Where the Sagebrush Grows: A History of USU Homecoming: The Home of the Utah Aggies
The Home of the Utah Aggies
A key ingredient to any Homecoming celebration is the Homecoming football game. Utah State's football team has had its ups and downs, and so has the stadium the games are played in. This is the story of the stadiums and football teams that have enabled the Homecoming celebration for decades.
In 1914, the Aggies affiliated with the University of Utah and other regional colleges to form the Rocky Mountain Faculty Athletic Conference (Rocky Mountain Conference). With only a makeshift playing field at nearby Adams Park, however, few conference competitors ever ventured to Logan.
In 1949, the Aggies became charter members in the Mountain States Athletic Conference (Skyline). The organization choose Coach Dick Romney as its first commissioner. In 1954, the Board of Trustees named USAC Stadium after the longtime Aggie captain and it officially became known as Romney Stadium. For those who are interested in this era of Utah State football, the two thumbnails located above this text contain photographs from the homecoming games in 1962 and 1966, both played in Old Romney Stadium. [click to enlarge, click again to browse all pages]
In 1961, the Skyline Conference disbanded to form the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). Despite fielding the best football teams in the state during the early 1960s, the Aggies did not get an invitation to join the new conference. For the next 17 years, the Aggies competed as an independent organization.
Convinced that a larger stadium might make the program more attractive to the WAC, the university began planning for a new stadium in 1966. The Utah Aggies christened the new Romney Stadium by defeating the New Mexico Aggies on September 14, 1968. The WAC’s invitation to join, however, was not forthcoming.
USU Football captured five conference championships after affiliating with the Pacific Coast Athletic Association/Big West in 1978. USU then briefly joined the Sun Belt Conference in 2003, before finally becoming a member of the WAC in 2005. In 2013, USU affiliated with its present conference, the Mountain West. The Aggies have played in four post-season bowl games since joining the Mountain West.
In 2009, just months before his death, USU named the playing field at Romney Stadium in honor of Aggie All-American and All-Pro lineman Merlin Olsen.