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Eastern Michigan to play football on concrete-gray turf

Fri., June 20, 2014

YPSILANTI, Mich. – Eastern Michigan football coach Chris Creighton wants his team to have the attitude that it will play anyone, anywhere.

“We’ll play in a parking lot on glass,” the first-year coach said.

Creighton’s attempts to change the culture within the Eagles’ football program led to the school announcing Thursday it will replace its artificial turf with FieldTurf that looks like concrete. The project is scheduled to begin in July. The school was already planning to replace the 9-year-old surface at Rynearson Stadium this year.

Boise State, which has blue turf, and Eastern Washington, with its red, are among the schools that have surfaces in their football stadiums that are not a traditional shade of green.

Creighton was hired in December after leading Drake to a 44-22 record over six seasons. He also was a head coach at Wabash College and Ottawa University.

Creighton replaced Ron English, who was 11-46 in five seasons and was fired last season in part for using inappropriate language during a film session with defensive backs.

EMU’s new coach faces a stiff challenge to win at a school that has struggled to have success, but he does not seem to have to worry about his words getting him in trouble.

“I don’t use profanity,” he said. “I cussed like a sailor until I was 16. I just stopped, but I’m not a soft coach.”

And, the Eagles do not seem to be soft.

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