Weight room gets major upgrade
When Les Robinson returned to The Citadel as director of athletics in September 2000, one of his priorities was to improve the condition of the weight room that was being utilized by all of the Bulldogs' teams. The following summer, Strength and Conditioning Coach Todd Lair '95, a former Bulldog football lineman, informed Robinson that approximately $250,000 was needed to upgrade the aging facility in Seignious Hall.
Dr. Harvey Schiller '60, a member of The Citadel Athletic Hall of Fame, generously donated $50,000 toward the weight room that literally got the ball rolling. Robinson and Head Football Coach Ellis Johnson '75 solicited the support of The Citadel's Alumni Football Association (AFA).
The AFA leadership knew that while the uphill project would directly benefit the football team, it would also assist all of The Citadel's intercollegiate athletic teams. In January 2002, Johnson wrote all former football players urging them to help.
With assistance from long-time AFA organizer Charlie Baker '71, the football players came rushing to the rescue. Another very substantial donation arrived, this time from Margaret and John Carlisle '64. Bob Carson '73, also a member of the Hall of Fame, pledged and delivered labor and supplies for the physical improvements to the room and Fred Price '75 assisted with the glass needs. AFA members donated the remaining financial needs.
Today, The Citadel's weight room is one of the premier facilities not only for I-AA football but also for all sports.
"This is a project that we had to do not only to stay competitive in the Southern Conference football race, but for all of our sports at The Citadel," says Dr. John E. "Turkey" Moore '71, AFA president.
"The refurbished weight room will be utilized by all of our sports," says Lair. "This new equipment allows different sports teams to lift at the same time without interrupting their workouts."
Additions and improvements to the weight room include:
"The new weight room is a culmination of the collective work of our loyal donors and supporters who collaborated together with Coach Johnson, Coach Lair and others," says Robinson. "These coordinated efforts worked into a cohesive plan that will certainly help all of our teams."
"While the weight room has made great improvements," says Johnson, "we still need cardiovascular equipment, weight-loss and sprint-work machines, and a variety of other items. "But we can't thank our donors enough," adds Johnson. "Everyone that donated to this project will have his or her name on a plaque on a wall in the facility to display our most sincere appreciation."
And it will be The Citadel athletes who benefit. Every one of them.