Driving down to Los Angeles provides an opportunity to catch everyone up on the Tour.
Day two of the tour began in Corvallis. Driving around the city that morning both Mike (@OT_Software) and I remarked how nice of a small town this is. Several of the coaches had asked Mike to come back in to demo some of his apps for them. Overall, it was a great visit.
We then headed south to Eugene. We had lunch with Craig Pintens, senior associate athletic director for marketing at Oregon (and formerly of LSU). Craig's a smart guy and is a great addition to Oregon athletics. He shared some marketing plans that the Ducks have to take their brand to the highest level. Good stuff, great lunch. Then the real fun began ...
Josh Gibson and Kyle Wiest gave us the full tour. Oregon's current facilities were built in the early 90's; and they have just broken ground on a brand new six story football only facility that I have no doubt will be the nicest in the country. The current facilities are easily in the top 5. The coaches offices and meeting rooms would be considered fairly standard and possibly even slightly outdated by current BCS conference standards, but all of the player oriented space is exceptionally nice.
When you first walk into football the walls are adorned with high end graphics and high res photos of players, plenty of different uniforms and a number of quotes from opposing coaches and ESPN announcers.
Josh and Kyle took us through the tunnel and into the stadium. Impressive. We then went back into the locker room. Has to be the nicest in the country. Bells and whistles that we had never heard of before. The ventilation system works. No locker room scent at all. As you leave the locker room you can step into the training area which has the feel of a high end spa. Nutritionists greet you and provide you with the appropriate drink or snack, etc...they have all of the hydro-therapy pools imaginable. Weight room seems top of the line, but they tell us the new one will be far more impressive.
Video below shows you many of the same areas we saw on our tour.
We took a quick tour of campus which is very nice. Plenty of state of art buildings on campus featuring the "Knight" name. The guys took us through the Jaqua academic center for student athletes. This is the nicest building I've ever been in. Seemed like countless full-time tutors for the players. The building had endless technology built into it.
Video below shows you some of the facets of the academic center.
It was time to get back to football as Coach Kelly had a staff meeting at 3. As we learned, Chip's staff meeting are quick. After about 3 minutes they invited us in. We talked FootballScoop for about 10 minutes and then Chip asked Mike to demo his software. About 3 minutes into it Chip looked over to me, winked and said this is pretty impressive. Coach Kelly and the staff asked Mike a number of questions...ideas were happening, the room liked what they were seeing. Meeting ended and Chip invited us to spend a few minutes in his office. Well, about two hours letter, we headed to dinner with about 9 guys from the staff. Great time at dinner. Ran into a number of pro scouts that night in town for Oregon's pro day the next day.
Overall, really couldn't have been more impressed with the Oregon facilities and the quality of guys on their staff.
Chip asked us to come back in Thursday morning so he and their recruiting / technology guys could go over Mike's software and their requested customizations in greater detail. The stuff they were talking about was cutting edge stuff. Haven't seen it anywhere before. A couple of hours later it was time to head south to the Bay Area.
Can't thank the coaches and support staff at both Oregon State and Oregon enough for all of the time they afforded us.
On our way south, we detoured over to Healdsburg, CA (Sonoma county) that night for dinner with friends that own Zichichi Family Vineyard. Great times and great wine. I highly recommend a visit next time you are in wine country.
For more pictures and stories from the tour follow @FootballScoop on twitter.