March 18, 2011
Lamar University will unveil its brand new athletic complex to the public on Sunday, April 3 from 2 to 5 p.m. giving Lamar Cardinal fans an unprecedented opportunity for a behind-the-scenes look at the state-of-the-art facility. Combined, the stadium and complex represent a $28 million investment that accompanied the return of football to Lamar.
Members of the Lamar Ambassadors will conduct the tours. University and athletics department officials also will welcome the public at the event and provide in-depth information about the specialized areas of this magnificent facility.
The complex is "definitely the best in the Southland Conference - easily on par with what you would expect to see at the University of Houston or Rice," said Jason Henderson, associate athletics director. "Lamar officials made every effort to ensure that this is a first-class facility."
The 54,000-square-foot athletic complex lies at the south end of Provost Umphrey Stadium. Instead of going to several different places on campus, the complex has everything student athletes need. The locker rooms, weight training and academic centers are all in one area, which greatly benefits members of all Lamar University athletics teams.
"It has given them a real true home," Henderson said. "They have a one-stop shop to do everything they need to do to be successful both on the field and in the classroom."
Although the football team primarily occupies the complex during football season, all Lamar athletics teams use the complex. From cross country to baseball, all athletics teams use the weight room and the sports medicine facility for rehabilitation.
The complex includes a remarkable sports medicine facility for treating and preventing injuries. The Beaumont Bone and Joint Sports Medicine Facility has the latest in rehabilitative equipment technology including a hydrotherapy room with a large cold whirlpool and an underwater treadmill. With an underwater treadmill, the water displaces the athlete's weight and reduces the pounding on joints that would occur in a normal exercise routine. The facility also includes stimulation units for treating sore muscles and machines to rehabilitate arm and leg injuries. The athletes are able to recover from injuries faster because of these specialized training tools.
The J.B. Higgins Weight Room includes new weights and up-to-date equipment. The 8,000-square-foot weight room allows teams to complete weight training more quickly. Coaches can get the entire football team in and out of the weight room in about two hours.
Lamar University pride prevails throughout the complex with cardinal logos on almost everything from the floors, carpet, and walls to furniture and weight equipment. Head Football Coach Ray Woodard occupies the Richard and Cathy Price Head Coach's Office, which is part of the Dauphin Family Football Office Suite. Coaches and administration offices on the second floor overlook Provost Umphrey Stadium.
"If Coach Woodard is talking to a prospect in his office, they can look out the window and see Bud Leonard field," Henderson said. "It gives him a huge leg up in landing that recruit."
The complex also includes:
locker rooms for Lamar football and visiting teams
108-seat team auditorium for team meetings and watching game films
four player position meeting rooms for studying game films and playbooks
John Payton Academic Success Center with computers for players to focus on their studies
Conn's Video Room
Tours are open to the public without charge from 2 to 5 p.m. on April 3. Free parking will be available just south of Provost Umphrey Stadium. Call (409) 880-8921 for additional information.