The two-story facility will house the UWG athletic administration and support staff, including all of the coaches’ offices for the football and several other sports, along with meeting and film rooms on the second floor. The jewel of the building rests on the ground floor, however, where a 7,000-square foot weight room looks out onto University Stadium and a 3,000-square foot locker room and 3,000-square foot training room fill out the rest of the first-floor athletic amenities.
The opening of the facility is something the athletic department and football program have been waiting on during the past few years as the budget allowed. And while there are still a few minor touches being finalized, the quality of the overall product is something everyone at UWG is especially proud of and thankful for on the eve of the 2012-13 athletic year.
The facility would more than hold its own against any Division II school and probably its fair share of Division I programs, something the West Georgia players echoed on Thursday following their first practice of the fall, which also marked the first practices the Wolves have held on the fields at the UWG Athletic Complex.
“This is probably the best facility I’ve ever been at. I’ve been to a couple of Division I visits when I was in high school, and this is a very good facility. It makes you feel proud of where we’ve come from, proud to be at West Georgia and it just makes you want to work that much harder,” noted UWG senior cornerback Kelly Dawsey.
“We’ve got 10 70-inch TVs in the weight room, we’ve got complete new stations and platforms. We’re going to lift hard and we don’t have to run up the field at the practice fields no more. It’s good.”
Junior offensive lineman Brandon White said he was blown back the first time he saw the AOB in its completion, especially the ground floor.
“This facility is unreal. It’s top-of-the-line — for even a Division I program — and by far one of the best facilities in Division II. To finally have it all culminate and just to get dressed in here and workout in here, it’s really special for us,” White said.
West Georgia Athletic Director and head football coach Daryl Dickey said it’s been a long time coming, but it was well worth the wait.
“I told the team [Wednesday] night in our first team meeting that we had that this is a proud moment for our university, for our football program and for our community to finally be in this building. A lot of thanks goes to our university administration for providing this for us and we’re really, really excited about it and look forward to being out here,” Dickey said.
Dawsey said the AOB, coupled with University Stadium, will serve as a recruiting gem for years to come for the West Georgia football program — and the senior leader added that he and his teammates plan on putting a winning product in it immediately.
“We took a huge step with that. Coach Dickey said the other day that we don’t know how good we had it and now that we have this, we know how good we have it. It’s going to be hard to lose a recruit if they come see our facilities — including with our wins that are coming up this year,” Dawsey said.