In 1926, a new home for SMU football, Ownby Stadium, opened on the Hilltop. Named after SMU alumnus and strong supporter of athletics, Jordan C. Ownby, the Mustangs' new home opened in fine fashion when SMU defeated North Texas State Teachers College, 42-0, on September 24, 1926, in the stadium's first game. The opening of the brand new Ownby Stadium as the home of the Mustangs in 1926 comes in at No. 83 in our countdown of the 90 Greatest Moments in SMU Football History.
Quarterback Gerald Mann, known as the "The Little Red Arrow" because of his strong, accurate passing, was a member of the first Mustang team to play in Ownby Stadium and, as part of his scholarship chores, helped plant the grass on the stadium playing field. The same year, Mann went on to become the first SMU player selected for a post-season all-star game, playing in the East-West Shrine Game.
Mann and his highflying ponies steamrolled over their first three opponents that year, shutting out North Texas State, Trinity, and Centenary by a combined score of 127-0. The Mustangs went on to an 8-0-1 record and the Southwest Conference championship. SMU was able to call Ownby home from 1926 until the second game of the 1948 season and then again from 1989 through 1994. SMU finally came back to the Hilltop in 2000 on the very spot Ownby Stadium once stood, when Gerald J. Ford Stadium opened. The lasting memories of Ownby Stadium deservingly place it in our countdown of the 90 Greatest Moments in SMU Football History.