Ahead of Fan Appreciation Day at High Point Solutions Stadium this afternoon, Rutgers Football held a ribbon cutting ceremony for their new strength and conditioning center. The football team began using the renovated facility in the Hale Center at the start of training camp, but today was the official unveiling. The renovations were made possible by longtime boosters Ron and Joanna Garutti, who donated 1.25 million dollars for the project back in February.
Upgrading the entire strength and conditioning program has been a major point of emphasis by head coach Chris Ash since his arrival on the banks. Bringing Kenny Parker with him from Ohio State to Rutgers was an instrumental hire that has reshaped the way this program trains and prepares for the football season. Parker has earned rave reviews from both the coaches and players in getting them in peak physical shape at the start of fall training camp. Howard Griffith of BTN recently remarked how much bigger the team looks at the start of this season compared to last year.
The renovated weight room was scheduled to open at the beginning of June, but was delayed due to some construction issues. The players worked out under the south end zone of the stadium during renovations. The temporary conditions may have played perfectly into the type of mental and physical challenges that Ash and Parker like to utilize in offseason workouts.
It was a major development for Ash to secure this type of donation so early in his tenure. This shows how much he is instilling confidence into important supporters of the program, like the Garutti’s. With Rutgers firmly entrenched in the facilities game, a necessary reality in order to succeed in the Big Ten, the RFund continues to raise money for R B1G Build project. This donation by the Garutti’s was separate from that project, which is why the renovations were able to get done so quickly.
As we all know, all the positive changes that have occurred in the past year started with the hiring of Pat Hobbs as Rutgers athletic director. His precise leadership and strong hires so early on have reshaped the future of Rutgers athletics. Let’s also take a minute to appreciate how fortunate we are to have such loyal supporters as the Garutti’s, who made the weight room goals of Ash a reality in just six months time. It certainly is a new day at Rutgers, and for that we should all be thankful!