October 10, 1964
SHIELDS-WATKINS GETS CHECKERBOARDS
This will be the 1st checkerboard end zones in collegiate football.
UT vs. Georgia State
September 8, 2012
Photo by John White
The idea came from Doug Dickey, new head coach of the VOLS. Coach Dickey says he got the idea from a magazine advertisement. He added that he thought the checkerboards would help "dress up" Neyland Stadium & Shields-Watkins Field.*
*In 1968, the checkerboards were removed when a new artificial turf was installed. They reappeared, however, in 1989, when natural grass replaced the artificial turf.
The man responsible today for the process of painting the checkerboards is JOHNNY PAYNE. He went to work for UT right out of high school in 1978.
The process requires 20 gallons of orange & white paint at $40 a gallon. Total cost per game is $800 for the paint alone.**
**Source: "Rocky Top's Picasso Paints His Masterpiece on Neyland End Zones," by Ron Higgins, ESPN College Football, October 12, 2007.