As football facility takes shape, plenty of progress at EWC

Edward Waters football players line up to hit the sleds during a practice. (

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Edward Waters College is now the only college football program here in Jacksonville and the Tigers are in the midst of some pretty big changes.

First up, a new football facility.

The turf hasn’t been laid yet, but it will be done in time for their first home game of the fall.

“They are ahead of schedule which I love,” said Gregory Ruffin, EWC’s football coach.

Edward Waters broke ground on its new stadium in February. Now, the project is nearing completion, and this will give the Tigers football team a place they can finally call home. Mayor Lenny Curry first designated funds to the football field in 2017.

The turf hasn't been laid yet, but it will be done in time for their first home game of the fall.

“I think one of the biggest things I saw coming here two and half years ago, it just felt like every game was an away game,” Ruffin said. “You could be playing up the street, but you still have to pack everything and put it on the bus.”

The stadium hasn’t been completed yet but the excitement around the new field is already building around campus, said EWC athletic director Paul Bryant.

“Just as a student body they like to see some excitement and now with the football field we are generating that excitement,” he said.

Like many other teams around the country the Tigers football program has not had a chance to work out together in months because of COVID-19. Ruffin says he doesn’t expect to able to have his players together before August.

“We will know here in the next three or four days what our target date is but they are working on the COVID response in terms of what do we do how do we do it and how many days do we do it,” Ruffin said.

Once the field is completed it will be the home to more than just the EWC football team. The newly created women’s soccer team will call the facility home and it has room for more athletic expansion in the future.

About the Author:

Jamal St. Cyr is an award-winning sports anchor who joined the News4Jax sports team in 2019.