Hi, I’m Mary Caltrider and welcome to
Boiler Bytes – an up-close look at what’s happening at Purdue. We begin our show
with a peek inside Purdue athletics’ state-of-the-art Football Performance
Complex. This massive 3-level structure first opened in August 2017.
Sprawling more than 100,000 sq ft, you have to see it to
believe it. The glitz, the glamour of it. It’s one of those projects where you to dream big and the dream comes true. The scale and the size of it is much bigger than
what we walked out off at the old Mollenkopf (facility). It is a spacious, spacious facility –
devoted 100% to football and the sheer size is almost mind-boggling. NEWSREEL: In April Purdue broke ground on a new football performance complex. Football alum and Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees
joined Purdue dignitaries at the event. It was built in about 18 months which is
almost unheard of. $65 million was the the price tag – privately financed.
The team moved in 2017 and this provides that, you know, one central location where
if you’re football player at Purdue you know you can hang out. The administration was so
gracious in saying, “this is what you guys are going to be moving into, tell us
exactly what you want.” We had input on everything. A couple things that stood out early on were the need for a locker room – a bigger locker room. A locker room that was enough for 110 players, where everyone could see the head coach. And
certainly a new state-of-the-art weight room, and that was an area that the new
strength coaches, Justin Lovett and his crew, were able to tweak and finalize and
suit to their needs which was awesome. We wanted something that our players could come back to in 20 years and and say, “Wow this is awesome!” You might have to
replace a couple things, but it’s not gimmick, it’s not slogan driven, it’s not
fad. Right now they can go from the locker room, they get their treatments in a
Sports Medicine area, then go lift weights. Or they can lift weights, get
post-workout treatment, and then go back to the locker room…all on the same floor!
Coaches’ offices are in the same building. Team Meeting rooms are in the same building. We see our trainers a lot more. We see our players on both sides of Performance
Enhancement and Sports Medicine. We can go get them in a Meeting
Room if they don’t have their water bottle. We don’t have to change buildings or go
hunt for players. They’re right there! So that couldn’t be better. That was well
designed and well thought out. But as we talked about earlier,
just the fact that everything’s in one building now. And although it’s a huge
building and they do have to ride an elevator or take a stair to get from
here to there, it is all centrally located. One of the goals was to have the
student-athletes, when they got there, to want to be there, and want to study film
there, and want to spend time with their teammates. They have little places to go
and little hiding spots where they can do their homework and be uninterrupted. So it’s a good flow to the building – it’s a good space that’s utilized upstairs and
downstairs. It’s right in the middle of the “Football Complex” if you will. You’ve
got the Mollenkopf center which is where we have our Indoor Practice Field just to
the south. And then the 200-yard outdoor practice fields are right to the north.
It’s all in one spot and that was what we didn’t have before. They get dressed
for practice and they’re right there! Everything’s black and gold here. So the
weight room’s black. Whatever is gold is gonna go on a wall, in terms of the
trophies that we win and bring home from bowl games and eventually Championships.
The lobby is the one area that’s open to the public. A great kind of
history of Purdue Football. Fans, whether they’re here for a game or any other day
of the year, the building is open. That Lobby is accessible and it’s kind of
neat trip down memory lane. It’s got its own ambience and
character. So it’s definitely a lasting first impression with recruits and
that’s been a noticeable thing to us. We feel we’re the top of the top of the
heap now. Everything is just so much bigger and better than they had before.
Wasn’t bad before but it’s off the charts now and I’ll put ours certainly
up with anybody’s in the country. And I think Justin in Strength & Conditioning would
agree with that. I know the players talked about it,
can’t believe they still get to workout in this place. When they walk into that
locker room, looking around with the TV, walk in the weight room with the
technology, and the size of the place. This room is built for us to grow into.
So we have some work to do to press the big weights. And we have 200 pound
dumbbells and we’re pulling them and rolling them and shrugging them but we’re not
pressing as much yet but that’s gonna come in time. So this room and this
facility, upstairs and downstairs, is built to grow. Purdue athletics officials say that the
Football Complex has not only made a strong impression on visiting recruits,
it’s also greatly enhanced the lives of Purdue student-athletes – especially for
time management. With so many first-class amenities, all under the same roof,
players and coaches don’t have to trek across campus anymore. That’ll wrap up
this edition of Boiler Bytes. Remember that you can catch up on all our past
stories at boilerbytes.com. See you next time.