Back to the Nest

courtesy of TAMU-T
courtesy of TAMU-T

Back to the Nest

They say there’s no place like home. But for several of the Texas A&M University-Texarkana athletic teams, “home” has been a somewhat relative term. The Eagles tennis, baseball, and softball teams have held their home competitions at other venues across Texarkana, which by default lack much of the excitement and energy of the game day experience on a college campus. The facilities are well-kept and taken care of and have provided a much-needed home location during the early years of the athletic program. However, they were not designed with many of the amenities needed by intercollegiate athletic programs. That is now about to change, as the university has recently unveiled the plans for its new Red River Credit Union (RRCU) Athletic Complex to be constructed on the A&M-Texarkana campus.

Officially unveiled at a ceremony in February, the new RRCU Athletic complex will feature home fields for baseball and softball, as well as both indoor and outdoor courts for the university tennis teams. The facility will also be home to the university beach volleyball teams, which are scheduled to begin competing in the fall of 2024. The new complex will also feature pickleball courts, a hospitality and community engagement suite, a sports performance center, and other amenities.

Having the new complex on campus will also mean that the facility has cutting-edge technology installed from an infrastructure standpoint. In this era of college athletics, athletes want to know friends and family back home will see their games. Many of the Eagle athletes come from across the country and around the world, and their families expect to watch games online. The lack of high-speed internet service at some of the current venues makes live streaming a game virtually impossible, and even keeping up with live statistics is a challenge. “Having the RRCU Athletic Complex on campus will give those venues access to state-of-the-art technology,” said Jayson Ferguson, who works in the university’s Information Technology Department. “We’ll have the ability to do everything we need to do with regards to streaming and live statistics.”

“We are thrilled to add the RRCU Athletic Complex to our beautiful campus,” said Dr. Ross Alexander, President of Texas A&M University-Texarkana. “This state-of-the-art new facility will have a tremendous impact on our athletic teams, the university community, and the greater Texarkana area. This facility will enable our teams to attract and recruit elite student-athletes, and it will enhance the overall student experience. We are extremely thankful for Red River Credit Union and their continued support of the university and the greater Texarkana region.”

“Red River Credit Union making an investment in the naming rights of the RRCU Athletic Complex was two-fold,” said Brad Bailey, President of Red River Credit Union. “First, we understood the importance of a great sports program and the success of a university go hand in hand, especially in a smaller community such as Texarkana. Having worked for a large university in a prior career, I saw first-hand when the sports programs did well, enrollment did well since students feel pride in their university’s sports teams. The other reason is the discount our members will receive if they decide to enroll with TAMUT. This gives our members an excellent opportunity to start a degree or possibly finish one and save money at the same time. Giving back to our community through supporting TAMUT while helping our members is a complete win-win for RRCU.”

You can feel the excitement on the A&M-Texarkana campus, as the entire university community looks forward to bringing these home fields to what many students have dubbed “the nest.” The student sections at Eagles volleyball and basketball games are some of the loudest and rowdiest in the conference, and that is expected to carry over to the fields and courts of the new complex as well, giving all Eagles a true home field advantage for the first time.

Head baseball coach Steve Jones says the new facilities will be a “game changer” for the Eagles. “The City of Texarkana has been so good to us, allowing us to use George Dobson Field for the past nine years,” Jones said. “But it’s still not home. The new venue will have a huge impact on our current players, giving them a place on campus to hang their hat and eliminating the need to travel across town daily. Recruiting will be greatly enhanced by having a new facility with artificial turf and state-of-the-art locker rooms right on campus. I’m so impressed by and thankful for the work put in by President Alexander, Director of Athletics Michael Galvan, and the many others who have made this possible,” Jones added.

“The RRCU Athletic Complex will add yet another layer to the student experience on our campus,” said Director of Athletics Michael Galvan. “Bringing our baseball, softball, and tennis athletes and their families onto campus will create a synergy among multiple stakeholders,” he added.

Baseball player TJ Hughes, a freshman infielder from Lynbrook, New York, commented, “We’re all super excited to have baseball brought on campus with the new facilities. This will definitely help the program gain more support from other students and the community. It will also be a big upgrade for us to play on turf and not have to drive across town to play and practice.”

Former Eagles baseball player and current assistant coach Jack Skinner agreed, saying the new facility will help the players feel more connected to the university. And while he will always cherish the memories of playing at “The Dob” with his teammates, he’s excited to see the Eagles compete at their new home field.

Eagles tennis coach Jim Turley expressed his gratitude as well, saying, “we are so thankful to have the opportunity to practice and play matches on our campus. This new facility will help us to recruit the best players from all over the world. The indoor courts will now allow us to draw better teams to Texarkana to compete, as we will now be able to play, no matter what the weather may be.”

The Eagles tennis team currently uses the Texarkana College tennis courts as home Jaelee Young, a sophomore member of the women’s tennis team from Dallas said, “Our TAMU-T tennis team is extremely excited to be given the opportunity to have tennis courts at home because there are so many advantages that this new facility will bring us for years to come. Not only will it give us close and easy access for playing and practicing, but it will also bring the ability to play in any type of weather with the addition of our indoor courts. But most importantly, we get to play home matches with the support of the other TAMUT students on campus! It will give us a chance to showcase our love of the sport to other students and staff.”

Alexis Snyder, a freshman softball pitcher from Texarkana, Texas, is excited about the facility as well. “The new complex is going to be great for A&M Texarkana, and I can’t wait to see it,” said Snyder. “It is going to provide us so much as a team in all aspects of the softball experience. It will make it super easy for us to get extra work in with it being on campus, in addition to having locker rooms to keep our equipment, gear, and clothes. The fans are going to enjoy the layout and a relaxed environment to watch Eagles sporting events. It will also give the opportunity for more fan and student support. This new complex will help recruiting immensely… it will give us something we’re proud of to show recruits when they come visit. They are going to fall in love with the new complex and the nice facilities. I can’t wait for the finished product and to get to play there. It will be a whole new experience for everyone involved in the best way possible!”

The Texas A&M University-Texarkana athletic department currently participates in 11 sports at the varsity level, including men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, baseball, softball, and volleyball. The department is now preparing for an unprecedented expansion planned over the next two years, which will nearly double the number of varsity sports on campus. “We’re seeing a lot of excitement about the nine new programs coming to the department,” said Galvan. “This will double the number of student athletes on campus, which will help increase enrollment and support the success and growth of the university as a whole.”

Competitive cheer, competitive dance, Esports, and beach volleyball will make their debut in the fall of 2024. The following year will see men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s lacrosse, and bowling teams compete.

There are several sponsorship and naming opportunities remaining in the new RRCU Athletic Complex. Interested parties should contact LeAnne Wright, Vice President for University Advancement, at 903-223.3078 or


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