UT practice facility's layout enhances its appeal

University of Tennessee head football coach Derek Dooley shows the locker room and equipment area during a tour of the new Brenda Lawson Athletic Center and Neyland-Thompson Sports Center on Friday, July 27, 2012. The 145,000-square-foot practice facility is slated for completion this fall.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess, ©KNS

University of Tennessee head football coach Derek Dooley shows the locker room and equipment area during a tour of the new Brenda Lawson Athletic Center and Neyland-Thompson Sports Center on Friday, July 27, 2012. The 145,000-square-foot practice facility is slated for completion this fall.

Derek Dooley gives a tour of UT's new football practice facility

The "wow factor" of Tennessee's new $45 million football practice facility remains work in progress. As Vols coach Derek Dooley led a media tour past workers and through construction on Friday, he was extolling a vision of the state-of-the-art technology and design more so than actual reality.

No matter, the prevailing circumstances didn't diminish his view of the surroundings.

"This is going to be the gold standard for the next 15-20 years,'' he said.

The route that Dooley took through the building reflected what he considers to be one its best attributes. Everything from the weight room to training rooms, offices and meeting rooms is neatly arranged in the 145,000 square-foot layout that wraps around the indoor practice field in an L-shaped fashion.

"There's a lot of moving parts when you're talking about 120 big football players going from meetings to training rooms to weight rooms to locker room and then all the equipment,'' Dooley said. "There's a lot of moving parts. So it's got to flow well.

"So there's a logistical component to where things need to be and how wide and how big."

The thought that went into the arrangement was evident when the tour reached the locker room. The equipment room is immediately next door. Dooley said that the original plans had it at the other end of the weight room.

"I don't know how to say it politically correct but you've got no clothes on and you don't have your jock, or whatever it is, and you want to get one,'' Dooley said. "You don't have to go put clothes on and walk outside to get it."

No part of the building seems far from another. All that separates the weight room and locker room from the coaches offices and meeting rooms is a flight of stairs.

"Every building has to have a nice flow and feel to it beyond what you just see,'' Dooley said. "Trying to merge these parts is always tricky. A lot of people had a lot of input and I think the final product is a real showpiece."

Dooley has had considerable input since his hiring in 2010. Before taking the UT job, he was helping to plan a $20 million redesign as Louisiana Tech's athletic director/football coach. His involvement in this project was evident in leading the tour through such showpiece areas as the team meeting room, hydro therapy room and what he described will be a "restaurant" for UT's student-athletes. He also made a point to point out a room adjacent to the locker room that will be used for drying the players' cleats.

"All the people that say players don't get paid," Dooley said. "If you use this facility for four years it's a heckuva paying back."

Friday's tour differed from one Dooley conducted in February regarding one facility feature. There won't be a mixed martial arts cage.

"There's some rule we can't have combat," Dooley said. "You can't get in there and have two guys fighting."

Dooley said that the facility will be occupied in phases. The top floor, which houses coaches' offices and meeting rooms, is top priority. Dooley expects that floor to be occupied before the opening game.

"I suspect by December, everything's going to be done,'' he said.

Along with aiding the players, the "wow factor" eventually is intended to help recruiting, too. Dooley characterized the potential impact by saying, "It generates a level of interest that you wouldn't have if you didn't have it. Maybe there's 10-20 more really great players that you're in the hunt for that you wouldn't be without this find of facility."

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Comments » 62

agentorange writes:

This article is not written in proper English.

BrassMonkey writes:

First. "$145,000 square foot facility" really? no proofreaders or do they all work for 247?

agentorange writes:

It doesn't even make sense.

BluezVol writes:

Its hard to have a "Wow factor" (at least a positive one) with a poorly written article. What about posting a picture or two? Generally its pictures that produce "Wow" not articles constructed by C+ journalism majors.

BluezVol writes:

Here is a link since the KNS is too inept to post it. The training facility is truly incredible.

http://www.utsports.com/facilities/fo...

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to BluezVol:

Here is a link since the KNS is too inept to post it. The training facility is truly incredible.

http://www.utsports.com/facilities/fo...

