Baylor's plans for a new 14,000-square foot athletic dining hall / performance center is garnering a lot of praise from the coaching staff, and especially strength and conditioning coach Kaz Kazadi.
The new facility, made possible by a $3 million lead gift (total price tag is $6 million), will allow players to practice, get tutoring, and grab a quick and healthy bite to eat within a short walk of one another, and the coaching staff is calling it the "next step" in the program's maturation. As the man in charge of strength and conditioning, Kazadi sees it as far more than that.
“It’s a huge next step for our program. It’s going to go ahead and give us a centralized location for all of our athletes to come in, train at a high level, go upstairs, get tutoring and go ahead and grab something to eat. … That’s when it turns the whole athletic complex into a performance center." Kazadi told the Waco Tribune.
For their current student athletes, and all the recruits that will visit the new complex, the advantages are obvious.
"It’s going to simplify the way that they structure their athletic lives and reduce a lot of stress for those guys. We’re going to try to use it as a stepping stone, a big advantage.” Kazadi added
One of the neatest features (other than the close proximity to everything a college football player could possibly need) is a "fuel station" that will provide healthy on the go items for players to grab if they're in a hurry.
Art Briles is convinced that the newest addition to his recruiting pitch will give his players literally all they need.
“We can stand a guy in the middle of our practice fields and show him our indoor, show him the new stadium, show him the new track, show him the Simpson Academic Center here and show him the Beauchamp Nutrition Center. It’s another great advantage to coming to Baylor, the way I look at it. All you need.”
Briles is probably right. Add the most exciting offense in college football this last season, a vastly improved defense, all their unique uniforms combinations, and the new football field on the Brazos River, and the nation's top recruits would be crazy to not have Baylor at, or near, the top of their list of schools to consider.
Construction on the new facility will begin in early 2014 with hopes that it will be completed by the year's end.