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September 24, 1990 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 1990-09-24

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 24, 1990 - Page 13



by James Burgess
Daily Sports Writer
ALThe "Michigan men" who spill
onto the field each Saturday have
been stamped and pressed by a
football machine kept well out of
our sight.
The little we do know about them
includes their twice consecutive
reign as the Big Ten's superior team.
But ask Fritz Seyferth, Associate
Director of Development and
;Alumni Relations, and he'll tell you
that this was accomplished despite a
colossal glitch in the program.
"We were ninth in the Big Ten
(in terms of facilities); Ohio State
had the worst. Ohio State then built
new athletic facilities, and left us
tenth. A new coach coming in here
with the existing facilities wouldn't
have had a chance."
So the challenge was clear: build
*a new facility to upgrade the football
team's capabilities while making
space for and serving some needs of
other varsity sports.
"Bo had a very clear vision of
what needs are," Seyferth says. "He
wasn't for frills; he was for the bare
essentials and what you needed to get
the job done. And fundamentally, we
didn't have the facilities to meet the
players." .
The old facilities include football
offices built 35 years ago and
personnel and equipment stretched
among offices and training locations
separated by as much as a quarter
mile. The 'old system' was
obviously hampering progress.
The vision for the 'Center of
Champions' was Bo
Schembechler's, but much of the
,legwork was entrusted to Seyferth,
then Schembechler's Director of

Unveiling of 'Center of Champions'
ushers in new era of Michigan football

Michigan football is now secure for
many more years of domination in
the Big Ten. Having matched or
surpassed the efforts of programs
such as Ohio State's has made
Michigan once again competitive on
a technological and administrative

Michigan linebacker Alex Marshall pays a visit to his locker inside the newly constructed Center of Champions facility. JOSEJUAREQDai

Football Operations.
"In February of 1984, we went
with Tom Monaghan to see his
architect, who was building
Domino's Farms, about putting
together some conceptualizations.
"In the meantime, we had all the
coaches travelling the country, and
any time they went to a place that
had good facilities, they'd stop in
and take notes."
Seyferth made a special point of
seeing some of the top facilities
himself, sometimes accompanied by
architects. In all, staff journeyed to
the universities of Florida, North
Carolina, North Carolina State,
Georgia, Minnesota, Wisconsin,
USC, UCLA, and Nebraska, among
Years of research and effort led to
a cutting-edge facility-64,000
square feet of area, at a cost of $12
million-and entirely funded by
Michigan alumni.
"This facility has raised more
money in a shorter period of time
than any single project in the history

of the university," Seyferth boasts.
"There are a lot of people around the
country that care, and so does Ann
Arbor-a third of the funding came
from the city alone."
The university itself was also
very supportive, guiding the athletic
department in the ways of successful
fund raising.
But all technicalities aside; just
what can this thing do?
The Center has vast capabilities,
as the recruiting department's Roger
Mastrantonio pointed out. Located
next to Tartan Turf and adjoining to
the indoor field known as 'Bo's
Building', it is convenient to the
team's practice needs. There are
complete locker rooms. The
expansive weight room is
supplemented by computers which
evaluate and alter a player's workout
automatically. The equipment room,
where each player's gear is washed
and returned through a cubby-hole
system, also houses a virtual
truckload of black Nike turf shoes.
As a testament to the fact that Bo

is anything but forgotten, a throw-
back to his era hangs above the
doors leading to Tartan. 'Those Who
Stay Will Be Champions' is a
saying that Bo and his first staff
developed here in 1969. "And he's
proven it," Mastrantonio said.
Also on the ground floor are the
medical center and museum. The
medical center is staffed by 12
trainers, whose duties include
spending two hours prior to each
practice taping players. Mastrantonio
claims that Michigan spends
$250,000 annually on tape alone,
making it one of the top ten
consumers of it in the world.
The museum, the only major
portion of the building which is still
not functional, will showcase
memorabilia from Michigan's
athletic past and will be the only
part of the facility accessible to the
The tour moved to the second
floor, where administration and
meeting rooms are located. A full
team meeting room is connected to

the audio visual workroom, where
$300 thousand of equipment can be
used to project any of a variety of
game tapes.
A smaller video room is made
available to professional scouts to
review individual performances, next
to a lounge for prospective recruits
and their parents. A television plays
in the corner showing Michigan
football, lest the recruits grow bored
(or change their minds!) A smaller
defense meeting room can be utilized
to split the team in two.
The full staff conference room, or
'war room', is also video capable.
Meeting rooms for even further
breakdown of the team exist for
units such as defensive lineman and
receivers. All assistant coaches are
housed here, as well as head coach
Gary Moeller, whose office includes
a pull-out bed for occasions when he
must spend the night at the Center.
And down the hall is a dining room
for entertaining alumni and other
In all, it would seem that

But in case anyone has their
doubts that the exhaustive efforts of
Seyferth and others will indeed
motivate, a poignant reminder of the
Wolverine desire to outdo the
competition sits in coach Moeller's
office. In fact, he will sit on it, in
the finishing touch on this incredible
facility - the only known
university lavatory adorned with a
bright red Buckeye toilet seat.

- .1

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September 27, 1990
7:00-9:00 p.m.
EECS Building
Room 1500
Apple Computer has a corporate commitment to the principle of diversity. In that
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Ann- ...erhJ nnna nim tto. , ~ *~the nririAleof iemtwy int hat

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