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Ole Miss dedicates practice field to Columbus native Bill Jordan

Ole Miss alum Bill Jordan, right, attends a football game at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium with, left to right, his wife Shannon and children Tyler, Colton and Graycen.
Ole Miss alum Bill Jordan, right, attends a football game at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium with, left to right, his wife Shannon and children Tyler, Colton and Graycen. Courtesy

There’s no camouflaging Bill Jordan’s true colors.

The Columbus native who designed the famed Realtree Camouflage pattern is adding a unique honor to his eclectic biography — the naming of the Ole Miss practice field.

Jordan was in Oxford over the weekend for the football team’s game against Auburn where the university held a dedication ceremony revealing The Jordan Family field.

That Bill’s first name is not included is no accident.

Jordan pushed to have his family surname be the focal point of the title when Ole Miss approached him with the idea. Jordan’s oldest son Tyler is a recent graduate from the university.

“Ole Miss is very important to me and my family,” Jordan said. “We’re all Ole Miss Rebels through and through, and we are thrilled to help not only the athletics facility but the school as well.”

Ole Miss officials discussed holding the ceremony during the spring, but decided on pushing it to the fall to reach a wider audience.

Jordan and his family — his wife Shannon and three children Tyler, Graycen and Colton — were brought onto the field along with vice chancellor and director of athletics Ross Bjork during a television timeout in the second quarter.

A video tribute played for fans detailing Jordan’s legacy as a player and the Ole Miss M-Club Hall of Famer’s ongoing generosity to the athletics program.

Last year, Jordan pledged $1 million to the university as part of a fundraising campaign Forward Together aimed at improving the university’s athletic facilities.

The Forward Together program launched in 2011 with a stated goal of raising $150 million.

Money raised from the program is going towards renovations and expansions of the Manning Center where The Jordan Family practice field is located.

The short video included footage Ole Miss shot this week of the freshly painted name emblazoned on the practice field along with a newly hung banner.

Jordan was an all-state receiver for a Columbus High School team that reached the 1967 state AAA championship game. A hamstring injury brought his football career to a premature end, but he was inducted to the Chattahoochee Valley Sports Hall of Fame in 2009 for contributions that went well beyond the football field.

When Jordan returned to Columbus after graduating from Ole Miss in 1973, he became one of the most well known figures in the outdoor sporting world. Jordan created the Realtree camouflage pattern, which is used by more than 2,500 licensees around the world.

Michael Niziolek: 334-332-8572, @wareagleextra

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