JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With more than 20 seasons of success on and off the field, the Jacksonville University football team is always on the lookout for new opportunities to enhance the program's experience for both student-athletes and fans of the program. With the launch of the Gridiron Club, the team renews its commitment to both parties, and looks to further engagement within the JU football community.
By pairing program improvements with membership benefits, the Gridiron Club is designed to enhance the game day experience for friends, family, alumni, and supporters of the team, who strive for student-athletes to excel on the field of play. Each giving level allows a donor to put their name on a specific contribution, while receiving exclusive team benefits and experiences.
Head Coach Ian Shields is excited about the potential impact the club could have on both the program and the relationship between JU and its supporters.
"JU football has a great tradition that has grown from its humble beginnings in the 1990's, to the Pioneer Football League contenders we are today," Shields said. "We always strive to maintain a high quality of excellence on and off the field, as one of the country's most unique football programs. With your help, we can continue to grow and take our program to the next level."
Founded in 1998, the Jacksonville Football program has accounted for over 100 wins, a 68 percent conference winning percentage and five Pioneer Football League Championships. The program has produced 32 All-Americans and has seen six alumni advance to the professional ranks.
Under the guidance of Shields, who wrapped up his second season with the team last fall, the squad increased its win total from 5-5 to 7-4, garnering a third place finish in the PFL last season. Five Dolphins were selected for PFL weekly awards, while QB Rylan Wells and LB Trevor Tufano were honored with STATS FCS player of the week mentions, marking the first time in program history that players have been named by the organization on offense or defense.
The team shattered three single-season records during the 2017 campaign, setting new marks in rushing offense, attempts and touchdowns. Fourteen players received All-PFL honors following the season, with a pair selected for the All-Academic Team.
Jacksonville recently announced its 2018 football schedule, which includes six home games, and a season-opener at home for the first time since 2006.
To become a member of the Gridiron Club, visit ju.edu/give/gridironclub/ or call (904) 256-7553.