A Visit To Stevenson University Football


The exterior of Stevenson University’s Mustang Stadium. (Author Photo)

A few years ago I was pretty surprised when I heard that Stevenson University was starting a football program. The former Villa Julie College has always been a bit of a quirky place. Originally located in the Greenspring Valley of Baltimore County and its Stevenson neighborhood, the college was an all girls school until 1972 and did not even offer bachelor degrees until 1984. It also was entirely non-residential.

But eventually the college desired to add housing and more of just about everything, so a new campus was added in Owings Mills. This expansion dramatically increased the college’s offerings and student population. In 2008, they decided they needed a new identity and changed their name to Stevenson University.

The Owings Mills campus just happened to be right next door to the old Baltimore Colts training facility. After the Colts left town the facility had been used by the Baltimore County Police for awhile before professional sports came back when the Baltimore Stallions of the Canadian Football League moved in to the building. The Ravens took up residence there in 1996 and stayed until their new Under Armour Performance Center (“The Castle”) opened in 2004.

Stevenson acquired the building and land of the old training facility and used it as the center of their athletic department. In 2006 it opened as the Caves Sports and Wellness Center. Some of the locker rooms and facilities are similar to the ones left behind by the Ravens, with necessary remodeling done. In addition, in 2010, the 38,000 square foot Owings Mills Gymnasium was added.

In 2009 the university announced that a Division III football team would be in place by 2011 and would play at 3,500-seat Mustang Stadium, on the old practice fields of the Colts/Stallions/Ravens. The stadium is also home to the university’s soccer, lacrosse and field hockey teams.

Ed Hottle has been the coach at Stevenson since they started. A Frostburg State graduate, Hottle also began the football program at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. Hottle has done an admirable job starting a program from scratch and leading the team towards winning ways. In 2014, with one more game to play, the Mustangs are 6-3 (5-3 in the Middle Atlantic Conference).

The stadium is a high caliber facility. It blows away most DIII level facilities and seems to be on par with high Division I FCS teams. A large press box and luxury suite tops the stadium and is also quite impressive.

Stevenson also does a great job of making sure that game days seem like a high end football program resides here. Cheerleaders, dance squad, marching band and a pretty impressive introduction display is in evidence at the games. I would doubt you could leave and not be entertained.

The stadium concourse also offers good, quality food at fair prices. A large, well stocked fan store is also on the concourse level.

No more home games are on the schedule this year, but next year local football fans should put this on their list of games to attend. A $7 general admission ticket is quite a value for the high end product on display here.