Welcome to our final installment of the sneak peek into Cal's Student Athlete High Performance Center (SAHPC). Today we cover the section everyone has been waiting for: The Football Wing
Nota Bene: In this week's post we are not going to publish the exact locations of the offices and various rooms. While you can probably find a lot of this info elsewhere we felt that it was in the best interest of the department to respect their general privacy. Given the extremely high interest in Football (vs the other sports) we felt this decision was warranted more for the football team than the other sports covered.
While we won't be giving exact locations, we can say that the general orientation of the football wing is essentially split by day-to-day operations (football offices) and the student athlete locker room/team meeting room, etc. The design of the football wing is very well thought out and really centralizes everything for the football players during the off season and during game days. Below we see the football taping stations. Apparently taping 60 some odd players takes a LONG time and this space while used for other things is converted into a taping area for the athletes:
Treatment therapy room has nice natural light:
Team Meeting Room
Below is the main viewing room that will be used by all teams, but especially the football team. It is an auditorium style room that will have an A/V setup that will allow for viewing film on the entire wall. The room can also be partitioned to allow for the defense and offense to meet simultaneously:
The room's center beam reveals the track where the dividing wall that partitions it into independently-usable halves will slide through. In addition, this room has a separate door in the back that leads to one of the major stairwells, creating an independent entrance for use in media relations. During press conferences, media are provided a direct route to the room from the outside, leaving the rest of the facility undisturbed (and perhaps more importantly, secure from outside access).
Here is an example of the chairs that the athletes will have (comfy!) and a detailed shot of some of the wood paneling that is going up in the room:
Some folks seemed concerned about all the concrete that is visible in the SAHPC, but I would like to point out that the finishing details were in the process of being installed when we did our tour. The majority of rooms are going to have very nice details as can be seen in the renderings provided the university. I wouldn't worry about the SAHPC being "cold" at all.
The Football Lockers
Our tour guide was very clear when we entered the locker room to get a good look because we probably wouldn't be coming back in any time soon. This is clearly one of the gems of the SAHPC and the pictures below just won't do it justice. There will be many finishing details that most of the public won't see (including plasma screen TVs, etc). Also, while we didn't tour the entire wing we were informed that the coaches have their own locker room suite and there will also be a special NFL alumni suite where ex-Cal players can come and work out at the SAHPC during the off season. It's conveniently located right by the players' lounge. I can't even imagine what it must be like for a young recruit knowing that DeSean Jackson or Aaron Rodgers might be working out alongside them.
The light fixtures above give a sense of the orientation of the lockers. In the panorama below you can see markings on the ground that indicate where they will be placed. Note that in the panorama, perspective is skewed. The room is a half circle not square, with locker bays radiating out from a focal stage area up front, from where coaches and trainers can address the full team.
This unique layout will have both a functional and psychological effect. The half-circle concept allows for sight-lines and acoustic integrity to be maintained from the front stage to any point in the room. Not only can the whole team be effectively addressed by a speaker this way, important information can be left on the chalk/dry-erase boards up front that players surely won’t miss. Psychologically, this layout reflects the new Team Matters’ mentality, unifying the team around the focal point as opposed to partitioning sections of the locker room into position groups or class. One can only imagine the stirring second half speeches about bringing home the Pac-12 championship this room will soon host.
The football offices are arranged in such a manner that the day-to-day operations will all be handled in close proximity. This includes recruiting, academic advising, position coaches' offices, position groups' meeting rooms, offensive/defensive staff meeting rooms, executive meeting room, and other administrative offices.
Of major importance given the new Pac-12 media deal is also the football video room and media broadcasting studio. Yup, you heard right. The SAHPC will house a broadcasting studio where some of the Pac-12 Network's NorCal Regional video will undoubtedly be filmed.
This hallway is where the football offices are located and in the future will have a reception desk where visitors will check in (sorry no wandering about for the fans). Note the cases that will house Cal trophies and Hall of Fame items. To the right in the pic above is the football video services and media broadcasting rooms.
The collection of offices is impressive. Not only do the position coaches each get an office but they have their own meeting rooms with video capabilities to review film. And the coordinators and coaches get together for game planning in a special meeting room. But there is also an executive meeting room for the whole staff to get together. There is no shortage of rooms! I've listed them below to give an appreciation for the commitment the department has made to ensure each group has space that needn't be shared:
- Head Coach
- Offensive Coordinator
- Defensive Coordinator
- Running Backs
- Wide Receivers
- Offensive Line
- Special Teams
- Defensive Line
- Defensive Assistant Coach
As you can see each coach his own office, but there seems to be redundancy currently (based on the coordinator roles, etc) so I'm sure some offices may be inhabited by other assistants.
