Fouts Field was the home to North Texas football for 59 years, and it was the site of some great moments and home to great players. Its days as the venue for North Texas football ended after the 2010 season, when the Mean Green moved into Apogee Stadium, but Fouts remains in use for track and field.
Though Mean Green fans and alumni complained of its shortcomings, Fouts, like Apogee, was once the dream of a North Texas athletic director. Theron J. Fouts, who was football coach, athletic director, dean of men and founder of the track and field program at North Texas, drove the campaign to build the stadium. Work began in 1951 and the stadium opened in 1952.
The stadium was originally called Eagle Stadium, but the name was changed to honor Fouts after he retired in 1954.
North Texas won its first game at Fouts, against North Dakota, and went on to win the Gulf Coast Conference championship, the first of 14 league championships won by the Mean Green during their tenure at Fouts. North Texas won 11 conference titles prior to moving to Fouts.
"Mean" Joe Greene
The stadium's seating capacity was upgraded in 1994 to 30,500 by the addition of grandstands behind the north endzone. The renovated stadium saw North Texas win four-straight league titles from 2001 to 2004, including a thrilling game in 2002 against New Mexico State in which the Mean Green clinched its second Sun Belt Conference championship.
In its time at Fouts, North Texas had a .605 winning percentage, going 155-100-7, and the Fouts turf was home to such legendary players as "Mean" Joe Greene, the NFL Hall of Famer and four-time Super Bowl champion considered the greatest defensive tackle in the history of the game, and Abner Haynes, AFL Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year in 1960. In all, more than 100 North Texas football players graduated from Fouts to the National Football League.
Fouts's star power extended beyond Mean Green football. The stadium was also a destination for film crews and was a location for such productions as the television movie The Jesse Owens Story. But Fouts may be best known in Hollywood as the home of the Texas State Armadillos in 1991's Necessary Roughness, starring Scott Bakula, Hector Elizondo, future presidential candidate Fred Thompson, comedians Larry Miller, Sinbad, and Rob Schneider and supermodel Kathy Ireland.