Aug. 4, 2010
It's no secret that Southern Miss has made great strides in its athletic program over the past several years, particularly in the area of facility expansions and upgrades. Still, some of our fans may not realize how important their contributions are to making these improvements a reality.
In 2003, our athletic department unveiled a new vision to put our university's athletic program at the forefront of Conference USA and Division I sports. This included a rapid expansion of our facilities on a scale never before seen in school history.
Over the past seven years, Southern Miss athletic facilities underwent a massive $67 million transformation, and today are among the best in the nation. Only one other C-USA school has spent more on upgrades during this period, and the quality and design of our facilities are among the best in college athletics.
Among the most notable improvements have been at Carlisle and Faulkner Field and MM Roberts Stadium (The Rock) where field surface upgrades, endzone expansion project, new field house and scoreboard improvements have been completed. Reed Green Coliseum underwent renovations which include new environmental control systems, men and women player locker rooms, parking area upgrades and coaches offices. Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field received 12 new luxury suites and a new press box. The Rogers, Thames and Welch Baseball Center is a 6,000 square foot facility that also houses a training room, player lounge, equipment storage, laundry facilities and coaches offices.
The Southern Miss softball complex was upgraded with a new grandstand, press box, team locker rooms and other new facilities including an indoor hitting facility and batting cages. Our new twelve-court tennis complex just west of campus was completed and hopefully we will add lights and a club house in the coming years.
I cannot overestimate the importance of our facilities to coaches who recruit student-athletes. The improvements we have made over the past decade are a clear signal to recruits that we have the tools they need to be successful. As Brett Favre noted recently during a visit, Southern Miss continues to grow and offers athletes great opportunities. "The facilities at Southern Miss are as nice as anywhere in the country and easily compare to anything I have seen," Brett said. "I used to think the facilities we had at Lambeau Field were the best I had seen, but the facilities here - although not as large - are just as nice."
Our work is not finished, but none of these improvements would be possible without the support of fans, alumni and supporters. Your support is the life blood of our program, and we encourage all fans to stay involved and excited about Southern Miss athletics!