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Instant Peay Play: APSU working for large Football Alumni turnout with Home Finale marking an end of an Era

 

Legends Bank, Clarksville TNClarksville, TN – Every final home game, no matter the sport, has both a celebratory and reflective feel to them, and the November 16th football game against Southeast Missouri State University will not be any different.

Except it will also be the final event in what most current Austin Peay fans know as Governors Stadium and with the ending of that era the university is working to have a large number of alumni return to bid the 67-year old venue adieu.

APSU Governors Stadium.

APSU Governors Stadium.

“I’ve been here for 30 years of football at Austin Peay and we’ve needed a new stadium for a long time, most of those 30 years,” APSU sports information director Brad Kirtley said. “And it’s exciting that it’s happening now. It’s the next important step in the future not only the athletic program, but in some respects, the university.

“If you’re an alum, a football alum in particular, it’s important to know the university is committed to football and trying to do some positive things to bring it to the next level and to restore the image of the program to where it was when a lot of these gentlemen who are going to be honored on November 16th when they come back.”

And those honors will be part of several events, in conjunction with the football game, which the university’s Athletics and APSU Alumni Association have planned with all former football players, their families, was well as former band members and twirlers who have been a part of football Saturday’s at the stadium.

“It’s really going to change the face of our program and we want to have all of our alumni come back and be a part of this,” Athletics Marketing & Promotions Coordinator Alaric Klinghard said. “We’ve been playing in that stadium for 67 years now and it’s time to start anew.

“But it’s also important to celebrate the people who have been a part of that, because it’s been tough for a number of years — facilities wise — in what we have opposed to other people. We have to get those guys back and show them that the university has made a commitment to football.”

Events will kick off with a breakfast ($10.00 per person) that morning in the Dunn Center’s front lobby, with former football Govs Hendricks Fox (1947-50), John Ogles (1963-66), Kevin Carter (1975-77) and Michael Swift (1992-95) scheduled to address their football brethren, while first-year coach Kirby Cannon also will speak.

Then all former football Govs will be invited to a pregame tailgate that will take place in Tailgate Alley at the West End Parking Lot next to Governors Stadium, with the Alumni tailgate tent being located in front of the Governors Tennis Center.

Kickoff for the football game versus Southeast Missouri is 1p.m., and game tickets will be provided at no cost to all former football Govs and their families.

At halftime, APSU President Tim Hall and Athletics Director Derek van der Merwe will welcome all former Governors football team for a special on-field ceremony.

After the football game, and when fans have made it out of the stadium, there will be a small section of the stadium knocked down as a token beginning of the upcoming demolition of the old stadium.

There will also be a postgame reception will be held from 5:00pm-7:00pm at Edwards Streakhouse on Franklin Street.

“It’s long overdue that something like this is going to be built in the center of campus,” Kirtley said. “As President (Tim) Hall himself said ‘the stadium has been kind of an eyesore’ and coach (Dave) Loos said that when he was athletic director.

“It’s something that is going to be interesting and exciting to see what it going to replace it and the prominence it’s going to have on campus.”

The new Governors Stadium will be ready for the 2014 football season, but with the upgrades – including luxury boxes and club room – the stadium will also be used for more events other than football games and track meets.

“I suspect that it will be used more and different things that before,” Facilities Director Charles ‘Bud’ Jenkins said. “Because of the club room, and the fact that it’s going to be a bit nicer that what we have now, I expect people around town wanting to use it, wanting to rent it.”

For more information or to make reservations, telephone the APSU Alumni Relations Office at 931.221.1277 or email .


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