Thx Bluez, this facility rivals any NFL facility I've toured..Awesome structure that will surely "WOW" recruits from any part of the country..GBO!

FearlessFreep writes:

Things truly are out of whack when something like this is put up on a campus that has raised its tuition 20 percent in the last two years.

UT football should have a good facility but this is excessive, bordering on obscene.

Voltman writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

First. "$145,000 square foot facility" really? no proofreaders or do they all work for 247?

LOL i saw that too and did a double take :)

Tacomeat writes:

You , The University of Tennessee did not build this !!!

It was the Roads and Bridges that built this.....

kyvol98 writes:

in response to Nasty_Rat_of_the_Week:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Since it isn't named "D1@kweed Football Complex" we know you were not the major contributor.

dendalcar writes:

Nasty - The next time you see Charlie Anderson, ask him what he thinks of the facility. The reason this building flows the way it does and makes such practical since re: floorplan is because of Dooley's intelligence, not ignorance. It is now functional.

movol53 writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

First. "$145,000 square foot facility" really? no proofreaders or do they all work for 247?

Proofreaders??? With this generation? If a computer can't do it; it probably will not get done. They probably (at best) ran spell check and decided that "it's good to go".

movol53 writes:

in response to Nasty_Rat_of_the_Week:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Maybe it should be named after YOU and then you could support the VOLS. Who you claim to be YOUR team. A true VOLFAN will support whoever is the head coach. Again, I would be a VOLFAN even if YOU were the head coach!!! You still have not told us who your realistic pick is for the head coach after you get CDD fired.

Harrit writes:

I don't care much about the wow factor, the writing of this article and what-not, but if Derrick Henry signs with us next month, I'd say Dooley bought himself another 3 years. Talk about wow factor, take a look at this guys highlight video, and you realize, the true meaning of wow! The last thing you need is a coaching change when you lock up a commit like that. You better hold the Fort, hold the phone and hold on, wait a second, before you start talking coaching chances. Derrick Henry will take Volunteer Football into the BCS playoff round, no doubts! The Vols won the inaugural BCS title, and its time for us to lock up the player to help us win that inaugural BCS playoff!

orangecountyvols writes:

movol53 and fellow Vol fans,

This nasty rat surely didn't have any ties to Tennessee. No way can someone insult everything connected to the Vols and attempt to sound as if he's affiliated with them.

No way.

BTW, predictions on how soon he gets banned......again...........

jamgod writes:

in response to Nasty_Rat_of_the_Week:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I really would like to know who you are so I could punch you right square in the face with all you'r pathetic whining......got an idea, why don't you go bother other fans on another team site and give us a break. It's gonna be great not having to see your sheeeite on hear after the Vols have a great year......to bad it can't come soon enough. I am sure your mom is even getting tired of you and then your going to be out in the street....Oh well, class a loser for ya!

rtrchatt writes:

in response to Harrit:

I don't care much about the wow factor, the writing of this article and what-not, but if Derrick Henry signs with us next month, I'd say Dooley bought himself another 3 years. Talk about wow factor, take a look at this guys highlight video, and you realize, the true meaning of wow! The last thing you need is a coaching change when you lock up a commit like that. You better hold the Fort, hold the phone and hold on, wait a second, before you start talking coaching chances. Derrick Henry will take Volunteer Football into the BCS playoff round, no doubts! The Vols won the inaugural BCS title, and its time for us to lock up the player to help us win that inaugural BCS playoff!

Derrick Henry lol.... He wants to win a championship and receive top notch coaching and player development. Alabama lock as you will see in short order and good luck with your "wow" factor. UT needs it.

Ayres_Hall writes:

in response to jamgod:

I really would like to know who you are so I could punch you right square in the face with all you'r pathetic whining......got an idea, why don't you go bother other fans on another team site and give us a break. It's gonna be great not having to see your sheeeite on hear after the Vols have a great year......to bad it can't come soon enough. I am sure your mom is even getting tired of you and then your going to be out in the street....Oh well, class a loser for ya!

