Football, On campus, Sports

The History of Tucker Stadium

View of Tucker Stadium at the 50-yard-line on a bright, sunny day.
Tucker Stadium, home of the Tennessee tech Golden Eagles, located on the north end of campus. Construction on the stadium was completed in 1966, and it was named after long-time head coach Wilburn Tucker. Photo provided by Chuck Sutherland.

Named after famous Tech football coach Wilburn Tucker, Tucker Stadium has become home to many traditions like Eagle Bit, a movie at Tucker, running of the freshman, and the freshman class picture.

Tucker stadium was completed in 1966 and the name was attributed to the Golden Eagles coach of 21 years Wilburn Tucker. Wilburn Tucker coached at Tennessee Tech from 1954-1967 and won five Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) titles (1955, 58, 59, 60, 61). Willburn’s winning percentage of .514 ranked 2nd all-time and his 70 career wins ranked 3rd in Tennessee Tech history.

The stadium bears a different name than the field it surrounds. Overall Field was named after head coach, P.V. Overall. P.V. was the head coach at Tennessee Tech for 26 years. Both Tucker and Overall were in the OVC and sports hall of fame.

Tucker Stadium holds many traditions. Eagle Bit – a pep truck that circled the field after each Golden Eagle touchdown – is no longer in practice, but is an important part of campus history. The Eagle Bit drove from 1966 to 1993.

A more current tradition is the move at Tucker Stadium during the annual Week of Welcome. Originally, the movie took place on the Quad, but in recent years it was brought to the iconic Tucker Stadium. The initial change was due to COVID-19, but the University has decided to keep it there.

Running of the Freshmen is another current tradition. New students get the opportunity to run the football field with the president and first lady at the first home game of the season. Tucker is also the usual site of the freshman class picture

The first game at Tucker stadium of the season will be on September 11 during family weekend. Tech will face the Furman University Paladins. The kickoff is at 1:30.