The UMass Football Blog was honored to receive an invite to tour the UMass Field House. The invitation was extended by Paul Bys the UMass Equipment Manager. I want to thank him and Coach Brown for allowing us to visit. It certainly was a treat to get a tour of the field house.
About a week before my June vacation I journeyed down to Amherst for the imaging session. I spent a couple of hours talking to Mr. Bys and several of the UMass coaches.
Mr. Bys will be in his 13th year as equipment manager when the season opens against Albany on August 30th. Paul oversees all the game day operations as well as equipment and locker room facilities for both home and away games.
I ended taking 19 images, which are in a Picasa web album here. I've also added a link in the “2008 UMass Images' section in the sidebar.
Truth-in-blogging note: I was not not allowed to take pictures of the coach's rooms in the Field House (the UMass coaching staff has “field' offices in the facility as well as in the main UMass football offices in Boyden). The athletic dept also asked to see a copy of this blog post before I published it, which was fair in my opinion. Many teams would not work with a Blogger.
The UMass field House dates to the construction of Warren McGuirk Alumni stadium in 1965. It was built in the era when real men changed under the bleachers and a facility like the field house was considered first class. It is now definitely on the elderly side, but the staff works hard to make it the home of UMass football. Despite its age, it compares well with facilities in the CAA North. With lights being added this year, there has been a welcome increase in the University's attention to the McGuirk football complex.
After some years of neglect, I reported last year that the field house received a new coat of paint and the roof was repaired.
Certainly, there is room for improvement in the facilities. A field turf practice field would save wear and tear on the stadium surface and an indoor practice facility would benefit all the athletic teams (Lax, Field Hockey, Soccer and Football). We can always hope!
Besides being the training facility, the staff has tried to make the field house “home” to the UMass Football team. It houses the UMass trophies and football memorabilia .
Click on the link and follow me as we tour the UMass field house!