Ann Arbor, MI. There is no doubt that Michigan has some of the best football facilities in the country. Just over a year ago Jim Harbaugh brought Jameis Winston and Bryce Petty to campus, and each raved about the facilities.
Winston went so far as to say, “Go ‘Noles till the day I die, but they’re (Michigan) so much [more] advanced than us.” Petty said of Michigan’s indoor practice facility, “This is bar none the best one that I’ve seen.”
Given these sentiments and the widespread agreement among analysts that Michigan has some of the best facilities in the game, it may seem like a surprise that new athletic director Warde Manuel is looking to expand and update Michigan’s weight room. However, having seen three coaches since the weight room’s $1 million renovation in 2008, the space is no longer the state of the art training area it once was.
In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, Manuel said it is important for Michigan to explore a potential expansion of the weight room because of, “Today’s standards and the things that you’re doing to create more space to train our student-athletes.”
Training in the modern era evolves quickly, and even in the last eight years there are new strategies in the athletic training field that require more space and new equipment. This need is something that Manuel has quickly realized, and coupled with Harbaugh’s desire to update Michigan’s training facilities it appears that a remodeling of the weight room could happen sooner rather than later.
Any expansion of the weight room will likely require an expansion of Schembechler Hall, per Manuel. However, even given the scale of the large scale of the project, the project already seems to have the traction needed to push ahead.
If Michigan does indeed move forward with such a weight room expansion, what’s next? Manuel and Harbaugh will likely first try to raise money to help fund the project. Then, once significant funding is in place, Michigan’s board of Regents will need to approve the initiative. After approval by the Board of Regents the project can begin.
There are no concrete plans for the expansion of Michigan Football’s weight room at this time. However, given the interest of both Manuel and Harbaugh in such a project, Michigan fans should keep an eye on this storyline heading into the summer.