Lost amongst the farms and forests of western Ohio lies Yager Stadium. If Highway 732 is chosen as the route to reach this destination, you might feel lost yourself.
A limited amount of signs provide hope that Oxford is approaching. However, after meandering through a labyrinth of scenery fit for Robin Hood, signs indicating an afternoon of pigskin begin to appear. “Slow – Congested Traffic Football Gate Ahead” and “Permit Parking Only” adorn the signs that rest along this one lane road. But, evidence of traffic or parking lots did not exist – only woods. Hope turns into wonder as a slight opening in the trees appears to the left ahead. Sure enough, it opens suddenly to Miami’s sports complex with Yager Stadium sitting at the center of attention. If someone had entered Oxford from the other direction, the trip would have been considerably less rural. Most people go through Oxford’s beautiful campus with its brick lined streets and charming buildings.
But, the stadium itself is surrounded by an army of trees. This is one of the prettiest settings for a college football game – especially as the leaves begin to change. Known as the “Cradle of Coaches,” Miami has had some famous faces pacing the sidelines including Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, Ara Parseghian, Jim Tressel, and Randy Walker. There is a strong sense of tradition at Miami and these former coaches helped to build that. Miami has its devoted fans and unique traditions. Pushups after a touchdown? Try a huge wooded log (Big Red) being pushed upward by men in fatigues and a bell tallying each point (so loud it can practically be heard in Cincinnati). The day we visited turned wet and drove some fans away. However, it is clear that this place holds a passion for its RedHawks. Many fans still chant “Let’s Go Redskins” to honor the previous team name – ya, there is some tradition here.