New turf is being installed on the football field at the University of Southern Mississippi.

The $550,000 resurfacing project is expected to be completed by July 1. Work started in April after a tornado a month earlier left the 9-year-old playing surface unusable with embedded shards of debris in the turf. While the field was bare, upgrades and repairs were made to the subsurface drainage system.

Less than 24 hours after its arrival on the Southern Miss campus, a crew from Hellas Sports Construction, Inc., had started putting down the Matrix Turf just south of the 50-yard line. Officials say the Matrix Turf will prevent infill fly-out when athletes make cuts on the turf and improving drainage by drawing water away from the surface faster.

Once installed, the field will have contrasting, light/dark green every five yards, with the end zones adorned with “Golden Eagles” in white text with a black border and gold background. The same “Southern Miss” logo displayed on USM’s black helmets will placed at midfield.

“We are extremely excited about the installation of our new football playing surface,” said Jeremy McClain, USM senior associate athletic director. “The quality of the product from Hellas is outstanding, and we feel the new design will help continue to brand Southern Miss football across the nation.

“With television exposure at an all-time high for college football, it is important that every viewer make an immediate connection to the Southern Miss brand.”

Nine of USM’s 12 regular-season football games already have been tapped to be televised this fall.

SportsField Management