Heywood Stadium Turns 50

Baylor's Class of 1971 celebrated their 50th reunion on Oct. 2, but there was another noteworthy 50-year milestone that took place in the fall of 1971.

As reported by John Shearer '78 in a recent Chattanoogan.com article, Baylor and McCallie faced off in football for the first time since 1940 in a brand new Heywood Stadium on Friday, Oct. 8, 1971.  The new stadium was dedicated at halftime in honor of business manager and former football coach Humpy Heywood, who was in his first year as head coach in 1940 when the rivalry was dropped. Baylor won the game 9-7. (Read more about the game and rivalry history, see more photos, and enjoy John Shearer's article here).

Prior to 1971, Baylor home games were played on Friday afternoons at unlighted Rike Field, which would not have been an adequate space for the large crowds that the Baylor - McCallie rivalry would draw.  A few bigger games dating back earlier had been played at Chamberlain Field.

News reports leading up to the game built up the anticipation.  On the day of the game, a Chattanooga Times article stated, “Baylor and McCallie tonight breathe new life into a football rivalry that died 31 years ago, and interest has spread like wildfire throughout the city.”

The story in the Chattanooga News-Free Press reported that "...it’s been 31 years since the Red Raiders and Blue Tornado varsities battled on the gridiron, and the tension at both schools has built up to an almost unbearable pitch, although the administrations have striven to keep down the pressures.”

On the day of the game, Baylor placed a full-page newspaper ad featuring a photo of the entire student body with the copy, “We back Red’s Raiders. Baylor, win or lose, we’ve got great spirit.”
The "Red’s Raiders" was a reference to Baylor coach “Red” Etter.




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