The Big 12 South is known across the country as an extremely competitive football conference. It is also known as a league that has made a total commitment to its football programs when it comes to facilities.
On our spring tour to Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech, we saw some of the best academic and football facilities in the nation. All three have great game day facilities featuring top notch stadiums, but what really is impressive is each school's individual football complex that the coaches and players use daily. While Texas' facilities are well-known throughout the country, A&M and Tech recently moved into new facilities which deserve a second look.
A Bright Future At A&M
Texas A&M recently moved in to the Bright Football Complex, a $27 million, 125,000 square foot facility that is as impressive as any in the country. It is a three-story structure that sits in the south end zone of Kyle Field and also provides easy access to the practice fields.
The building not only looks great, but provides one-stop shopping for the players. Coach Dennis Franchione says it has produced the "wow factor" for recruits, meaning players and parents are impressed when they see it.
Highlights of the Bright Football Complex
Vicky and Terry Klein Locker Room.
A plush 6,500 square foot locker room with 134 individual wooden lockers. It's fully carpeted with televisions throughout. Terry Klein is a 1978 grad who was a football student manager at A&M. He is now vice president of advanced systems for Dell, Inc., and donated $1 million.
5,000 square foot players lounge.
Players love the area. It has pool tables, video games and big screen televisions. This room was made possible by the donations of former players.
28,000 square foot academic area.
As important as any other part of the facility and something parents are always impressed with. It can accommodate 600 students at one time.
State of the art training and rehab room.
It's 15,000 square feet and features the latest equipment.
Head and assistant coaches offices.
Team and position meeting rooms.
Faye and Bud Hagner Auditorium.
Seats over 250 in amphitheater setting.
All digital video.
Twenty-eight coaching stations to review tape.
Tech Steps Up
Texas Tech has also made a strong commitment to upgrading its overall facilities. They are now competitive with any school in the country when it comes to facilities.
The Red Raiders just moved into their new complex which sits across from Jones Stadium and backs up to their practice field. The new building cost $11 million and provides a very functional atmosphere.
Highlights of Tech's renovations:
State of the art training facility and rehab area.
Offices for coaches.
Meeting rooms for team and individual positions.
Jones SBC Stadium
Tech spent $84 million dollars to renovate Jones SBC Stadium providing a new press box and suites. The press box is five levels and includes:
47 luxury suites.
1,000 indoor-outdoor club seats.
108 seat press box.
State of the art technology for broadcasts.
An Investment In The Future
Great facilities are essential in developing elite athletes and these buildings provide every modern amenity for Texas A&M and Texas Tech. The Bright Football Center and the renovations to Jones SBC Stadium can only help A&M and Tech in the future both on and off the field.
Bob Davie is an analyst for ESPN and his Football 101 is a weekly feature on ESPN.com during the season. Send in your Football 101 questions for Coach Davie to answer.