One of the Gulf South Conference’s oldest and most historic venues, Travis E. Parker Field at Horace L. McCool Stadium has served as the home of the Statesmen since it opened in 1970. Delta State has enjoyed tremendous success at Parker-McCool under its last four coaches, posting an impressive 145-79-8 record.
Formerly known as Delta Field and Travis E. Parker Field, the 8,125 seat stadium was completed just in time for the 1970 season.
In 1984, the field was renamed to honor former Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees member, Travis E. Parker, a tireless supporter of Delta State University and the Delta area communities.
The current facility replaced the “old” Delta Field, which is located between Sillers Coliseum and the Hugh Ellis Walker Alumni-Foundation House on the Delta State campus. The Statesmen have enjoyed a 257-130-15 mark at home.
Green chairback seats were installed in the stadium in 1993 to give fans a little more comfort. To enhance the family-atmosphere, a picnic area for tailgating was added in 2001 behind the north end zone, which offers a perfect view of the entire field.
In 2007, DSU honored long-time coach and administrator Horace McCool by naming the stadium in his honor. McCool was 76-48-3 in 14 seasons as head coach of the Statesmen and was instrumental in running the Department of Athletics as Director of Athletics. During his time as AD, McCool helped revive the Lady Statesmen basketball program, which blossomed into a national power under the legendary Margaret Wade.
A new scoreboard/video board was added in the fall of 2008 at the north end zone.
At the top of the 8,125 seat concrete stadium is a two-level press box that overlooks historic Parker Field. The press box was renovated in May 2013 and includes booths for radio, film, coaches, and working press, as well as a snack-kitchen and restroom. The press box is completely enclosed, with the exception of the second-level film deck, and is climate controlled for year-round comfort and convenience.
While Parker-McCool has gone through several recent renovations over the years, the installation of artificial turf over the summer of 2014 is its most striking addition.
Delta State is the fifth school in the Gulf South Conference to make the switch to a synthetic playing surface and the first collegiate client for Geo-Surfaces, Inc., in Mississippi. The new turf features Geo-Surfaces’ latest synthetic surface with six-foot wide sidewalks surrounding Parker Field. At the 50-yard line, is a white painted replica of a delta with the words “STATE” written across, symbolizing Delta State. Adjacent to the field is a 45’ x 90’ synthetic field for pregame stretching and practice.
It also features Mississippi’s first patented GeoFlo shock pad and drainage system designed to help curtail injuries sustained from contact with the field while helping to assist drainage. The system is the same one used by the National Football League’s Pro Bowl, NFL Challenge Field and Louisiana State University's football practice field.
Delta State athletics officially cut the ribbon for the new Parker Field on Aug. 11, 2014. The turf project was the second major project to be completed for DSU Athletics. Cooley and his staff put in many man-hours on a locker room enhancement that saw wood lockers installed along with a player lounge area. The staff sanded, stained, installed and added combination locks to replace the old metal lockers in the football locker room.
Parker-McCool is also the home to Statesmen and Lady Statesmen Soccer. The two programs moved into new locker rooms below the grandstands in the fall of 2014.
In the summer of 2014, Delta State began construction on a new visitor’s concession stand and bathrooms on the southeast corner of Parker-McCool, and the project was completed at the conclusion of the 2014 season.
In his first season as head coach of the Statesmen, coach Todd Cooley led Delta State to a perfect 4-0 record at Parker-McCool. The Nashville, Ark., native is the first head coach since Ron Roberts to go undefeated at home in his first season at DSU.
Delta State has posted an 8-3 (.736) record in NCAA Division II postseason play. The Statesmen went 2-0 at Parker-McCool in the 2000 NCAA playoffs en route to the national championship. DSU defeated Valdosta State (49-12) and North Dakota State (34-16) at home with road wins over Catawba (20-14) and Bloomsburg (63-34) in the NCAA title game.
Trevar Deed set a DSU postseason record with 16 receptions for 203 yards and four touchdowns in a 55-34 loss to North Alabama in the second round of the 2008 NCAA Division II playoffs at Parker-McCool.
In DSU’s 45-7 victory over Shaw University in the first round of the 2007 NCAA playoffs, senior linebacker and Harlon Hill finalist Michael Eubanks set a new NCAA DII single-game sack record with five versus the Hawks.