Colleges: 'Eaters' coaches moving

August 28, 2012|By Barry Faulkner

UC Irvine coaches, administrators and support staff will need to get used to a new-carpet smell, as the $1 million donation by Kathleen and Mark Santora to renovate and expand the strength and conditioning center will create change in the Crawford Hall office building.

UCI Athletic Director Mike Izzi said that coaches will be moving to the current Humanities Office Building, across Mesa Avenue from the Bren Events Center, early in the fall semester, to clear the way for Crawford Hall to become a place for student-athletes to work out.

The move will provide an upgrade for coaches currently cramped into office space that challenges their ability to both recruit and teach their student-athletes.


"We need to have facilities that match what our coaches are doing with the young people," Izzi said. "And I don't think that to date, we have matched all those services exactly with what the rest of the campus looks like. So, we're trying to catch up."

The first step in what Izzi hopes will be a string of improvements, will also include converting the current weight room into a student services center that is currently housed in trailers on Crawford Field.

The Humanities Office Building will become the Intercollegiate Athletics Building, Izzi said and the strength and conditioning facility, at what is now Crawford Hall, will bear the Santoras name.

"It puts us on more onto campus," Izzi said of moving the coaches and staff. "It's a better place for our coaching staff to work out of and it gives them a place to be able to recruit out of. Going from Crawford to here is an exponential improvement for us."

Head coaches will all be placed in individual offices, with their assistants located nearby, Izzi said. And conference rooms in the new location will create teaching environments more favorable than the ones that exist in Crawford Hall, where the absence of conference rooms sometimes forces teams to have strategy sessions in the lobby.

"Everything will probably be done summertime of [2013], barring delays," Izzi said.

Some serious strategy will be required for the UCI women's volleyball team when it faces No. 1-ranked Nebraska on Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Bren Events Center. The match, UCI's first against a top-ranked program, is part of the UCI-Loyola Marymount Dual Classic.

Nebraska (3-0) earned the No. 1 ranking this week after knocking off preseason No. 1 UCLA, the defending NCAA champion, in five games on Saturday in Lincoln.

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