by Chris Bahn
Posted 5/31/2011 12:00 am
Updated 2 years ago
Bobby Petrino has had hopes for a football operations center at Arkansas since he arrived in December 2007. He’s been involved in the planning process from the beginning and continues to offer his help with design and fundraising efforts.
Site work has begun on the planned $35 million facility and accompanying parking lot and practice fields. Construction is scheduled to start in the fall, and the football program is scheduled to move its operations into the new building before the 2013 season.
Petrino declined an interview request with Arkansas Business/ArkansasSports360.com, but he did agree to answer questions via email. Below is our recent “conversation” with Petrino.
Q: What are your thoughts on the process and progress up to this point?
A: “I am excited about the project and we can’t wait to get into it. We realize there is a process involved and look forward to starting construction this fall.”
Q: What level of involvement have you had on details of the facility? Room design, specific needs for each room, etc.?
A: “This is something I am extremely excited about. The administration has welcomed my ideas on each aspect of the new facility. As a coach, it is nice to be able to have a large amount of input on a facility that we will be utilizing to reach our goals.”
Q: How involved have you been in fundraising for the project? Are you meeting with prospective donors?
A: “[Athletic Director] Jeff Long and the administration here have done a great job of generating interest in the new facility. I have played a role in the fundraising efforts as best I can. This is an ongoing group effort, and I am appreciative of the contributions of all involved. I want to thank those that have already invested in the future of Razorback football and our student-athletes.”
Q: How are plans for the project being presented to recruits? Video? Slideshow? Word of mouth?
A: “We’ve had great feedback from the recruits about the new facility. They are excited about what we are building here, and they have expressed a tremendous amount of interest in being a part of it. We utilize a number of ways to tell them about it. For example, during the spring game on ESPN we got to share some of the renderings of the facility with the national television audience.”
Q: Mississippi State and the University of Tennessee are among other SEC schools that have operations projects in the works. What will set Arkansas’ football center apart?
A: “The facility will allow us to better develop our student-athletes. We will have the ability to centralize our operations, which will allow us to facilitate the needs of our players. The new training room will help rehabilitate players faster and the facility will be utilized by our coaching staff as part of our comprehensive teaching program.”