Bigger and Better: GVSU Athletics announces Jamie Hosford Football Center

<p>Courtesy / GVSU</p>

Courtesy / GVSU

Kellen Voss

Despite Grand Valley State being one of the most successful DII Football programs in the past 15 years, they do not currently have the state-of-the-art facilities to match the state-of-the-art team. Thankfully for future football teams here, that is all about to change.

As part of the homecoming festivities on Oct. 6, the GVSU Athletic Department announced a building expansion to the football locker rooms and facilities, which will be named after accomplished former Grand Valley State football player and wrestler Jamie Hosford. 

The Jamie Hosford Football Center will be built in two parts with a donor-funded expansion and a long overdue remodel of the two-story structure. Plans include an expanded locker room with 120 new lockers, multiple team meeting areas that will double as coaches’ offices and an athletic training and rehabilitation room designed to ensure the health and safety of current and future student athletes.

The new facilities will also provide visiting teams with enough lockers and showers to have a good experience at GVSU so they don’t have to be bused to the Fieldhouse to shower there after games

A plan to renovate the dated facilities has been in the works for long time and athletic director Keri Becker is excited to see these plans finally coming to fruition.

“This plan has been in the works since I took the reigns, and as the athletic director, I wanted to make it a priority here,” Becker said. “It’s gotten to the point where we can’t neglect these renovations, and it’s an important part of recruiting quality student athletes. To see this finally hit the ‘go’ buttons is an exciting thing, and to see the support we get from the university and donors, because it’s not just me that wants this.”

These new facilities have an accomplished name tied to them, as Hosford earned 12 varsity letters at Grand Valley, as well as multiple All-American honors in both football and wrestling. He was inducted into the GVSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.

Becker is proud of everything Hosford was able to accomplish for the university, and despite passing away in 2014, his impact is still felt at GVSU today.

“[Hosford is] one of the most highly decorated athletes in GV’s history, and he reps the type of student athlete we have so well,” Becker said. “He stayed connected to not only athletics, but also to the university. He was a guy that anybody who knew loved, and really represents the student athlete, the alum and the community member that we like to see.”

The funding for the new football center is 100 percent donor funded, as Becker and the rest of GVSU’s athletic department are working getting the money towards the 2.5 million dollar goal to make the football center as good as it can possibly be.

“We’re well on our way to that goal, and anything money we can get behind will allow us to benefit from the building of this center,” Becker said. “The more we can fundraise, the better this expansion will be, just how we’d renovate any other building on campus.”

This new football center will also be beneficial for GVSU’s football team in terms of recruiting, as state-of-the-art facilities are just one more thing that can draw quality student athletes to Allendale.

“It will be huge from a recruiting standpoint. There are a lot of schools in the GLIAC that have better facilities than us, and with these renovations, we’ll be on the cutting edge from a recruiting standpoint,” said head football coach Matt Mitchell, who has been on the committee with Becker to plan these renovations. “It will also be great for our current student athletes, since we’ll have much better facilities to prepare for practice, games and off-season workouts.”

Becker raved about the importance of the new training facilities, as keeping the student athletes safe and healthy is GVSU’s number one priority.

“Any time you can get a new training and rehab center, it services more than just football players, especially from a health and safety initiative,” Becker said. “We want to give as much as we can to our student athletes who will have a great experience, be successful in meeting rooms and continue to have football Saturdays here where GV comes to life.”

The excitement for this new football center is obvious throughout the university, as Mitchell can’t wait to see this project that he and several others have been working on for years come to life.

“I’m fired up, I’ve been here 15 years and that building hasn’t changed much in those 15 years,” Mitchell said. “As a head coach, you take a look what we’re able to offer and it really keeps us on the edge. It’s the type of thing that warrants and reflects commitment to a championship-level football program, so I’m excited and thankful for everyone involved in the process.”