They guy is a coward and a punk and is useless to society. Might the missing twin of Harvey Updyke, Jr.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Tacomeat:

You , The University of Tennessee did not build this !!!

It was the Roads and Bridges that built this.....

Randy Rhodes and Lloyd Bridges??

VFL_Troll_Patrol writes:

3 words: Proofread! Wait thats one word..... or is it? Ha!

Anyway, this new facility will be a huge recruiting boost!
Its also the largest in the country. Just sayin...

We are the Tennessee Volunteers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXoHG_... (Charlie Daniels)

VFL: http://www.youtube.com/user/BudrayJef...

VFL_Troll_Patrol writes:

in response to jamgod:

I really would like to know who you are so I could punch you right square in the face with all you'r pathetic whining......got an idea, why don't you go bother other fans on another team site and give us a break. It's gonna be great not having to see your sheeeite on hear after the Vols have a great year......to bad it can't come soon enough. I am sure your mom is even getting tired of you and then your going to be out in the street....Oh well, class a loser for ya!

Im one man, I can only do so much. ha!
Just stay away from these trolls!
Don't give them the satisfaction of making you mad.

We are the Tennessee Volunteers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXoHG_...

VFL: http://www.youtube.com/user/BudrayJef...

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to Nasty_Rat_of_the_Week:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That's absolutely false. He has been behind it 100 percent. Why would a coach scuttle such a project that will help him recruit. Dang, give the man this year to see if he can get winning back to Tennessee. At this point no one has a clue what this team will do.

Harrit writes:

in response to rtrchatt:

Derrick Henry lol.... He wants to win a championship and receive top notch coaching and player development. Alabama lock as you will see in short order and good luck with your "wow" factor. UT needs it.

Henry decommited from Georgia for a reason, so they're out! As far as the Crimson tide, they've already signed Tenpenney, and T. Jones, why would Henry want to share carries with those guys? Henry is coming to UT to be the Man, not a platoon runner. USC tried that approach a few years ago, remember CJ Cable and a thousand other Trojan guys? All 5 star recruits, none of them really developed to be that sure-fire 1st round pick for a reason. Henry is smart enough to not get himself into that type of situation.

VFL_Troll_Patrol writes:

Everyone watch this! This is just to show the UT vs Bama game last year and how we had our moments. With more depth and experience now, you can imagine how much better we will be in this game this season! Just sayin...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fRSGq...

TheVolSnake writes:

in response to BluezVol:

Here is a link since the KNS is too inept to post it. The training facility is truly incredible.

http://www.utsports.com/facilities/fo...

Blue

Thank you very much to the link, the facility is fantastic and will help us out for years to come.

Snapshot writes:

in response to Nasty_Rat_of_the_Week:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Bitter, bitter, bitter, bitter old man.

Snapshot writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

movol53 and fellow Vol fans,

This nasty rat surely didn't have any ties to Tennessee. No way can someone insult everything connected to the Vols and attempt to sound as if he's affiliated with them.

No way.

BTW, predictions on how soon he gets banned......again...........

It can't be soon enough.

Snapshot writes:

in response to rtrchatt:

Derrick Henry lol.... He wants to win a championship and receive top notch coaching and player development. Alabama lock as you will see in short order and good luck with your "wow" factor. UT needs it.

Come on chatterbox tell us, is he one of your "special need players" lil Nick is recruiting?

Can't let you forget that,you clown. LOL

Snapshot writes:

in response to Nasty_Rat_of_the_Week:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Bitter...bitter...bitter....

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to Nasty_Rat_of_the_Week:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I hear the echo 2....Bitter,,bitter,bitter

CMKSIDESHOW writes:

Tennessee should leave the SEC now that Texas A&M and Missouri have joined. It will be a long time before we see a SEC title game and it wont be long before the Alabama tennessee game is alternate years because the schedule will just be to tough. It will happen. Missouri and texas A&M just made recruiting that much tougher, Trust me Nobody in the SEC is going to out recruit Texas A&M now they are going to be a Powerhouse in the future. Missouri will be competing also . Ga, Fl, SC, Missouri, and Ala, 3-2 at best this year against these 5, im guessing 2-3. 14 teams is almost to many if they goto 16 Tenn will be irrelevant. Would they leave the SEC probably not but if I had a choice goegraphically they could just as well play in the B1G . Nobody talks about them and the only legite rivalry is Alabama. I wouldn't mind I think its time for a change just wait until seasons over and when PSU gets the boot I would definetly make the call.

clvolfan writes:

in response to agentorange:

It doesn't even make sense.

