Cowboys getting weight room upgrade

Published 12:12 pm Friday, May 17, 2024

Called a game changer by Athletic Director Heath Schroyer, the Doland Field House will get a big facelift beginning this fall.

The weight room for the McNeese State football team will receive a $1.5 million upgrade and be named the Navarre Performance Center.

“This is a big, exciting step for our athletic department and football program,” said Schroyer. “This is huge for us.”

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Work will begin on the project this summer before the opening of fall camp with completion expected in early 2025.

The Cowboys saw Hurricane Laura hit their weight room hard in Aug. of 2020. 

“We are thrilled about the new Navarre Performance Center,” said Cowboy head coach Gary Goff. “Our student-athletes work extremely hard and I am proud to work for a university that wants to provide them with the best resources available.”

The new weight room is part of a total upgrade of the football facilities. Work on the project will begin just one year after McNeese opened its new $1 million locker room. The storms of 2020 had also damaged the Cowboy locker room.

McNeese is also currently rebuilding its football press box, which is to include 

25 suites, a 1,700-square-foot sky club, and an open patio area. The top two levels will extend from goal line to goal line.

Work can be seen continuing on the press box daily. It is expected to be fully operational for the 2025 season and parts could be used this fall. Cost of that project is $31 million.

“The revenue this press box will deliver people have never seen before around here,” said Schroyer when the project was announced. “We cut no corners. This will be as good as any in the country.”

Schroyer has said talks for the naming rights of the press box are ongoing. Sources have told the American Press the same can be said for the possible renaming of Cowboy Stadium.

Both would give a financial boost to the McNeese athletic department.

The new weight room will include new equipment with up to 20 free-weight racks. There will also be a 30-yard indoor turf sprint and speed development section.

The dumbbell workout station, named the Iron Pokes Dumbbell Pit, will double in size and functionality. There will be an addition of eight, three-way rowing machines as well as eight glute/ham machines.

A new nutrition area will be constructed as a grab-and-go style station providing protein shakes, pre- and post-workout snacks and pre-competition fueling.

“This is another great day for McNeese Athletics and another huge step forward,” said Schroyer. “I’m so excited to announce our new athletic facility, the Navarre Performance Center. It took a lot of work by a lot of people to get this project approved and funded and I couldn’t be more excited and proud to announce it.”

The renovations will include offices for the sports performance staff and an addition of a sports performance head coach office.

“The Navarre Performance Center will be a state-of-the-art training facility that the entire athletic department will be proud of,” Schroyer said. “The new weight room and nutrition center will have some of the finest amenities and equipment in the nation. This facility will be a major recruiting tool for our football program and for all of our other sports who will utilize this facility.

“I learned a long time ago that expectations can’t exceed commitment. This facility is another example of this department’s commitment to success and winning.”