The 2012-13 season marks the 90th anniversary of Denison University's Deeds Field and the seventh year since the 2006 renovation project which catapulted the facility into the upper echelon of small college athletic venues in the United States.
Deeds Field-Piper Stadium currently serves as the home field for the Denison football, field hockey, men's lacrosse, women's lacrosse and the men's and women's outdoor track and field teams.
Coach Piper, who died in 1997, joined the Denison faculty as an assistant football coach in 1951. Three years later he was named the Big Red's 17th head coach and went on to collect 200 career victories. This landmark placed him in exclusive company as one of only 18 coaches in the history of college football to win 200 games at the same institution. Piper, a member of the Varsity D Hall of Fame, completed his career at Denison in 1992 as the second winningest college football coach in the state of Ohio. He guided his team to 10-0 and 9-1 seasons in 1985 and 1986, earning back-to-back NCAC championship titles, and NCAC Coach of the Year honors.
In April of 2006, ground breaking took place to install a FieldTurf playing surface, a new eight-lane synthetic track, new concession plaza, visiting bleachers, brick retaining wall, storage building and four, 75-ft. light towers which will allowed night football to be played at Denison for the first time since the early 1940s.
While night football is an added luxury for Big Red fans, the lights and artificial surface benefits for all outdoor sports at Denison. The overflow of practice times in indoor facilities such as Alumni Fieldhouse and the Mitchell Center has also been lightened during the academic year thanks to the all-purpose playing surface at Piper Stadium.
The $3 million dollar renovation has taken what was already one of the premier settings in which to enjoy small-college athletics and improved the experience for the players and fans.
The field is dedicated to the memory of Col. Edward Deeds, Class of 1897, and his son, Charles W. Deeds, Class of 1923.The facility was built on land given to the University by Col. Deeds in 1917.After the original field was dedicated in 1922, the Colonel financed the construction of the additional stands and locker facilities.With its numerous renovations, the stadium currently seats nearly 3,000 spectators.
Charles Deeds worked with his father as a trustee of Denison University for 13 years, and continued to serve for another 17 years after his father retired from the board. Charles was the chairman of Denison's board of trustees for a total of 10 years, and he continued to serve the university as a life trustee until his death in 1987.
The field was rededicated in the fall of 1999, as the Deeds family's contributions were recognized, and former Big Red football players Andrew Deeds '54 and U.S. Congressman Tony Hall '64 led a ceremony which named the stadium for legendary single wing coach Keith Piper, who coached at Denison for 42 years from 1951 through 1992.