Doesn't to me either.The General would be gnashing his teeth,and turning over.

CharlestonVOL writes:

in response to Nasty_Rat_of_the_Week:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Dude, just leave. You are a bitter, bitter old douche. I concur with the earlier poster who said he would like to punch you square in the mouth. Course, that will never happen since your old a** doesn't have the guts to talk all this junk in public. You say the same old thing over and over again. Dooleave this, Dooleave that....blah, blah. Get some new material little lady.

VolGrad writes:

in response to Nasty_Rat_of_the_Week:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Your interpretation of that event is way off.

Here is a link so everyone else can refresh their memories: http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2010/nov...

There were fatal flaws with the plans as they were when Dooley arrived. He insisted someone he'd worked with before take a look at them, and he concluded the same. In the end everything was worked out, the donation reinstated, and the facilities were vastly improved in the process. Egos clashed along the way, but everyone was happy with the net conclusion of the whole matter. And our athletes will reap the benefits.

Do some objective analysis for a change.

VFL! GBO!! BTP!!!

born2ride writes:

The practice facility is awesome. The next football coach will love it.

pingkr62 writes:

in response to agentorange:

This article is not written in proper English.

Grammar? Grammar? We don't need no STINKIN' Grammar!!

1volk-nowi-tall writes:

in response to Tacomeat:

You , The University of Tennessee did not build this !!!

It was the Roads and Bridges that built this.....

The young men who suit up every day of practice and play when called upon built this. They are the reason the fans gave the money. The tuition raise allows the school to get even a steeper portion of the students tuition for projects such as this. Sure some fan gave several million to get it started and you and I gave through our ticket purchases and other donations. The University of Tennessee did not pay for this, we did. The University of Tennessee didn't build this, they took our giving and paid some engineering firm to build it. Neither you nor I will be allowed to even tour this facility unless we fall into the super givers of the Volunteer Fund. Having followed the Big Orange since before Ray Mears gave it that name, I will continue to follow them and hope for success on the field or court. I will continue to give my small part as will many more poor folk like me. Go Vols.

pingkr62 writes:

The video was awesome. The new facility is unbelievable. I think any player being recruited by Tennessee would have a hard time turning that down.

FWBVol writes:

in response to CMKSIDESHOW:

Tennessee should leave the SEC now that Texas A&M and Missouri have joined. It will be a long time before we see a SEC title game and it wont be long before the Alabama tennessee game is alternate years because the schedule will just be to tough. It will happen. Missouri and texas A&M just made recruiting that much tougher, Trust me Nobody in the SEC is going to out recruit Texas A&M now they are going to be a Powerhouse in the future. Missouri will be competing also . Ga, Fl, SC, Missouri, and Ala, 3-2 at best this year against these 5, im guessing 2-3. 14 teams is almost to many if they goto 16 Tenn will be irrelevant. Would they leave the SEC probably not but if I had a choice goegraphically they could just as well play in the B1G . Nobody talks about them and the only legite rivalry is Alabama. I wouldn't mind I think its time for a change just wait until seasons over and when PSU gets the boot I would definetly make the call.

I don't trust anyone that can't stand behind and for the Volunteers.

As I have stated on many occasions, college football history shows that every team has down cycles including Alabama, Notre Dame, Texas, Oklahoma, Florida State and any other big time program you might want to mention.

Tennessee is the second winningest football school in SEC history and the only school that has three coaches that have won 100 or more games at the school. Yes, we are such a beaten down program without hope.

All Tennessee fans have been spoiled by the team's success. The Vols have been consistently good for so long, notice I didn't say always great, that we take it for granted. The 2010 and 2011 seasons were the first back-to-back losing seasons at UT in almost forever. And here's something nobody thinks about, in the old days before there were so many bowls, Tennessee wouldn't have played in a bowl after a 6-6 year like in 2010 and would have finished the year with a break even record.

