Bryant University hired a new football coach this month, and thanks to the generosity of two trustees, he will send his players on to a new artificial turf, lighted field next season.
Bryant will be the first of Rhode Island’s three Division I programs to play home games on artificial turf with the option of playing night games. The University of Rhode Island and Brown University play on grass, and Meade Stadium at URI and Brown Stadium in Providence do not have lights. Brown has rented portable lights for one game per season in recent years.
Salve Regina, a Division III program, plays its home games on a lighted turf field at Gaudet Middle School in Middletown.
Bryant President Ronald K. Machtley informed his board of trustees of the gifts at a dinner on Thursday. He did not disclose the names of the donors. Machtley estimates the cost of the project at $1 million.
James Perry, the former All-Ivy quarterback at Brown and offensive coordinator at Princeton for the last seven years, is the new Bryant coach. He succeeds Marty Fine, who resigned in December and was recently hired as interim coach at New Mexico Highlands University, an NCAA Division II school, in Las Vegas, N.M.