Texas Wesleyan University Football Head Coach Joe Prud’homme has a dream of bringing his team to a few National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics playoff games this season. 

He hopes to play for a national championship, he said. 

But, instead of potentially hosting a few playoff games, and maybe that championship, on the Texas Wesleyan campus, Prud’homme said the dream would culminate on the field of the year old Crowley ISD Multi-Purpose Stadium during a press conference on Aug. 22.

Texas Wesleyan’s new stadium is still under construction, and despite optimism at the beginning of the project that the field would be completed before the season began, Texas Wesleyan is partnering with Crowley ISD to play 2023 and 2024 home games in the new stadium.

Since Wesleyan revived its football program in 2016, the team has played at the aging Fort Worth ISD Farrington Field. 

Coach Prud’homme, who spoke at the conference alongside other Texas Wesleyan administrators, like President Emily Messler, said his players now have something to look forward to. 

“I mean, look at this place,” Prud’homme said to a room full of Wesleyan alum, a few football players and Crowley ISD school board members. “I’ve had some guys come in that played at [NCAA] Division 1 programs and they look at it and go, ‘This is better than where I was.’” 

The facility is located off of Interstate 35 in Fort Worth and seats more than 8,000 fans. The stadium also holds one of the largest high school video boards in the country, according to Crowley ISD communications director Anthony Kircher.

Crowley ISD, and its Superintendent Michael McFarland, bragged about the many opportunities this partnership opens up for the district.

Benefits include additional revenue and sponsorship opportunities for the school district, along with free entrance to Wesleyan football games for students and staff. Employment opportunities will also be open for community members and district staff to work the games.

“This all ensures that our kids have excellence in everything that they do,” McFarland said. “Look around, and this facility and these opportunities are excellent.” 

Texas Wesleyan President Emily Messler, who came from Alabama and took over the position in July, said that she is a proud football fan. 

Leaving Jacksonville State University, which owns a D1 football program, Messler said she’s incredibly impressed with the district’s facilities.

“Great, great job to Crowley ISD on the good work of the stadium and thank you for allowing us to partner with you,” Messler said. “We’re anticipating an outstanding gameday experience and that’s contributed to the partnership we have going forward.”

Last season, Texas Wesleyan finished with a 9-2 record. This year, they head into the season with high expectations and a NAIA national ranking of #21. 

The team’s season begins at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26, at Crowley ISD Multi-Purpose Stadium with a scrimmage against John Melvin University.

“I’ll tell you what,” Prud’homme said, “dreams are about to become a reality.”

Matthew Sgroi is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at matthew.sgroi@fortworthreport.org. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Matthew Sgroi is the 2022-23 Fort Worth Report multimedia fellow. He can be reached at matthew.sgroi@fortworthreport.com or (503)-828-4063. Sgroi is a current senior at Texas Christian University, majoring...