Dayton practiced at local high schools as it waited to return to its practice field: West Carrollton; Miamisburg; Bellbrook; and Carroll. The Flyers also practiced on the turf field, which pays tribute to the Dayton Triangles and was funded by the NFL, on Keowee Street. They did get into their gameday home, Welcome Stadium, which is owned by Dayton Public Schools, a few times as well.
Chamberlin credited Athletic Director Neil Sullivan and Scott DeBolt, who runs UD Arena and other university athletic facilities, for finding them practice homes. Now they have their own home again, and Chamberlin said it’s first class.
“It’s as good as any place around here,” he said. “It just gives you a little more pep in your step.”
Chamberlin has been a part of Dayton’s program since he was a player in the 1970s and remembers Von Mohr well.
“When I was a student here and then became a coach, Jerry was at every game,” Chamberlin said. “You could look for him. Of course, he was in the wheelchair, and he would be sitting right at the railing there, right about the 50 yard line, just cheering the Flyers on. He was a big Flyers Club guy. He was always at the tailgate. He was a Dayton Flyer.”
Von Mohr died in 2002 at 77. Then coach Mike Kelly called Von Mohr the most loyal Flyer fan and said there was a movement to name the practice field after him. That happened when it opened in 2004.
Von Mohr’s name adorns a plaque alongside the field. He explained how his love of the Flyers began in a 2001 Dayton Daily News story by Tom Archdeacon.
“Back then there were no elevators on campus and there was no wheel-chair accessibility,” he said. “I was a small kid and the way it turned out, when I had to get upstairs for a class, somebody picked me up and somebody else grabbed my wheelchair. Mostly it was the football players, and we became friends. They never treated me as a mascot; I was always one of the guys. It was never like, ‘Oh, we got to take Jerry ‘cause he’s in a wheelchair.’ We had common interests.”