Sept. 9, 2005
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
By Tim Harkins, Assistant Athletics Director
Complete Weekly Press Release in PDF Format
Saturday's home opener brings together the great tradition of Wyoming Football with a new era in Cowboy Football history. Approximately 120 members of Wyoming's 11 bowl teams are expected to return Saturday to celebrate their success, as well as renew old friendships they built while playing football for the University of Wyoming. While those Bowl Reunion participants represent the tradition of Cowboy Football, the addition of the name Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium and a new artificial turf surface represents the new era in UW Football.
Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium was made possible by a historic $5 million gift from the John and Mari Ann Martin family and the Mick and Susie McMurry family. Upon receiving the gift in May of 2005, the University of Wyoming announced the naming of the playing surface at War Memorial Stadium, "Jonah Field." The name stems from the highly-productive natural gas field in Sublette County, Wyo., by the same name, that was developed by the Martin and McMurry families.
The gift was matched dollar-for-dollar by a fund appropriated by the Wyoming State Legislature in its 2004 budget session, raising the $5 million gift to a total contribution of $10 million.
The artificial turf surface that was installed this past summer is the first of its kind in college football. Made by Desso Corporation, the new Desso Challenge Pro 60 Monofilament synthetic turf cost just under $1 million. It has as its main component a crumb rubber in-fill that gives the field a cushioning effect and allows players to cut and move on the surface similar to what they would on grass. The only other NCAA school to have the cutting-edge Desso technology installed for this season is Oklahoma State.
Saturday at halftime, all 11 of Wyoming's Bowl teams will be honored. The most recent of those bowl teams, last year's Pioneer PureVision Las Vegas Bowl Championship team, will be introduced last and will present their trophy to the University of Wyoming.
Of course many of last year's team will be performing on the gridiron Saturday, as 19 starters and 46 lettermen return as members of the this year's team. The 2005 Cowboys, under the direction of third-year head coach Joe Glenn, have turned around the fortunes of Wyoming Football. The 2005 seniors began their careers winning only two games in 2002. In 2003, they improved to 4-8 and defeated archrivals Colorado State and BYU -- a feat that hadn't been accomplished in the same season since 1988. Last year despite being picked last in the Mountain West Conference preseason poll, the Cowboys posted a 7-5 record, became the first Wyoming team to defeat a Southeastern Conference school (with a 37-32 win over Ole Miss) and pulled off the biggest upset of the 2004 bowl season with a 24-21 win over UCLA.
Wyoming began this year attracting national attention. Sports Illustrated magazine ranked the Cowboys No. 25 in its 2005 preseason poll.
The Wyoming Cowboys (0-1) bring a 72-33-3 (.681) record inhome openers into this week's 2005 home opening game against the Louisiana-Monroe Indians.
The Indians enter Saturday's game with an 0-1 record, after losingto rival Northwestern State (Sept. 1), 27-23.
UW and ULM also played in 2004 in Laramie. The game saw ULM get outto a 3-0 lead and trailed only 14-10 at halftime to the Cowboys. But the Pokes scored 17 in the second half, while holding the Indians scoreless,to capture a 31-10 home victory.
The Louisiana-Monroe at Wyoming game will not be televised. As with all Wyoming Football games, the Cowboy Sports Network will broadcast the game live on its 25-station radio network, with Dave Walsh describing the play-by-play action and Kevin McKinney adding color analysis. The pregame show begins one hour before kickoff.
This game this Saturday will air in Denver on KSXT 1570 AM.
The game is scheduled to kickoff at 1:00 p.m., Mountain Time.
Live game stats will be available HERE .