Home field advantage: Jamie Hosford Football Center opens for GV Football

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Home field advantage: Jamie Hosford Football Center opens for GV Football

Kellen Voss, Sports Editor

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More than 400 people gathered Wednesday, June 19, to celebrate the opening of the renovated and expanded Jamie Hosford Football center.

The two-floor facility features brand new athletic training and rehabilitation rooms for all GVSU athletic programs to use, along with designated meeting rooms for positional groups and a state-of-the-art team room and locker room to give the GVSU football team time to strategize and prepare to dominate their GLIAC opponents.

Hosford was talented in more ways than one in his time in Allendale, as he won 12 varsity letters in football, wrestling, golf, baseball and track before graduating from GVSU in 1978. He died after a lengthy battle with cancer in 2014 at the age of 58.

It was no small feat to get this center opened, as current GVSU athletic director Keri Becker said it was a main goal of hers and former athletic director Tim Selgo since Becker took her position in 2016

“Selgo thought of the idea that we needed to put some work into it, but it’s mainly a matter of managing the budget,” Becker said about the planning process for the center. “Since I’ve been in the seat, it’s been something that we’ve been working on, trying to find the right combination of support from the university and from our donors.”

The new expansions were 100 percent donor funded, as more than 700 GVSU football fans and alums banded to together to get the building of this center in motion.

GVSU has been a Division II football powerhouse so far in the 21st century, and they finally have the top-notch to help keep those winning traditions. Seeing all the hard work she and many others put into the process of getting the center open gave Becker much satisfaction.

“It was a great utilization of an existing building with the additions, and the end product looks brand new,” Becker said. “It was so impressive what we got out of the renovation, took a space that was not made for what it was being used for at the time and made it into a space where our student athletes can get better at the game of football and cultivate the relationship of a team. To bring in that team room where our entire team can be in one place and the expansion in the locker room was a huge piece.”

When asked if there was anyone she wanted to specifically thank through the process, Becker struggled to come up with names simply because of the sheer amount of people that helped make this happen.

“We couldn’t have done it without Scott Richardson taking this as a priority and taking this in front of president Haas; I certainly have to thank president Haas for making the decision to make this a priority in his watch,” Becker said. “There are so many people to thank for bringing this all together, from our 700 plus donors that came out to support this project, to our athletic staff, our campus staff and facilities to the development office. I can’t be specific but that’s what’s great about this campus: a lot of people came together to raise this money and bring everything to life from start to finish in such a crushed time frame.”

GVSU will look to keep this facility in tip-top shape, not only to help current football players and staff, but also to help recruit more student athletes looking to embody what GVSU athletics is all about.

“Facilities will always be a continuous thing that we look at, we plan to maintain the facilities we have, so when you take a facility like that that’s such a huge piece of the recruiting process,” Becker said. That’s a priority for our football staff and our student athletes. That’s their home, and it’s up to them to take care of that space and keep it fresh and clean and be the face that reps what Grand Valley football is all about.”

GVSU Football will use the center to help them prepare for their first game, which will take place at Lubbers Stadium on Saturday, September 7, at 7:00 p.m., as the Lakers look to pick up a Week one win against the Edinboro Fighting Scots.