Following a 35-28 win over the Missouri Tigers this weekend, Mark Stoops took to the podium this morning to recap the win and preview Chattanooga.
He was also asked a question that changed the tone in the room rather quickly.
During the media opportunity, Stoops was asked about getting a full 120-yard indoor practice facility in place for the Kentucky Wildcats football program.
“We need an indoor (facility),” Stoops stated. “You can do the research on how many teams don’t have an indoor (facility).
It’s no secret that this has been a need of the football program for the last several years. Currently, the indoor field is inside of Nutter Field House, which has a track that goes around it as well. Due to the layout, the track cuts off 20 yards from a regular size field. Kentucky and Vanderbilt are currently the only two SEC programs without a full-sized indoor facility.
Mitch Barnhart also knows that this is something that must get done. Not only to help the football program to continue to recruit and compete in the SEC, but also to keep his Head Coach happy.
Barnhart was on KSR earlier this month and had this to say about a new facility:
“Obviously, some of the people that won medals in the Tokyo Olympics, people are very proud of what they’ve done, and they trained on that track. Clearly some world-class athletes have been on that track. We’ve got to get the track out of there and get it wall-to-wall with grass, so we don’t have the run-out issues. Other than that, we can revamp it, and it’ll be fine in terms of widening. We hope (it will happen soon). It’s not one of those things where you can flip the switch on. Keep in mind, let’s go back to what’s happened in the last 18 months. We were just trying to survive financially.”
He continued by saying this:
“There’s pieces that give us the ability to move some things, but it’s a puzzle piece and part of the master plan of the university. I want it as much as he (Stoops) does and there are finances involved with that stuff.”
The Joe Craft Football Training Facility received its major update right around five years ago, and it’d made an instant impact in terms of recruiting and development of the team's current players. The next step is getting the team a solid indoor facility when the weather doesn’t cooperate for them to be outside.
Stoops and Barnhart both want the project to happen, so hopefully it gets done in the coming years.