Conversation with Terry Don Phillips - Part III - Facilities

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – The following is part three of our conversation with Clemson Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips, and it deals specifically with facilities.

Many of the questions center around the new dining hall for athletes, the sound system and video board in Death Valley and the new indoor practice facility.

TigerNet: Let’s jump over to facilities…

TDP: Let me say something about facilities. That has been an interesting conversation of late. People are always asking ‘What are we doing?’ I had a trustee ask me that one time. I said, ‘Well, the best thing to do would be to just get in the car and drive around.’ I don’t know that people know what the West End Zone looked like 10 years, I don’t know if they remember that. I don’t know if they even remember what the locker rooms and weight rooms in Jervey looked like. I don’t know if they remember Doug Kingsmore Stadium or the rowing facility. Expansion was something I learned once I got here, and expansion added a whole different outlook to this program and how I was viewing it when I came in. Because when I came in, there was one lead horse in the race and that was Florida St. If you caught Florida St., you had a great opportunity to get in the BCS. And when Miami came in right after winning the National Championship they were a top five program and Virginia Tech was a top five program. So the conference brought in some really good football programs at that time.

And I still stand by my statement that we would have won one or two more championships but for expansion. When I came in we were behind in our strength and conditioning areas, we were behind in the weight room, our locker rooms and the environment we were putting our kids in and particularly the environment we were trying to recruit to. I was familiar with what other programs were doing because of what I did with Oklahoma St. I told President Barker that we were going to have to shore up as quick as we can and to improve those facilities because it would continue to impact us in recruiting. First of all, you aren’t going to out-build other people. It’s too expensive and someone is always doing something. What you have to have in your facility program is that when a recruit comes to campus that isn’t a negative, and they can't distinguish between Florida St., Tennessee, South Carolina or Florida and that you have good quality facilities. Before we came online with the West End Zone – and we put a lot of resources in those old locker rooms just to spruce them up – we tried to make it hard for a recruit to distinguish a difference between our facilities and others.

But it didn’t take a rocket scientist to see the difference between our facilities and other school’s facilities. I asked President Barker if they would consider doing something in the West End Zone and doing something that could help pay for itself, and that is where the Club Seats came from. So we had to go out and get the money and create a very positive cash flow. But we needed to help our coaches and kids feel good about being here, and have a facility that we could recruit to. And it took us awhile and we were in the process of raising funds and put it together and get it online. And we got some of that online by 2006, and that was a pretty quick turnaround. And it took us five years to bring the Club Seats online and the footprint of the football operations area and put that online in 2009. And Dabo [Swinney] was very fortunate because the timing was good, and when he became the head coach he walked into a brand new facility. And that is what happened with Les Miles at Oklahoma St. I say all of that to say this – that has been one of the more interesting criticisms to me is facilities, because that is what we have been doing from Day One. We have built a lot of facilities and maintained very low debt and that is a tribute to our supporters and people that contribute to this program and we still have things to do.

TigerNet: What are the other “things” you want to see accomplished?

TDP: We want to finish out the West End Zone, and we need to get our museum done. We need to get our oculus done, because that is part of the ‘wow’ factor and I understand that. The indoor facility – they have already started the prep work on that and we should be in there if we are lucky by late November or early December. It is going to be a great facility and there will be no debt on it. But you always have to have things you are working on. You can’t ever relax, and that is why we need to look at ways of upgrading Riggs [Field] and our tennis facility and even work on an operational facility for basketball with offices and weight rooms and dressing rooms so they are all together. We are working on that as we speak because basketball is really important.

TigerNet: Are there any plans to upgrade the video board and sound system in Death Valley?

TDP: Yes. We intend to be online with that this season, in 2012. Actually, we will have multiple boards. We don’t have everything completed in the planning just yet, but we will have boards on the East side and boards on the West side. What happens on the West side is the sun sets, and we can't ask the sun to stop setting. But we do understand that creates a visual problem. What we are working with Daktronics on is having multiple boards in the East and on the West. What we are looking at is having boards on the stairwells in the WestZone so everybody can see them. And we are working on seeing what kind of sound system will work with that.

TigerNet: Will the current video board and scoreboard over The Hill stay?

TDP: That is going to be reconfigured. We have things that we’re trying to work through Daktronics. That video board in the east endzone is practically new. Its five years old. We understand technology. I don’t understand technology but apparently it moves pretty fast. That will be an all new board in the east zone, but we can take out the components in that board and retool them and be able to put in a new board in baseball and soccer. We’re going to be able to utilize components, but they will be retooled like they are new boards. We are basically going to get new boards in baseball and soccer plus football. Plus we are working on little stuff. We are working with Daktronics as we speak. We will significantly improve football as well as baseball, soccer, and basketball.

TigerNet: Talk about the new dining hall..

TDP: We’ve already got it built. It was part of the original plan and really when we put out the bids to wrap the concourse around and ingress and egress around the West End Zone. We got such a good bid that we had money left over so we could go ahead and do our training table. We’ll probably be in there in March. You go up the steps to get on the concourse level and to the left and you just take a right and the dining hall will be right there. We are going to incorporate all of our sports. Some of our sports want to have special meals more closely in line with their facilities. We will work with our coaches, though, and it will be a dining hall that will be able to be utilized by all of our sports.

TigerNet: Will the dining hall follow the directions or a menu set forth by Dr. Loreto Jackson?

TDP: Loreto is going to have a huge part in that. She’s an exercise physiologist but she is extremely knowledgeable on diet. But, by the same token we will more likely than not have a dietician involved with that program. Loreto will be the first to tell you that two opinions are better than one when it comes to that program.

Read part two of a Conversation with Terry Don Phillips - Conference Realignment

Read part one of a Conversation with Terry Don Phillips

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Subject (Replies: 36) Author
Front Page Story: Conversation with Terry Don Phillips - Part III - Facilities
Re: Front Page Story: Conversation with Terry Don Phillips - Part III - Facilities
Re: Front Page Story: Conversation with Terry Don Phillips - Part III - Facilities
Re: Front Page Story: Conversation with Terry Don Phillips - Part III - Facilities
Re: Front Page Story: Conversation with Terry Don Phillips - Part III - Facilities
Top tier environment so why perennial unranked/fringe Top 25***
Oculus baby!!!!!
facilities ........
Re: facilities ........
The ultimate softball interview. More like a TDP PR release.***
So does that mean another lavender scoreboard?***
Been to a lot of stadiums and by far the best I've seen is
Graphic Tiger®
If Clemson could compete with such a HUGE university like
we are talking about Miss. State?... or should I check my
Graphic Tiger®
Re: Scoreboard
You do realize those aren't permanent...
Absolutely right! I wish..
I'm excited by the dual scoreboards! (And the occulus!)***
Re: I'm excited by the dual scoreboards! (And the occulus!)***
Re: I'm excited by the dual scoreboards! (And the occulus!)***
Re: I'm excited by the dual scoreboards! (And the occulus!)***
Re: I'm excited by the dual scoreboards! (And the occulus!)***
But what happened to the Chick-Fil-A logo over it? lol***
Re: I'm excited by the dual scoreboards! (And the occulus!)***
Now That Has Wow Factor
The thing in the pics of the west endzone that make it look
FINALLY! A NEW sound system!
potatoes and gravy®
Re: FINALLY! A NEW sound system!
Is Daktronics involved with the video and sound systems?
RC Tiger®
Re: Is Daktronics involved with the video and sound systems?
Don't know about you, but I like the direction we're headed***
Re: Don't know about you, but I like the direction we're headed***
bring back tiger time***
Didn't have the sand to ask him if he'd petition the other
What a joke of an interview.

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