Stadium turf to be replaced this summer

Field turf replaced grass at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium in 2001, and the 11-year-old playing surface is about three years outside its life span. TISD athletic director Rod Kaspar said the venue has lost chances to host playoff games because of the outdated turf. (File Photo)

Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium will not be able to host the second annual Fellowship of Christian Athletes Heart of a Champion Bowl this summer.

But there is a good reason why.

When the game is supposed to be played, June 9, TMF Rose Stadium will be getting new field turf. TISD athletic director Rod Kaspar said the field will be done in time for the start of the 2012 high school football season.

“From my understanding, the time frame they are going to need to put it in we are not going to be able to start until after graduation, so we are looking at June 5 or so,” Kaspar continued. 

“They said Longview has expressed an interest in it, but I also told them that we definitely want it back.”

Kaspar said a group headed by Tim Loper, TISD Director of Facilities, is currently looking at several different bids. He expects them to announce the winning one at either this month or next month’s school board meeting. He said the total cost for the turf and installation is being paid for by TISD money received from stadium rental, ticket sales and the TMF Football Classic. 

As for the future of the summer event, Kaspar said Longview and Tyler may alternate as host sites.

“It’s a great situation to bring those kids in here and Rose is a great stadium,” Kaspar said. “And it’s going to be even better now that we get the new turf in here and get rolling.”

Interviews Have Begun For Lee Head Football Coach

This week began the first round of interviews as Tyler ISD looks for a Lee head football coach and athletic coordinator.

Randy Huffstickler accepted the role as interim head coach for Lee in June, following the sudden retirement of Mike Owens who stepped down after 15 seasons as head coach. The Red Raiders went 1-9 this past season, their lone victory against cross-town rival and Class 4A Division I semifinalist John Tyler.

Huffstickler has applied for the position to be head coach and athletic coordinator on a full-time basis.

It was announced on ESPN 92.1-FM SportsTalk with Bill Coates on Tuesday that Lindale head coach Mike Meador is also candidate, but Kaspar would not confirm nor deny that.

“I really feel out of respect for those coaches that we do interview who may not want their name out their publicly yet, I am not going to comment on anyone’s name,” Kaspar said. “As far as the number, it’s more than 10 (candidates) that we are interviewing. We are going to bring them in for a first round and then see where we go from there.”

Kaspar has said that he wants a Lee head coach in place by the UIL’s release of reclassification and realignment for 2012-2014, scheduled for Feb. 2.

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