By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – As Tennessee Tech hosts Jacksonville State on Saturday for the 89th annual Homecoming game, it's also College Football's 150th birthday and the Golden Eagles are celebrating in multiple ways.
On the field, Tech will wear a throwback helmet design for the second year in a row. Last season, it was the 1980s Jim Ragland era that saw the cursive Tech design adorned on the helmet. This season, it is a throwback to the classic late 1960s and early 1970s helmet design.
While the helmet then was gold with a black wing, the decal on this design is similar to the 2012 homage with the Purple and Gold color scheme on the white, while detailed and hewing closer to the classic retro design.
Before the game, nearly every era of Tennessee Tech's 98-season football history will be represented by honorary captains at the coin toss, along with the game captains – Bailey Fisher, Seth Huner, Aderick Moore and Shannon Fayne.
The honorary captains will include:
- Kenneth Broyles (1950-53), representing Tech head coaches P.V. Putty Overall (1923-1946, 1952-53), Hooper Eblen (1947-49) and Star Wood (1950-51);
- Kevin and David Tucker, sons of Tech head coach Wilburn Tucker (1954-67);
- Ottis Phillips (1969-72), representing Tech head coach Don Wade (1968-82);
- Dewayne Alexander (1985-87), representing Tech head coaches Gary Darnell (1983-85), Jim Ragland (1986-95) and himself (1997-98 as a graduate assistant, 2002-03, 2013-15 as an assistant and interim head coach, 2018 to present as head coach);
- Mike Hennigan (1971-72), representing himself (1986-95 as an assistant, 1996-2006 as head coach);
- Watson Brown, representing himself (2007-2015);
- Dontez Byrd (2016-17), representing Tech head coach Marcus Satterfield (2016-17).
Also before the game, the 2018 Robert Hill Johnson Award will be presented to Tech kicker Nick Madonia, who finished his career last season as one of the top field goal kickers in program history, nailing five of the top 10 distances in program history, while also completing a team-record 65 consecutive PATs.
Between the first and second quarters, a video from the Ohio Valley Conference will highlight the rich history of the league since it was founded in 1948, then, during the third quarter, Tech's Video Production group will show a retrospective on the Golden Eagles' history.
Additional presentations include the 1968-69 Tech Men's Tennis Team 50th anniversary recognition for their OVC championship title – the first in the program's storied history – as well as the Tech Athletics Outstanding Alumni Award to Dr. M. Dianne Murphy, a member of Tech's inaugural varsity women's basketball and volleyball teams who has a long history of athletics administration. Those recognitions will be during the first quarter.
The second quarter will see a recognition of Tech women's basketball alumni who have returned as part of the program's Maintain the Tradition event and Alumni Weekend. At halftime, the four inductees into the Tennessee Tech Sports Hall of Fame – Milos Babic (men's basketball, 1987-90), the late Lee Byrd (track and field, 1965-68), Katherine "Kappy" Lang Morin (volleyball, 2005-08) and Robert Taylor (football, 1993-96) -- will be honored.
The Homecoming Parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. to open the day's festivities, while the 98.5 KISS FM Tailgate Park will open at the same time. The Golden Eagle team will hold their Golden Eagle Walk at approximately 11:15 a.m.
Tickets for Saturday's game are on sale now. Call the ticket office at (931) 372-3940, visit the box office in the Hooper Eblen Center or visit TTUsports.com to order.