“From the AD's Desk”
A monthly column from Temple University Director of Athletics Bill Bradshaw
The success of the Temple Football program has become one of the nation's feel-good stories. Equally impressive, however, is our university's historic legacy of basketball excellence. This heritage includes 28 men's NCAA appearances, seven Elite Eights and two Final Fours while racking up the sixth most wins in college basketball history. Our women own 15 total postseason berths (including NCAA, AIAW and WNIT), four Atlantic 10 Championships and countless other successes.
Throughout our storied history, Temple's elite basketball reputation has made us a top choice for many young basketball players. But our basketball legacy cannot be complete without dedicated coaches and staff and the critical facilities our student-athletes need daily to train, develop, and compete.
The evolution of college basketball as a driver for university-wide exposure, revenue, and attention means that Temple's basketball programs must evolve as well. In order to grow both of our teams further, Temple's greatest basketball need is for a modern practice facility.
In the year 2010, it is no longer feasible (nor attractive to a current or prospective student-athlete) to practice in the Liacouras Center today, an outdated gym in Pearson Hall tomorrow, and a local high school the next day because a concert has forced our teams out of the Liacouras Center. The closure of the Spectrum in south Philadelphia means that even more shows and events will come to Liacouras, and while this provides needed university revenue, it doesn't bode well for basketball teams that depend on stability.
For these and other reasons, the university began construction in late May on a dedicated men's and women's basketball practice complex to sit atop what will soon be a renovated Pearson & McGonigle Hall.
Part of a $48 million modernization of Pearson/McGonigle Halls, the Temple basketball practice facility will be reserved exclusively for our Division I programs. We anticipate moving into the complex by Fall 2011.
Located in close proximity to the Liacouras Center, our practice facility will serve as the daily headquarters for the men's and women's basketball programs, providing them with a state-of-the-art venue in which to practice, train and condition. The nearly 30,000-square-foot, one-level facility will feature practice courts for both men and women, locker rooms, player lounges, a strength and conditioning area, coaches' offices, and meeting/video rooms.
In addition to resources available within the Liacouras Center, Temple's men's and women's basketball teams will have two regulation-size basketball courts allowing access 24 hours a day. A shared athletic training suite will include state-of-the-art hydrotherapy equipment and the facility should be replete with comprehensive, cutting-edge digital technologies to streamline operations and enhance instruction and training of student-athletes.
This is a major investment in our basketball programs – easily the most significant step forward since the opening of the Liacouras Center – and our practice facility will be worth the investment many times over.
Because this investment is needed, Athletics has embarked upon a $13.5 million fundraising campaign headed up by our development office. Our goal is to seek broad participation by Temple's alumni, fans and friends in order to privately fund the lion's share of construction costs.
We are off and running, thanks to a pair of seven-figure leadership commitments, including one by Donald '59 and Nancy Resnick, which allows the men's basketball practice court to bear their name. Additionally, Mr. Resnick has agreed to chair the fundraising campaign in support of the project. I'm also proud to announce that Aaron McKie '02, currently an assistant coach for the Philadelphia 76ers and one of Temple's all-time greats, will co-chair the campaign.
As you can imagine, we'll require much more help in funding this critical facility. Gifts of all sizes and shapes are welcome, and donor recognition in the facility can be provided from the largest to the smallest of contributions. To inquire about your own support of Temple's Basketball Practice Facility (of which naming rights are still available!), please contact our athletics development office at (215) 204-2582.
Temple has a long basketball tradition comprised of legendary coaches, players, fans and victories. This practice facility will honor the hard work and determination of those who have made our university great, and it represents a renewed commitment to elevating both our men's and women's basketball programs into a new era of excellence.
Onward and upward! Go Owls!
Temple Down the Shore 2010 – A full day of activity is planned Saturday, July 10 at various shore locations. The day includes the return appearance in Cape May with a special Temple Football Breakfast with the Coach, the popular Boardwalk Fan Fest in Ocean City, a golf tournament at Greate Bay Country Club, a Temple Family Dinner for all Owls, and the Young Alumni Beach Party at La Coste Lounge! More information upcoming … plan to join us!
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