Not all SEC weight rooms are created equal
The Crimson Tide made headlines when it spent more than $9 million on a new weight room, but other SEC schools are spending just as much if not more.
Strength and conditioning coaches and team nutritionists are becoming increasingly important in college football, and the weight-training facilities demonstrate that growing importance.
Here’s a look inside the SEC’s weight training facilities.
Alabama Strength and Conditioning Facility
Size: 37,000 square feet
After national title No. 15, Alabama rewarded strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran with a state-of-the-art facility. The new Tide weight room serves as the link between the Mal Moore Athletic Facility and the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility. It features two levels with cardio machines, medicine balls and doctors’ offices and Cochran’s office up top. Downstairs is a nutrition bar, weight-training machines and access to the practice field. Part of the upgrade was the addition of 20 combination racks so the players can do multiple exercises in one place. This facility is open to all varsity sport athletes instead of just the football team.
Image courtesy of rolltide.com
Fred W. Smith Football Center
Size: 80,000 square feet for entire facility
Cost: $40,350,000 for entire facility
The Hogs’ new football facility includes more than just a snazzy new strength and conditioning area. It also contains coaches’ offices, meeting rooms, a players’ lounge, a study area, a recruiting reception area and a locker room with very spacious lockers.
— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) July 20, 2013
James T. Tatum, Jr. Strength and Conditioning Center
Size: Approximately 15,000 square feet
As far as we know, Auburn’s weight-training facility was the least expensive in the SEC. It was “renovated” by Sorinex in 2012, but the cost was not released. The Tigers’ weight room is two stories, and it includes a turf area in the middle of the room. It also houses conditioning coaches’ offices, and it is connected to the indoor practice facility that was built in 2011 to share with the track and field, soccer, baseball and softball teams. The second floor contains cardio machines, medicine balls, some aerobic equipment and an open exercise area. Auburn athletics is pushing for a new football-only complex.
Griffin-Oakley Strength and Conditioning Complex
Size: Approximately 25,000 square feet
Cost: $28,000,000 for entire facility
The Heavener Complex — which houses the Griffin-Oakley Complex — cost $28 million, but it was built to be green and save money in the long run. The floors are made of recycled rubber, and there are palms on the roof to serve as energy-saving insulation. In 2012, the University of Florida received a green-building rating of platinum for the building. Aside from the weight room, the complex also houses some conference rooms, a trophy display and Athletics Department offices.
Butts-Mehre Weight Room
Built: 1987 (Renovated/Expanded in 1997 and again in 2011)
Size: 12,000 square feet
Cost: $12,000,000 for entire facility ($40,000,000 for the most recent renovation to entire facility)
The Bulldogs’ weight room isn’t quite big enough for the entire team, but the Georgia coaching staff handles that with ease by having the players train at three different times during the day. There is also a supplement station for players to get smoothies specifically tailored to their individual needs after their workouts.
E.J. Nutter Training Facility
Size: 9,000 square feet (48,000 square feet for entire facility)
Cost: $5,700,000 for entire facility
E.J. Nutter Training Facility, also known as the Nutter Center, is one of three different weight rooms at the University of Kentucky. Wildcats football shares the Nutter Center with the baseball and rifle teams, as well as the track throwers. Kentucky is currently in the process of building a $45 million, 98,000-square-foot football facility with strength and conditioning areas, dining facilities, nutrition, health care and massage therapy services, a smoothie bar, two pools, a barber shop, a locker room, a players’ lounge and a gaming room. The new facility is expected to be finished this summer.
Artist’s rendering courtesy of UK Athletics
Football Operations Center
Size: Approximately 10,000 square feet for weight room only
Cost: $15,000,000 for entire facility
LSU’s Football Operations Center contains two weight rooms, but the football locker room arguably has the best view as it overlooks the practice field. The center also houses a team room, position rooms, AV facilities, a locker room, a players’ lounge, training and equipment rooms and coaches’ offices. Like many other schools, LSU wants to add a nutrition and dining facility. The Tigers are currently renovating the weight room to provide better access for multiple teams. The renovation will add about 5,000 square feet to the weight room, and it will include the addition of a second-floor mezzanine with windows overlooking the driveway into the facility. The team’s locker room will also be renovated, and the training room and meeting rooms will be expanded.
Jim and Julie Rouse Strength and Conditioning Center
Size: Approximately 12,000 square feet
Cost: $20,000,000 to $25,000,000 for entire facility
The Bulldogs’ Jim and Julie Rouse Strength and Conditioning Center is part of the Leo Seal Jr. Football Complex. The complex also includes a locker room, a training room and coaches’ offices.
Image courtesy of hailstate.com
Yeckel Training Center
Size: Approximately 13,000 square feet
Cost: $16,000,000 for entire facility
The Yeckel Training Center is part of the Mizzou Athletics Training Complex, and it includes a Sports Nutrition Oasis for players to receiver proper nutrition and hydration before and after their workouts. The Tigers are currently planning a new facility, which is expected to include football offices, a weight room, a training room and a locker room.
Image courtesy of mutigers.com
Van Devender Family Foundation Locker Room
Built: 2004 (renovated in 2014)
Size: 150,000 square feet for entire facility
Cost: $18,000,000 for entire facility ($12,500,000 for recent renovations)
The Rebels’ weight room is located in the larger facility named after Archie and Olivia Manning. Originally built in 2004, the existing weight room was expanded by 2,000 square feet on the east side of the Manning Center. The west side of the Manning Center was also renovated to improve the locker room and add new players’ lounges.
Charles F. Crews Football Facility
Built: 1934 (Renovated in 2009)
Little is known about the Gamecocks weight room, which, like Auburn’s, was renovated by Sorinex. The Charles F. Crews Football Facility is a part of Williams-Brice Stadium.
Image courtesy of gamecocksonline.com
Anderson Training Center
Size: 145,000 square feet for entire facility
Cost: $45,000,000 for entire facility
The Anderson Training Center is the home of the Vols’ 22,000 square foot, two-level weight room. The weight room has a nutrition bar for players to visit after their workout. The Anderson Training Center also includes a team room, position rooms, a training room, a hydrotherapy area, coaches’ offices, a players’ lounge, the locker room, a dining hall and a football Hall of Fame. The center serves a the go-between for the Brenda Lawson Athletic Center and the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center. It also provides players access to the indoor football field and the two outdoor football practice fields. Last year, for the team’s “Night Lift,” the weight room was turned into a dance club, complete with neon lights and a DJ.
Davis Player Development Center
Size: 19,000 square feet
Texas A&M is home to one of the most advanced weight-training facilities in college football. The Davis Player Development Center is next to Bright Football Complex, which houses the locker room, training rooms, meeting rooms and coaches’ offices. At the time of completion, the Davis Player Development Center was the largest football only weight-training facility in the SEC.
Image courtesy of 12thman.com
Vanderbilt Football Weight Room
Size: 8,000 square feet
Vandy’s football weight room is one of the two weight rooms located in the McGugin Center. The other is the Olympic Sport Weight Room/ The McGugin Center, which is across the street from Vanderbilt Stadium, also houses the Stratton Foster Academic Center, the ticket office, a training room, team locker rooms, the Hendrix Room Dining Facility, and athletic administration offices. The center was built in 1969, and the weight room was part of the 1989 expansion. Various parts of the McGugin Center were again renovated in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Image courtesy of vucommodores.com