Tennessee's football team is in such bad shape that it took the firing of Phillip Fulmer, the hiring a departure of Lane Kiffin and injuries to Hunter and Bray to reach what Vol fans consider rock bottom.

I believe things are looking up. RTYAB!!!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to CMKSIDESHOW:

Tennessee should leave the SEC now that Texas A&M and Missouri have joined. It will be a long time before we see a SEC title game and it wont be long before the Alabama tennessee game is alternate years because the schedule will just be to tough. It will happen. Missouri and texas A&M just made recruiting that much tougher, Trust me Nobody in the SEC is going to out recruit Texas A&M now they are going to be a Powerhouse in the future. Missouri will be competing also . Ga, Fl, SC, Missouri, and Ala, 3-2 at best this year against these 5, im guessing 2-3. 14 teams is almost to many if they goto 16 Tenn will be irrelevant. Would they leave the SEC probably not but if I had a choice goegraphically they could just as well play in the B1G . Nobody talks about them and the only legite rivalry is Alabama. I wouldn't mind I think its time for a change just wait until seasons over and when PSU gets the boot I would definetly make the call.

Wrong..A&M left because Texas forced them out as the biggest hog in the state..They won't find happiness trading licks with the SEC (i'll guarantee that) because #1. Southern talent will always choose SEC charter schools over newcomers..Did Arky (once a major player in the SWC) run over the SEC after they arrived? I think not, and look for A&M and Mizzou to struggle for a while..This will be interesting, but by no means will UT take a back seat to any of these schools..GBO!!

TheVolSnake writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Wrong..A&M left because Texas forced them out as the biggest hog in the state..They won't find happiness trading licks with the SEC (i'll guarantee that) because #1. Southern talent will always choose SEC charter schools over newcomers..Did Arky (once a major player in the SWC) run over the SEC after they arrived? I think not, and look for A&M and Mizzou to struggle for a while..This will be interesting, but by no means will UT take a back seat to any of these schools..GBO!!

Cold Nose

You know they want us to leave, suspend every starter and hope that we have a lot of injuries so their team will have a better chance to win the SEC. This is one of the key reasons they want us to change coaches again so the program will be in shambles again.

Funny thing the “so called” fans is they don’t understand how far back a coaching change would take us as they bash our coach and team at every opportunity. The “so called” fans show no support for anything Vol, but when you call them out they scream and cry they are the only true fan’s.

They and the so called fans use name calling as their primary tactic and want you to believe they are mature adults. Not the 9th graders they are acting like.

They being the Trolls and haters

If you according to them speak positive about the team you are not a Vol.

I understand other fans of other teams being on the site and trash talking and it is part of the sport but there is a big difference in trash talking and bashing.

TheVolSnake writes:

in response to VolGrad:

Your interpretation of that event is way off.

Here is a link so everyone else can refresh their memories: http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2010/nov...

There were fatal flaws with the plans as they were when Dooley arrived. He insisted someone he'd worked with before take a look at them, and he concluded the same. In the end everything was worked out, the donation reinstated, and the facilities were vastly improved in the process. Egos clashed along the way, but everyone was happy with the net conclusion of the whole matter. And our athletes will reap the benefits.

Do some objective analysis for a change.

VFL! GBO!! BTP!!!

Thank you very much VolGrad, I hadn't read this before.

I think that everyone even the anti Vol could see some of the problems.

The weight room was on two floors instead of one. The training room was not near the locker rooms. There were player areas and coaching areas that were sprinkled across the building instead of clustered together.

"For example, I'm a player, put on my shorts to get in, maybe, a cold tub after practice. You get out of the cold tub and have to walk through a public area to get to the shower," Dooley said.

I guess the ones that wouldn't understand why changes needed to be made have their sinks in the dining room verse the kitchen.

VolGrad writes:

in response to TheVolSnake:

Thank you very much VolGrad, I hadn't read this before.

