It’s a word that doesn’t cross a whole lot of minds as their team is fighting for a win each Saturday. It’s a fact that people don’t take into consideration when talking about whether or not their coach is getting the job done in the W/L columns throughout the season. It’s a big factor though, when taking into account which school you’re going to attend for 4 or 5 years while playing football as a teenager. It’s something the Washington State Cougars are finally going to be able to boast, Facilities.
The Board of Regents has approved the new football operations building yesterday, yet another step in the rebirth of quality kids coming to Pullman to play their college football, and thus the rebirth of true, winning Cougar football. The city used to be a draw for kids because of the coach (Mike Price), the competitiveness of the team, its’ quaint location and family atmosphere. But when the coach left and the competitive stopped, the other stuff didn’t matter as much. Then, everyone else in the Pac-12 started renewing their buildings, adding sweet amenities, awesome scoreboards, cool places to work out and better seats to watch from. Washington State got left behind for about a decade, and as you might have noticed, so did the football program.
All that is changing now. Now that we’ve hired a top flight coach, Regents’ approval of the new press box we currently enjoy, along with this new ops building, to be finished in June of 2014, will allow us to sell kids on all the good stuff that other schools are offering around the conference, and quite realistically, around college football. Mike Leach and his coaches can now boast one of the most unique workout and study settings in the Pac-12, and that’s huge because that’s going to be true for each and every school in the Pac-12 as of 2014.
We’ll delve into this a little more after the season, but this is a significant step in getting terrific athletes that love that kind of stuff and are on the fence about a small town school vs a big city school. The building itself will boast an upgraded locker room (both home and visitors), a dedicated weight room, coaches offices and house the Washington State University Hall of Fame. Not to mention it will be right on top of the football field! That’s huge in generating excitement in your program, and ultimately wins, bowls and championship-competitive teams on the field.
Bowls mean even more money into the entire athletic dept., so even if you’re a sole fan of basketball, soccer or baseball, you can really appreciate this move because the revenue generated by the team succeeding on the football field will help WSU to also update the facilities for your sport in the ways that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. For more on that exciting thought, CougCenter’s Michael Preston had this to say about what is possible for other teams:
Assuming the football team follows through on its end of the bargain, other teams will benefit from their success. The increased revenue could help a soccer team thats been to the NCAA Tournament four times in the last five years improve their facility. Some lights, better halftime accommodations, improved benches and media area and perhaps some longer grandstands would all be welcome changes to one of the most unique settings in college soccer. There have also been rumblings the athletic department would be interested in remodeling Beasley Coliseum. It was originally built in 1973 and is showing its age. A couple of coats of paint have helped but the building could still use a big overhaul.”
For now let’s just celebrate the approval and look forward to Cougar Football Saturday’s with a top stadium with world class facilities.