Home of the Bulldogs
(Click on photo to enlarge)
Burch/Nau Field at Union Stadium has been the home of Union College football since the program was reinstated as a school-sponsored sport in 1984.
The facility has remained relatively the same over the years, but that all changed during the summer of 2007 when synthetic sports grass was installed.
Plagued by rainy football seasons the past few years, Burch/Nau Field's natural grass surface had continually taken a beaten, and the cost of repairing the turf yearly began to mount. But with the Union College Board of Trustees' approval, Union took on the nearly $1 million project.
Installed by Vescio's Sportsfields, the new turf will not only host all of the Bulldog home football games but also a number of Bulldog and Lady Bulldog home soccer matches. The "UC" logo with the bulldog head will be painted at the center of the field. The end zones will be orange with Union painted white and outlined in black. The football yard lines will be inlaid white, while the markings for soccer will be highligted in black.
The field is named in honor of two of Union's alums and football heroes - Mr. Ossie Burch and Mr. Bill Nau. Although the two never played on the gridiron together, Burch and Nau teamed up with many others to help revive the Bulldog football program in the early 1980s. Not only were they instrumental in breathing life into the once dormant Union College football program, but Burch and Nau were gridiron greats in their own right.
Burch, a 1937 graduate, played on the 1932-35 Bulldog teams, guiding Union to a 14-4-7 record during that time. In 1934, Burch helped Union to a 5-0-2 mark, giving Union its only undefeated season. Union outscored its opponents 79-21 that year with the final four games resulting in shutouts of the Bulldog defense.
Nau was a 1941 graduate and was a four-year member of the Bulldog football team. From 1937-40, Nau helped Union to a 15-11-2 record. His greatest season of success came during senior year as the Bulldogs went 5-1-1 in 1940.
Both Burch and Nau were inducted into the Union College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990.
The football program was suspended following the 1941 season as the United States entered into World War II, and it wasn't until the early 1980s that the sport was revived. Support began to grow for revitalizing the football program, and in 1984, the Bulldogs took the field for the first time in 43 years.
The field was named in Mr. Burch and Mr. Nau's honor during the 1991 Homecoming ceremonies.
Burch/Nau Field at Union Stadium is nestled in the heart of the Union College campus and is surrounded by the beautiful mountains of southeastern Kentucky. In the south end zone sits the Bulldogs large scoreboard. The grandstand areas on the home and visiting sides can hold 2,500 fans; however, with all the open spaces around the field, it would be possible for nearly 5,000 people to be in attendance to cheer on the Bulldogs.
Atop the home-side grandstand rests a recently constructed press box, completed prior to the 2003 season. The press box is two-story, housing the coaching boxes and videotaping room upstairs and the press and game-day staff on the lower level.