Built in 1927 for the oldest public university in Texas, Kyle Field has been one of the more intimidating places for visiting teams, especially during Texas A&M's decade of dominance in the 1990s. During that span the Aggies compiled a laundry list of disgruntled visitors as they earned a 55-4-1 record. Texas A&M won 31-straight games from 1990-95 -- the fifth-longest home winning streak since World War II -- then another 22 in a row from 1996-2000.
The stadium's name is derived from Edwin Jackson Kyle, who served as the university's Dean of Agriculture and Athletic Council president.
As with many collegiate stadiums that uses the same foundation of its origin, Kyle Field has seen some expansions and now accommodates more than 82,000 of the most avid fans into its hallowed seats. On Nov. 20, 2010, a record crowd of 90,079 gathered to watch the 18th-ranked Aggies dispatch No. 9 Nebraska, 9-6.
The home of the 12th Man is in College Station, Texas, a tradition that was born a day into the new year of 1922, when, on Jan. 2, an underdog Texas A&M squad was battling top-ranked Centre College. A brutally tough game, the Aggies were digging deep into their roster of reserves when coach Dana Bible remembered there was perhaps one more person who could help.
A young man by the name of E. King Gill was a former football player who was now solely playing basketball. He was in the press box helping reporters identify players when he literally got "the call" to come down from the stands and suit up. Gill, being the consummate team player, left his post in the press box, suited up and stood ready for action should he be needed.
The Aggies ended up winning the game 22-14 and even though Gill was never used it created the idea of the 12th Man in College Station. He displayed the identity of what the 12th Man means today: a spirit of readiness for service, desire to support and enthusiasm. Now the student body stands throughout the entire game, ready to be called upon should they be needed in service to their team. Gill has a statue of his likeness, suited up and at the ready in case he is called.
In the 1980s, coach Jackie Sherrill started the 12th Man Kickoff Team, composed of regular students selected through open tryouts. Coach R.C. Slocum later changed that tradition, which continues now, to allow just one representative of the 12th Man on the kickoff team.