I think that everyone even the anti Vol could see some of the problems.

The weight room was on two floors instead of one. The training room was not near the locker rooms. There were player areas and coaching areas that were sprinkled across the building instead of clustered together.

"For example, I'm a player, put on my shorts to get in, maybe, a cold tub after practice. You get out of the cold tub and have to walk through a public area to get to the shower," Dooley said.

I guess the ones that wouldn't understand why changes needed to be made have their sinks in the dining room verse the kitchen.

Exactly.

The Nasty Rat's character traits are clearly established. He always has a way of taking facts out of context and twisting them to try to make an outrageous conclusion. Not remembering the story myself, at first glance, I actually thought he might have made a point. But then I remembered who he is and realized I just needed to track down the story. Once I read the complete article, his error was once again as clear as day, like the light being turned on in a previously dark room - his "half-truths" were exposed by the real truth of what had happened and why.

If anything, I thank him for making me go back and look this story up. It does nothing but strengthen my opinion of Coach Dooley once I saw what the coaches concerns were.

A Proud Member of the VolEnforcement Community.

Go Vols! Beat the Pack!! VFL!!!

budd#207344 writes:

in response to FearlessFreep:

Things truly are out of whack when something like this is put up on a campus that has raised its tuition 20 percent in the last two years.

UT football should have a good facility but this is excessive, bordering on obscene.

None of the money from tuition goes to UTAD or its buildings

crimsonviper writes:

in response to BluezVol:

Here is a link since the KNS is too inept to post it. The training facility is truly incredible.

http://www.utsports.com/facilities/fo...

Thanks for the link....Great looking facility.

crimsonviper writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Wrong..A&M left because Texas forced them out as the biggest hog in the state..They won't find happiness trading licks with the SEC (i'll guarantee that) because #1. Southern talent will always choose SEC charter schools over newcomers..Did Arky (once a major player in the SWC) run over the SEC after they arrived? I think not, and look for A&M and Mizzou to struggle for a while..This will be interesting, but by no means will UT take a back seat to any of these schools..GBO!!

Good post,Big agree 100%

VolGrad writes:

in response to FearlessFreep:

Things truly are out of whack when something like this is put up on a campus that has raised its tuition 20 percent in the last two years.

UT football should have a good facility but this is excessive, bordering on obscene.

Not only does tuition not have anything to do with the funding for this building, but this is also one of the few ways a university has of "providing" for its athletes, especially for those programs that actually bring in so much revenue.

What is out of whack is the belief that academic and athletic programs are competing against each other..., that there is no way they can work together to achieve a common goal for every student and student athlete.

Are there pitfalls? Yes. Have there been mistakes made? Yes. But are you or I going to be a part of the solution or merely an antagonist in this struggle? That is up to each of us.

VFL! Think Orange!!!

TommyJack writes:

in response to crimsonviper:

Good post,Big agree 100%

Agree, Vipe. But I think the newcomers will be competitive pretty dang quick.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to crimsonviper:

Good post,Big agree 100%

Thx CV..

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to TheVolSnake:

Cold Nose

You know they want us to leave, suspend every starter and hope that we have a lot of injuries so their team will have a better chance to win the SEC. This is one of the key reasons they want us to change coaches again so the program will be in shambles again.

Funny thing the “so called” fans is they don’t understand how far back a coaching change would take us as they bash our coach and team at every opportunity. The “so called” fans show no support for anything Vol, but when you call them out they scream and cry they are the only true fan’s.

They and the so called fans use name calling as their primary tactic and want you to believe they are mature adults. Not the 9th graders they are acting like.

They being the Trolls and haters

If you according to them speak positive about the team you are not a Vol.

I understand other fans of other teams being on the site and trash talking and it is part of the sport but there is a big difference in trash talking and bashing.

Good point, if anybody knows me they are aware I'll be the first to say if something is not quite right..I gave criticism to Fulmer, Kiffin, Dooley and players if they didn't give 100% effort..So, for some of these nega-vols to try and out-pessimist me shows they are a true fraud..No one can be that obsessive compulsive (about having CDD) without taking medications for mood disorders..lol.

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