Niswonger Sports Complex
Tusculum University is very fortunate to have some of the finest intercollegiate athletic facilities in the nation and the Niswonger Sports Complex and Pioneer Field are no exception. The home of Tusculum Football since the reinstatement of the sport in 1991 and soccer since 1965, experienced major renovations in 2000. The result is one of the most beautiful and functional athletic venues to be found on any college campus.
Tusculum University alumnus and Board of Trustee member Scott M. Niswonger fully funded the multi-million dollar renovation to Pioneer Field and the construction of the accompanying indoor practice facility and field house located behind the west end zone. Niswonger also funded the construction of the 2,500-seat baseball stadium, located behind the east end zone of Pioneer Field. Pioneer Park, home of Tusculum Baseball and the Greeneville Reds, has received rave reviews as one of the finest baseball venues in the nation.
J.C. “Red” Edmonds Softball Field also received renovations with a state-of-the-art playing surface and the installation of a new lighting system.
The Niswonger Sports Complex was dedicated Oct. 25, 2003 in ceremonies prior to the Tusculum/Carson-Newman football game.
Renovations to Pioneer Field included a two-story press box, new lighting, concession areas, restroom facilities and improvements to spectator seating.
The press box facility consists of 8,000-square feet designed to match the architectural style of the campus’s most classic buildings. The press box can accommodate 30 members of the media as well as coaches, film crews and scouts. A President’s Suite was also constructed and is located on the second floor at midfield and can accommodate 30 fans. Restroom facilities were also added to the second floor.
Below the press box facility, on the stadium concourse are concession areas and restroom facilities. The concession area is located facing the playing field so fans won’t miss any of the action.
Seating for 2,500 spectators is located on the north grandstand, including 200 chair back seats. Special orange “cap seats” were added during the renovation phase along with the addition of new bleachers and aisle railings.
Bleachers on the “visitors’ side” were constructed providing seating for 1,000 spectators, giving Pioneer Field its present seating capacity of 3,500. With the addition of grass bern areas on the north side of the complex and behind the east end zone, Pioneer Field could accommodate 5,000 spectators. That came to pass in 2003 as over 4,100 fans packed Pioneer Field as Tusculum defeated archrival Carson-Newman 27-18.
The field house behind the west end zone features locker room facilities that can be divided into four separate dressing areas. Also featured in the field house is a dressing area for officials, a conference room and preparation areas for athletic training and medical staffs. On the roof of the field house, an end zone filming area was also constructed.
Along with the field house, concession areas and restrooms were built to serve spectators in the south grandstand area.
New lighting and standards were added, which has greatly improved the amount of illumination during home events. The lighting system is identical to the one used at the University of Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium in Knoxville.
The bermuda grass playing surface, considered one of the best in the region, also received special attention. New sod on the sideline areas for soccer and in both end zones were added.
New parking facilities were added in close proximity of the stadium and the indoor practice facility.
In its history, Pioneer Field has hosted several tournaments and championships over the years, including the South Atlantic Conference Soccer Tournaments three times (2000-02), the NCAA Division II Region Men’s Soccer Tournaments three times (2004, 2007, 2008) and the 2005 NCAA II Southeast Region Women’s Soccer Championship.
In 2008, the facility hosted the both the first round of the NCAA Football Playoffs and the NCAA Southeast Men’s Soccer Regional on the same weekend. TU later hosted a NCAA II Men’s Soccer National Quarterfinal match against Tampa in 2008.
New to the Niswonger Sports Complex in 2020 is the Coughlin Golf Practice Facility, located in the Indoor Practice Facility.
J.C. Red Edmonds Field
Indoor Practice Facility
On January 16, 1998, Pioneer Arena at the Niswonger Student Commons opened its doors and has served as the home of Tusculum University volleyball and basketball.
The $10 million, 2,000-seat Pioneer Arena is part of the Scott M. Niswonger Student Commons, which also houses the Alumni Weight Room. The facility encompasses an athletic training and treatment center, swimming pool, team locker rooms, as well as a complete renovation of Pioneer Gymnasium, which served as the home of Tusculum volleyball from 1982-97.
Pioneer Arena’s playing surface experienced a makeover in 2007 and again in 2016 and is spacious enough for two volleyball and basketball courts.
Pioneer Arena has hosted several events including the South Atlantic Conference Volleyball Tournament from 2000-02 and hosted the event again in 2009. The facility has hosted numerous quarterfinal round games of the South Atlantic Conference Basketball Tournament as well as the Tennessee High School basketball postseason tournaments, concerts and other community functions. The University’s commencement ceremonies are also held in Pioneer Arena each December and May.
The 1,000-square foot Alumni Weight Room features free weights and nautilus equipment, as well as treadmills, exercise bikes and conditioning equipment.
Graysburg Hills Golf Course
Roger M. Nichols Tennis Complex
The Pioneers are proud to call the Roger M. Nichols Tennis Complex home of Tusculum University Tennis. The lighted, six-court facility provides one of the finest college tennis venues in the nation. The complex is named in honor of the 1950 Tusculum graduate who played for the Pioneer Tennis Team. Nichols was also a former Board of Trustee member and Tusculum Sports Hall of Famer.
Additional seating has been added to provide optimal viewing for fans and athletes alike.
In the summer of 2018, the facility experienced a full renovations which included the resurcing of all six courts, new fencing, sidewalks, landscaping and foilage were added, making the Nichols Tennis Complex one of the most beautiful tennis facilities in the region. New LED lighting was installed along with new benches, a player seating area, water fountains and a newly heated and air conditioned storage area and raquet maintence facility.
The Nichols Tennis Complex has hosted several State and Regional Tournaments, including the annual UTSA Region Championships. It also hosted the 2006 South Atlantic Conference Women's Tennis Championship.