Clemson’s New ALL INclusive Football Facility
It all started with a vision and a sketch on a napkin.
The National Championship trophy, flanked by the crystal ball Coaches’ Trophies, are the first things you see when you enter the the Allen N. Reeves Football Complex. As the dust has started to settle after winning the National Championship, Clemson University is beginning to settle into their brand new all-inclusive football complex and Players’ Village. The facility that started with a dream, a vision, and a sketch on a napkin, and head coach Dabo Swinney certainly knows how to dream big, $55 million dollars and 142,000 square feet big.
It is a world where recruits want to be impressed by all the little extras. The new Clemson football facility has everything you could ever want, as well as everything you never knew you needed. Swinney wanted the best, and he made sure he had the best man for the job. Four years ago, Thad Turnipseed came to Clemson from Alabama, where he helped Alabama make the most of their football complex.
Education is as important to Swinney as football is, and when you walk into the complex, off to the right you will find the P.A.W. Journey. P.A.W. Journey is an all-encompassing mentoring program that cultivates leadership in the student-athletes. It was developed to help the players with personal growth and life skills, in addition to professional development.
On the left side of the foyer is a made-to-scale (in steepness) replica of The Hill and Howard’s Rock for fans to touch before they run down. There is even audio, complete with crowd noise and Brent Musburger’s description of the “most exciting 25 seconds in college football”. The foyer also has a Nike uniform room with an island shadow box of championship and bowl game rings.
The Extraordinary Ordinary Stuff
As with every football team, there are state-of-the-art team rooms, locker rooms, and weight rooms. After all, Clemson had to have the best, and they certainly kicked everything up a notch. Inside their locker room, each locker has a padded chair, as well as individual USB outlets. Each locker has its own ventilation system that keeps the stench of sweat and hard work away. The entire locker room actually consists of several smaller alcoves surrounding an oversized center benched sitting area.
Indoor Practice Facility
The indoor practice facility is a short hallway from the 23,000 square foot weight room. The weight room’s floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the outdoor practice fields. It is currently the biggest in the country. Clemson has stocked it with the latest and greatest equipment available. There is a cold tub, hot tub, steam room, as well as four therapy pools and a lap pool.
Clemson is also only one of six college football programs using the STriVR virtual reality system to simulate football games, which provides an added level of “hands on” training.
When you are training a college football team to compete at an elite level, diet is a crucial factor to take into consideration. Clemson hired a full-time nutritionist to make sure their players had the best meal options available. The cafe in the new complex has a biometric scanner and scale. They have also adopted the farm-to-table concept by buying the leanest and best cuts of meat directly from the source instead of depending on a food service company.
The Fun Stuff For The Team
A slide from the second floor to the first floor, bowling alley complete with shoes, game room with ping pong, pool tables, shuffle board, golf simulator, and even old-school Pac-Man. Also, in the building, players can play laser tag, watch movies in the high-definition movie theater, as well as take a break in the nap room complete with bunk beds and recliners or get a fresh cut at the in-house barber shop with a shoe-shine area.
As you walk out of the cafe, you’ll find yourself on the one-and-a-half acre Players’ Village. The village has a covered full-sized basketball court, nine hole putt-putt course, horse-shoe pit, a wiffle ball and volleyball court. In addition to an outdoor kitchen, there are plenty of covered seating areas, a wood-burning fireplace, as well as several smaller fire pits scattered around. Last but not least, a 20-foot tv for a little extra added entertainment.
The Best of The Rest
The hallways are covered in full-color graphics of Clemson’s history. There is a wall of Swinney-isms outside of the locker room. The wall of NFL helmets with the Clemson players listed on each team. Their numerous bowl trophies are on display around the upper office area. As the best all-time college social media department in the country, the facility has a massive work and production area.
Outside of the offensive and defensive staff meeting rooms, there is a spacious office for the respective graduate assistants. The GA’s even have enough room in their offices to accommodate a couch and a TV. While on the opposite side of the hallway, the coordinators and position coaches’ offices overlook the practice fields.
Clemson enters its ninth full season under Swinney as college football’s reigning National Champion. Consequently, they have also achieved “elite” status as a football program. Swinney has had a vision since the interim tag was removed from the head coach title. He and his teams have built their status with years of hard-fought wins, devastating losses and relentless goals of building a rock solid program. They deserve every little extra that has been put into the Allen N. Reeves Football Complex.
All it takes is hard work, a vision and a napkin.