It's Official: TMF Rose Stadium Adds 'Earl Campbell Field' To It's Name - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/20/06-Tyler

It's Official: TMF Rose Stadium Adds 'Earl Campbell Field' To It's Name

His accomplishments on the football field are legendary. The impact "The Tyler Rose", Earl Campbell, has had on the city of Tyler is immeasurable. But, tonight, the TISD School Board took a step towards trying to give back to the man who has meant so much to the community. In a unanimous vote, the board voted to approve the recommendation by Superintendent Dr. David Simmons, to rename the field at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium, "Earl Campbell Field".

"Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium is a premiere facility," Dr. Simmons said tonight after the announcement. "I think having his name on the field house and naming the field after him will add additional prestige. So, it's just a good fit."

"I tell you one thing, the whole Campbell family is really excited about it," beamed Earl's brother Tim Campbell, who was at the meeting and brought to tears by the announcement. "I think it's something that's probably well overdue."

TISD school board president Andy Bergfeld echoed that sentiment.

"This is the least we can do," added Bergfeld. "He deserves every bit of it."

"Earl was known as the 'Tyler Rose'," said TISD school board member Therelee Washington with a sly smile, "and Tyler is the 'Rose Capitol of the World', so that means Earl is the greatest football player in the world."

One thing everyone agreed upon, the Heisman Trophy winner and Pro Football Hall of Famer has played a big part in putting Tyler, Texas on the map.

"That's the one thing you can tell people about Tyler that people will recognize," said Bergfeld.

"I've had a chance to go the East Coast and the West Coast," added Simmons. "When I told people I was from Tyler, Texas, they said, 'where's Tyler'? Then, the next thing they would ask me was, 'isn't that where Earl Campbell is from'?"

Dr. Simmons said the 14,000 seat Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium was second only to Texas Stadium in the number of high school football playoff games hosted this past season. Now, teams will have added incentive to come to Tyler.

"I've had the opportunity of playing football at Rose Stadium," said Tim Campbell, "and there's a lot of youngsters that are going to be coming up now that'll have the opportunity of saying, hey, I played at Earl Campbell Field."

And that brings up a good question. With Trinity Mother Frances Health System paying TISD $1.92 million as part of a 12-year agreement which includes naming rights, how does this affect the name of the a facility?  According to Dr. Simmons, the new official name is Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium, Earl Campbell Field.

"Certainly I think this would not have been possible without the improvements and the contributions made by Trinity Mother Frances Health Systems," said Dr. Simmons. "They were very supportive of this naming of the playing field after Earl, and I certainly want to thank [TMFHS CEO] Ray Thompson and all the people at Trinity Mother Frances for their support."

"Earl Campbell Field" will be prominently displayed on the side of the stadium's new field house, along with a bronze plaque with Earl's picture and vital information. The display will also include two items specifically requested by Earl himself.

"He just asked that we include a yellow rose and a red rose," explained Dr. Simmons, "and of course, we were happy to do that. He was a gentleman throughout the process and I look forward to having him back in Tyler on Monday for a formal announcement."

Earl Campbell plans to attend a press conference Monday, April 24 at 2:00 at the Jim Plyler Instructional Complex.

Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium, Earl Campbell Field, is the home field for Robert E. Lee and John Tyler high schools, as well as Tyler Junior College and Texas College.  It has a "Safe Play" artificial playing surface that was installed in 2001.  Seating capacity in the bowl-like structure can be expanded from 14,000 to as much as 20,000, making it the largest football stadium in East Texas.  It hosted the 2A and 4A Division I state championship games this past season.

Kevin Berns reporting.
kberns@kltv.com

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