UCF Indoor Football Field
100 Yards of Column Free Field
Before the Indoor Football Field
Nowhere is that arms race more competitive than the football-obsessed South, and specifically, the state of Florida. With three of the most successful college football programs in NCAA history and hundreds of the top high school football players residing in the state, the University of Central Florida needed to find ways to close the gap and catch more attention. Even though the Knights had future NFL star Brandon Marshall playing both sides of the ball in 2004, the Knights posted a disappointing 0-11 record under first-year head coach George O’Lear.
A Program Trending Upward
In the season prior to the completion of the indoor football field, O’Leary’s staff recruited the 129th best recruiting class in college football, according to the recruiting gurus at Rivals.com. The season after the steel building kit was constructed, the Knights posted an 8-3 record and earned a trip to the Hawaii Bowl. Riding that momentum of on-field success along with the improved facilities, O’Leary’s staff brought in the 72nd best recruiting class in college football – a 57-spot jump from the year before. The indoor practice facility was not only a boom for the football program but the entire athletic department. One of the great advantages of constructing sports facilities is the versatility offered in construction and ongoing use. Because the university was able to design the building specific to their needs, all of the athletic programs on campus are now able to take advantage of the indoor football facility.
Credit the Staff and the Indoor Football Field
While a lot of credit goes to the players and coaches, the rise of UCF football directly coincides with the construction of the Nicholson indoor football practice field. The all-purpose facility gave the coaches a selling point on the recruiting trail while also affording them the advantages of a climate-controlled indoor football practice facility. For programs, such as Central Florida, that are playing catch-up with the competitive and financial juggernauts of college athletics, indoor training facilities offer a cost-effective, versatile, efficient solution that has proven results.