March 1, 2011
TUCSON - The University of Arizona Department of Intercollegiate Athletics dedicated the Cole and Jeannie Davis Strength and Conditioning Center Facility, in Richard Jefferson Gymnasium, on Mon., Feb. 28. The men's and women's basketball and volleyball teams will share use of the new training facility, helping to balance the scheduling of practices and study time, and were on hand for the dedication ceremony.
"You always have to look at what's ahead for your program and tonight is a special time for our men's and women's basketball programs and our volleyball program," Director of Athletics Greg Byrne said during the dedication. "When we recruit the young men and the young women to our program, we are going to be showing them this is an important part of our university. Student-athletes will able to come to the University of Arizona and train at the highest level and what that means. We're not only going to be able to have our current student-athletes train at this very high level, but our former student-athletes who are still competing at the professional level and competing for national teams will be able to come back here and train at that same high level."
The new addition to Richard Jefferson Gymnasium is approx. 7,000 square feet in combined space which includes both a strength area on the upper level, a cardio area on the lower level and office space for a strength coach and athletic trainer. Both are housed at the east end of Richard Jefferson Gym in what initially was unused space above, and storage space below. The strength and conditioning equipment is all top-of-the-line, unsurpassed in quality by any competitor institutions.
"We just want to say thank you on behalf of the women's basketball team for giving us this great facility," sophomore guard Davellyn Whyte said during the ceremony. "We have a facility now where we can work out right before practice or right after practice without distractions. Thank you again and we will continue to focus, work hard and get better."
The new Davis Strength and Conditioning Center in Jefferson Gymnasium was a $2.9 million capital project which also included the first major remodeling of the team's locker room since 1994 and other visual and graphical improvements in McKale Memorial Center. Head Coach Sean Miller and his wife, Amy, donated $250,000 to cover the remaining portion of the project cost.
"We really appreciate the facilities and the new locker room you helped us get," junior guard Kyle Fogg said during the ceremony. "We already had a chance to get in there and really work hard in there, and it's one of the best facilities in the country. I think the coaches would agree with me on that and so would the players. Being in the new locker room is a huge relief. It's just great hanging out in there before practice and watching film in there. It's just a great environment for the guys. Thank you again and this new facility is going to help us win championships."
The dedication of the facility comes from a leadership gift of $2.65 million dollars, the fourth largest in UA Athletics history, given by Tucsonans Cole and Jeannie Davis to the University of Arizona men's basketball program for facility upgrades at McKale Center and Richard Jefferson Gymnasium.
"Cole and Jeannie (Davis) and, obviously, Amy (Miller), thank you so much for this," head men's basketball coach Sean Miller said. "I want to go back 23 months when I came to Arizona and so many times as a new coach a lot is said and some of the things happen and others fall behind waste side and a year becomes two and I think that's often the case in times of intercollegiate athletics."
"Winning a national championship in 2011 is much different than winning a national championship in 2000 or 1990," Miller said. "Niya's (Butts) and Dave's (Rubio) programs and the needs they have now are much different than 10-20 years ago. This facility is the nicest facility in its kind anywhere in the country."