The USF football program unveiled renovations to the Lee Roy Selmon Athletics Center for the first time Tuesday afternoon since announcing the project in February.
Pieces of the renovations include upgraded lounge areas, coach’s offices, team meeting rooms and the locker room. Within the locker room, players each have their own custom lockers with their names and pictures on them, which can be seen in a tweet from Spectrum Bay News 9’s Chris Torello.
— CHRIS TORELLO (@TorelloSports) August 3, 2021
This batch of improvements is just the beginning of what’s to come, according to coach Jeff Scott, who also said this should allow USF to keep up with other programs across the country.
“I think this is going to be the first of many improvements and new facilities and things we’re going to see here in the next 5-10 years,” Scott said. “I think we’ll remember this day as getting that new locker room and we’re going to look at everything that comes after that.
“I definitely think that’s going to position us [to keep up with other programs]. You go from maybe a negative, where maybe you don’t have some of the things some of the other people have, but then when you build it you have the newest one, and the nicest one, and then that kind of turns into your momentum of your program. I’m very confident with the way that we’re set up and how the new facilities are going to help us with the momentum going forward.”
Scott also made sure to give thanks to those who made the project possible, including VP of Athletics Michael Kelly, Deputy Athletic Director Barry Clements, Director of Football Operations Albert Boone, Head of the Bulls Club Lelo Prado and the 500+ donors who made monetary contributions.
“I really want to thank [the] over 500 donors [who] were a part of this project,” Scott said. “This project is one of several projects that we’re doing. We have a $25 million campaign that’s going on, including about $3 million here in building this new locker room and some of the renovations in our team room and coaches offices and meeting rooms upstairs, to go along with the indoor performance center that we’re expecting to break ground here [on] later this fall.
“We had over 500 donors that were a part of this right here, every person’s donation counted. I saw some people on social media giving $25 … This is a huge next step for our program and this year we’re really excited to be celebrating our 25th year of college football here at South Florida.”
Scott said he believes the football program is entering its next chapter, and the current team has the ability to establish a baseline of success for the next quarter century.
“I don’t know if I would use the word rebirth, I would just say it’s the next chapter [of the program],” Scott said. “There’s been a lot of great things accomplished, as we look back at the 25 years of our program and see the progression from the very beginning to where we are now, there’s been a lot of progression.
“What I’ve challenged our players [to], and part of my message talking to them tonight [is], ‘Hey, it’s our turn now. We have the pen, there’s still more chapters [to write]’ … I really believe that how we do and how we embrace these next 2-5 years are probably going to have a very big impact on what the next 25 years of what this program looks like.”
As the program begins it’s 25th season Sept. 2 against NC State, Scott said he’s excited about the progress he and his team have made since his arrival.
Although he is not satisfied with where the team currently sits, he is encouraged by the direction it is going.
“This is really just our next step in the journey. I know, as a team and as a program, we’re not where we want to be, but I have a lot of confidence that we’re heading in that direction very, very quickly,” Scott said. “It’s not just about this locker room or the new building improvements, there’s a very genuine, positive energy that’s going through our football team right now … We still have a lot of work to do, developing the right culture, a winning culture.
“[It’s] something that never ends, it’s a process that you have to continue each and every day, but I know that we’ve made a lot of progress in that area.”