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The people behind some of Ohio’s greatest athletic facilities

Whether it be a game-winning goal, a walk-off home run or a Tuesday night touchdown in the heart of Mid-American Conference action, the many different athletic facilities at Ohio have seen numerous big moments. Some of Ohio’s greatest athletes and some of the school's most historic games have taken place on the soils and turfs scattered about campus. Although each game and each athlete tell a story of their own, the story behind the field can sometimes be just as intriguing. 

From some of Ohio’s best coaches to the school’s biggest supporters, here are the stories of how some of Ohio’s facilities got their name. 

Don Peden 

The story of the newly renamed Frank Solich field at Peden Stadium celebrates two of the most prolific Ohio football coaches of all time, Don Peden and Frank Solich. 

In today’s age, Don Peden may not be a name known much around campus for anything other than the place students gather to watch football games. However, for those who were fans of Ohio sports back in the 1920s, Peden was a name you couldn’t forget. 

Not only was Peden a football coach for Ohio from 1924-1946 but he also played football at the school. Other than being the coach with the highest win percentage in Ohio football history, Peden also coached baseball. 

Peden served four major roles in the span of Ohio sports history: football coach, football player, baseball coach and baseball player. It’s hard to find a résumé like Peden’s anywhere in college athletics. 

Frank Solich 

Frank Solich, the most recent name being added to the history of Ohio’s stadiums, is also the most recent figure to have a role in the program. Solich retired as the Ohio football coach in 2021 after tallying a career record of 115-82 with Ohio. 

In 2022, Ohio honored Solich by adding his name to the front of the historic Peden Stadium. With the new name came the birth of a new nickname for Ohio’s football stadium; “The Frank.”

Most recently in 2024, Solich was named to the NFF College Football Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as the head football coach at both Ohio and Nebraska. 

Solich is most notably remembered as leading the 2011 Ohio team to a Potato Bowl victory, one of the program's largest wins in its history. 

Bob Wren 

Like others on this list, Bob Wren’s career at Ohio spanned beyond just one sport. Despite being honored with the baseball stadium being named after him, Wren served assistant roles on both the football and basketball teams in the early 1950s. 

In his playing career, Wren led the Ohio baseball team to 11 straight wins, including a Buckeye Conference Championship. Wren was also a member of the 1941 basketball team that finished runner-up in the National Invite Tournament. 

As a baseball coach, Wren is one of the winningest coaches in Ohio history with 339 wins and 120 losses. He led the team to seven MAC championship games and 38 of his players went pro. 

Peggy Pruitt

In her 26-year career with Ohio, Peggy Pruit served roles as head women’s field hockey coach, head Tennis coach and also a senior athletics administrator. Pruitt played a critical role in the advancement of women's sports at Ohio with women’s soccer, golf and lacrosse teams being added during her tenure. 

In 1999 Ohio opened Pruitt Field, the space where the Ohio field hockey team hosts their games, to honor Pruitt and her accomplishments. 

Most recently in 2022, Pruitt was further honored by the MAC with an induction into the MAC Hall of Fame. 

Blaine Goldsberry 

Goldsberry Track is one of the lesser visited facilities, hosting only one track and field event per year. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t one of Ohio’s greatest. The track surrounds Pruitt Field and is one of the best of its kind in the MAC. 

Blaine Goldsberry, the namesake of the track, was an outstanding student-athlete and long-time Ohio University supporter. In 1911, Goldsberry was a member of the first-ever Athens High School Basketball team, and in 1913, he continued his basketball career as the captain of the team at Ohio. Goldsberry was also a member of the Ohio football team during his time as a student. 

Most notably, Goldsberry served as a physician to all Ohio athletics teams for 27 years following his graduation. Later in his career, Goldsberry would serve as the chief of staff at Sheltering Arms Hospital, which would later become O'Bleness Memorial Hospital. 


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