By late summer, the Carrol Softer Indoor Practice Facility should be complete and ready to be used by the Miami Hurricanes football team. This will be a big step toward winning recruiting battles, fighting logistical challenges and a win for player safety.
“What excites me is when we plan practice, I don’t have to figure out what plan B is when the horn goes off,” said Richt.
In the past, whenever the horn has gone off, that means lighting stuck nearby and a logistical nightmare was about to ensue.
“It’s like, ‘what do we do.’ We have to go to the locker room put tennis shoes on, walk to the wellness center, and go in the gym. You may already be soaking wet by then.
“And you’re in there five minutes and it’s like ‘all clear, you can back out now!’”
Richt says that days like those are especially a nightmare because, by the time everyone has run away from and back to the practice field, time can be extremely tight with players having class, putting any practice time at all in jeopardy. Anyone who was listening to Richt explain this process could hear the frustration in the coach’s voice.
On the bright side, this will allow the former QB to enjoy what features the facility brings.
“Practice, that’s the number one thing. If the horn blows, we just roll up the doors, run inside, keep our cleats on and just practice.”
But wait, there’s more!
“All of our coaches office’s will be looking over the indoor facility. Every team meeting room, position player rooms, video suite, the recruiting department, everything that touches our program is going to be redone or is under construction. It’s going to have a nice wow factor.”
Player’s bodies will also benefit from the new addition.
“Let's say in camp its 95 degrees with humidity. They’re depleting their electrolytes, they’re drained completely. A fatigued group of guys can also pull muscles and get injured.
“Or let’s say it’s a day that rained. And it stopped in time for practice. If we practice full speed we may get injuries, or we may tear the turf up.”
But the biggest impact may be felt in the recruiting wars.
“They [the recruits] know the facility is going to be here. We told the other guys in the past that it was coming, so you are recruiting with a piece of paper of a video. Next year’s class will actually see it and not have to even wonder what it’s going to look like.”
When this indoor facility opens, Miami will have closed a major gap in the constant facilities build-off that is the norm in major college football, leading to many off and on-the-field victories.