrators to get us to this point.”

Instead of going with traditional green fields, the College has decided to go a different route. Don Drumm will have a gray field with contrasting shades every five yards and the Marietta College Pioneer logo at midfield. The end zones will be navy blue with Marietta spelled out in white. Don Drumm will be marked for football and men’s lacrosse, and include temporary marks for women’s lacrosse and soccer.

Marietta Field will be navy blue with the Pioneer head logo at midfield. This field will be marked for soccer and women’s lacrosse, and include temporary marks for men’s lacrosse.

“Everyone in the Athletics Department is excited that we have received the support of the Board and the College,” said Larry Hiser, Director of Athletics. “These improvements will not only create an amazing environment for our student-athletes, but also for the PioNation fans who have supported Marietta College athletics for many years.”

The early stages of the $1.2 million project will begin immediately. The College and FieldTurf are working with an aggressive timeline to complete the work. The installation at Don Drumm is expected to be complete by Aug. 1st. Coach Andy Waddle’s squad opens the 2018 season at home against Geneva on Sept. 1st. The Pioneers, who went 6-4 last year, will also have home dates with Capital (Sept. 8th), Ohio Northern (Sept. 29th), Wilmington (Oct. 13th) and Baldwin Wallace (Oct. 27th).

Waddle said this is a thrilling time to be at Marietta College.

“I’m excited to get a new state-of-the-art surface. I think what we are going to do from a branding standpoint is going to set us apart from our competitors and create a buzz with our recruits, team, campus, community and alumni base,” Waddle said. “Marietta College and our leadership continue to blaze a new trail and take us to new and exciting places as an institution and as a program.”

The Marietta Field project should be complete by Aug. 15th.

The women’s soccer team opens the 2018 season at home against St. Vincent on Aug. 31st and also plays Pitt-Greensburg on Sept. 2nd. The men’s team doesn’t play a home game until Sept. 15th against Wooster.

“Turf technology has come a long way since the last installation of our fields,” said men’s soccer coach Joe Bergin. “Today’s turf product plays closer to grass than ever before. Our players will be beyond thrilled to play on such quality, modern surfaces. In addition, the uniqueness of the colors will set us apart from other fields that we play on. September 15th can’t come soon enough for us.”

Both lacrosse programs will also play on the new fields in 2018-19. Women’s lacrosse is playing its first season at Marietta.

“I could not be more excited for Marietta College and our Athletics Department. The support from the administration in building the first-ever women’s lacrosse program has been tremendous,” said women’s lacrosse coach Malory Brunett. “It is incredible to cap our recruiting efforts with a brand new soccer and lacrosse turf. Women’s lacrosse players will have the opportunity to make history playing on a state-of-the-art field. These campus improvements will not only help in growing our program but also grow Marietta College in a great way.”

Marietta City Schools also use Don Drumm Stadium for football and track, as well as events like the annual Band-O-Rama. Ruud said he has spoken with officials from the school district and they support the upgrades.

FieldTurf has more than 20,000 installations worldwide, including 6,500 in North America. The current playing surface at Don Drumm Stadium was installed in 2004.

“Both fields have served the College and our student-athletes extremely well over the past 14 years, which is well beyond the intended lifespan of either,” Hiser said. “The demands and expectations for each of these facilities have also increased since they were first built because of the College’s intramural program, camps and other community events.”