Furman’s Paladin Stadium, nestled beautifully on one of the nation’s most beautiful campuses and boasting a scenic view of Paris Mountain, is the football home of the Paladins, having opened in 1981 to replace Sirrine Stadium, which served as the site of Furman football for 45 years.
During the 2013-14 school year the school completed construction of the Pearce-Horton Football Complex, a 44,000-square foot, four-story facility that serves as the new operational home for Furman football and includes a locker room for 105 players, coaches’ offices, meeting rooms, sports medicine center, and “Mauldin Hall” that highlights the program’s championship history. The new building also features a club level and press box. Design was by McMillan, Pazdan, and Smith of Greenville, and Triangle Construction, also of Greenville, served as builder.
In addition to the construction of Pearce-Horton, another significant improvement for Paladin Stadium included the 2013 installation of a new ShawSports “Thunderbolt” playing surface, which replaced the original natural grass field. Fan game day enhancements include the addition of padded chair back seating, improved lighting, and a new pubic address system.
Paladin Stadium is the third home of Furman football since 1919. Manly Field, completed in that year, served as the home of Furman football until 1936, when Furman moved the site of its football contests to then-newly constructed Sirrine Stadium. The first game played in Sirrine Stadium — a 14-13 Furman win over Davidson — was the sixth game of the year for Furman during the 1936 season. In 1980, Furman closed its association with Sirrine Stadium with a 28-15 victory over arch-rival The Citadel to win its first outright Southern Conference football championship.
Furman opened Paladin Stadium in the same fashion it did Manly and Sirrine, winning the first game played within its confines. The Paladins defeated East Tennessee State, 21-0, in the stadium’s inaugural and have gone on to record a 156-46-1 home record (.771), claiming 11 Southern Conference championships and the 1988 NCAA I-AA (FCS) national title along the way, including the 2013 SoCon crown.
In 1985 the stadium’s field was named Eugene Stone Field in honor of Stone, who was directly responsible for the additional seats added to the stadium prior to the 1985 season that increased the capacity to its current 16,000. In 2009 the school added a digital 13x32 video board and scoreboard.
From initial grading to completion, Paladin Stadium took two years to be realized at a cost of approximately $2 million.