(no pets allowed at all facilities)
Ornelas Stadium has provided East Texas Baptist University with a top-flight game-day facility for football since the Tigers' program was resurrected in time for the 2000 season after a 50-year absence.
When ETBU decided to bring back its football program in 1998, an on-campus stadium seemed only to be a distant dream -- certainly a dream when considering it would be just over two years before the Tigers were ready to field a team. The site of what would become Ornelas Stadium was a hilly, wooded area just behind Carlile-Howell Hall, which served as home to ETBU's maintenance and public relations departments.
The Ornelas family of Tyler provided a gift that kick-started the stadium construction late in 1999, and the stadium was literally carved from the East Texas earth in less than a year. It wasn't quite ready for the Tigers' first scheduled home game against McMurry in early September, but by the time the second home game came around -- against Austin College on Oct. 7, 2000 -- Ornelas Stadium was ready to become the home of the Tigers.
The stadium hosted only day games until the 2009 season, when lights were added to the facility to provide ETBU the option of scheduling night games. The facility remains one of the shining landmarks on the northern end of the campus, with Cornish Field for soccer just to the north of the stadium and Taylor Field for softball located just across Van Zandt Street to the south.
The stadium grandstand has a capacity of 3,000, with general admission and standing-room only available on two sloped hillsides on either side of the grandstand.
To the east of the stadium, the Tigers' practice facility includes two fields located between Ornelas Stadium and a man-made lake. The entire facility -- practice field, lake and stadium -- nearly spands the entire northern end of the main campus. The stadium lights are also built to provide light to the practice field, which allows the team to undergo night-time or early morning practices to provide maximum class time when needed.
An addition to the stadium for 2011 is a 6,000-square foot new weight room facility being constructed at the southwest corner of the stadium. The Tiger Football Strength Training Center will include additional weight room and workout areas as well as a new locker room more easily accessible to the field for visitors.
Carlile-Howell Field House
As part of the project that included the construction of Ornelas Stadium, the former Carlile-Howell Hall was renovated to become ETBU’s football fieldhouse. The facility includes offices, a meeting/conference area for coaches, two locker rooms, an equipment room, a training room and a weight room.
The renovation of the fieldhouse took first priority over the construction of Ornelas Stadium, actually, during plans for both to be ready in time for the 2000 football season. The result of the fieldhouse project includes a large foyer area which serves as a welcoming place for Tiger fans. There are two large offices for assistant coaches -- one for offense, one for defense -- as well as an office for the program’s recruiting coordinator. The defensive coordinator also has a private office.
The main football office is located just inside the front door of the facility, and it is connected to a head coach’s office/suite. The coaches also have a private locker room in the facility as well.
Tiger coaches conduct game-planning sessions and meetings inside a large conference room just off the main foyer. On the other side of the foyer is a weight room that has undergone a major renovation the last two years, with new equipment and a sound system installed. The Tigers dress in a large locker room facility on the east side of the building, while visitors have a separate dressing room on the west side.
The construction of the Tiger Football Strength Training Center on the southwest corner of Ornelas Stadium allows for the conversion of the existing weight room in the Carlile-Howell Building into a desperately needed Academic Study Lab and team meeting space.
ETBU’s athletic training department has a large training room just inside the west entrance to the building, which includes an office for the athletic trainer.
The north end of the building contains a large equipment/storage room, which also includes washer and dryer units. The facility has convenient access to both the stadium and practice fields, which are located behind the building. The practice fields are located to the east of Ornelas Stadium, sandwiched between the stadium and a man-made lake that was also part of the original construction project. etbu strength center july 25
Tiger Strength Training Center
The Tiger Football Strength Training Center, (S.T.C.), is a 6000-square foot facility that will resolve several needs facing the growing football program. The S.T.C. provides more strength training space, a visitor’s locker room, allows for the conversion of the current strength training facility into a much needed academic study lab.
Construction for the Tiger S.T.C. began in the spring of 2011, scheduled for completion early in the fall of 2011. The new weight room is three times as large as the existing one in Carlile-Howell, and the addition of a visitor's locker room in the facility next to the entrance to Ornelas Stadium not only allows easier access to the visitor's sideline for opponents, but also will provide the Tigers with more locker space and the ability to bring in larger freshmen classes in the future.
The addition of the S.T.C. also allows for the conversion of the current weight training facility into an Academic Study Lab and team meeting space.Under the program’s policy for required study lab time, all first semester student-athletes are obligated to two hours per week. This, along with susequent requirements for returning students based upon GPA, creates quite a large group. This renovation will provide ample space, an ideal setting for supervision and the start up for the technology has been acquired through a generous donation.