There are also lots and lots of meeting rooms! For the staff alone there are the following:
- Football Coaches Staff Meeting Room (Executive style large meeting room)
- Offensive Staff Meeting Room
- Defensive Staff Meeting Room
But these don't include the position group meeting rooms with video capabilities! According to the floor plans those rooms will be set up classroom style with large fixed comfy chairs oriented towards a large video screen where the athletes will review game film by position group. Each position has its own room! That means all the players can watch video when they need to without having to worry about if the QBs or RBs, etc are done. Those meeting rooms include:
- Wide Receivers
- Running backs
- Tight Ends
- Offensive Line
- Defensive Line
I did note on the floor plan that Special Teams was not listed as having its own meeting room, but I suspect this has more to do with how Special Teams are handled (as a large group) rather than a lack of commitment. No doubt the large team viewing room can be partitioned to accommodate the especially large group.
A view of the head coaching staff's rooms
What struck me as relevant in the orientation of these offices was that they were smack dab in the middle of operations. While all teams need a chain of command and a hierarchy, it is clear that Tedford in having a hand in the design of the SAHPC emphasized lateral communication and transparency. The orientation of the offices reeks of collaboration and you get the sense that TEAM MATTERS.
Above we have Coach Michalczik's office (left) and Coach Pendergast's offices (right), respectively. Lots of natural light with cool skylights and sleek windows with the natural Berkeley beauty in the background.
Above: The offensive staff meeting room. This room is a bit bigger than the coaches offices to accommodate for more folks.
I unfortunately don't remember what office this is, but I included it because it shows off some of the completed details we can expect to see in the other offices.
I know a lot of folks are dying to see Tedford's office. We almost walked right by it without realizing it was anything particularly special. The man is truly humble.
You can see folks trying to get a sense of the view from his office. It's idyllic if not pastoral (especially with those buckets):
Tedford also gets a skylight and his own bathroom!!!
The most striking thing about Tedford's office is that it is an ordinary sized office space. It isn't some huge room with a ridiculous view and an ante room that separates him from the action. Instead his office is centrally located with his staff and is really not much bigger than the other coaches' office (except he does have his own bathroom--I'm sure the administration insisted on that one, after his famous raccoon stories).
There are tons of little details being added every day so I'm sure we didn't capture 10% of the cool stuff that will eventually adorn the SAHPC. I hope the athletic department does find a way to show off a little. There are lots of nice little touches that we could see were just starting to come up. We did get the impression that the designers while all about Cal didn't want to make the SAHPC an eyesore in the stylings of Oregon's deathstar.
The designers' subtle use of the Blue and Gold scheme is much appreciated by all. Here we see in the carpet the subtle details that still evoke school spirit without wanting to make you throw up.
And a room with it fully installed:
It’s hard to convey in pictures just how expansive the Simpson Center feels once inside. What’s clear is that the SAHPC is a leap light-years in the right direction for Cal Athletics. Consider that Cal Athletics throughout its history, and especially recently under the leadership of Sandy Barbour, has been able to excel and secure national titles in spite of inadequate campus facilities. The new center and High Performance Initiative should help ensure Cal remains a perennial powerhouse athletic program across the Nation. The effect that Sandy Barbour has had on Cal's athletic department cannot be understated. When Steve Gladstone was hired as interim athletic director he made two moves that changed the history of Cal athletics forever. One was the hiring of Jeff Tedford and the second was the hiring of Sandy Barbour. Sandy has set her sights at that Director’s Cup like Tedford-era teams have the Ax, and considering her track record thus far, I wouldn’t bet against her.
How you can participate and give back
If you enjoyed the series, please consider giving to UC Berkeley. I don't work for Cal (though I would gladly accept a Chancellorship if offered), but I do support Berkeley and Cal athletics. I can tell you that it doesn't take much to give back. Not all of us have the money to build a building. But all of us have the funds to give a brick. Imagine if all of Cal's 400,000 alumni gave just $20 a year more than they do now (especially if they give nothing). That's $8 Million dollars. What if that was $100/year? Most people can do that...now we're talking about $40 Million. That's enough to stave off the tuition hike for the most needy of Cal students and fund a number of research programs. It would also counter-balance the fact that for the first time Cal students pay more for their education than the state provides in support. This is not longer a publicly funded school, but a publicly assisted school. Private giving rates at Cal are embarrassing (14%). It really doesn't take much. If you're reading this I know you have love for the university. Take 5 minutes to give back and support your Alma Mater. There has never been a time when it has needed you more: